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        Nutritionals

 

Why Supplement?

Vitamin and mineral supplementation continues to be a controversial issue among health professionals. The medical community commonly states that vitamins and minerals are adequately available from our food. At best they will recommend a multi vitamin. It’s hard to appreciate the credibility of this advice, when it is delivered from a profession that receives little or no nutrition training. But we’re meant to be getting that from our foods, right?

The reality is that food is not what it used to be. Food now is grown for profit, not nutrition.  Our smaller farms are being bought out by large firms & are converted to large factory farms who are solely interested in production & profit. The modern farming practices has robbed our soils of essential minerals, our plants are deficient in these nutrients also. Natural health expert Charlotte Gerson explains; “plants need over fifty vitamins and minerals, yet our abused and overused soils only typically receive phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. If our plants are vitamin and mineral deficient and our bodies cannot manufacture these essential compounds, where else are we supposed to obtain them from?”

Modern fertilizers do not supply enough trace elements.  One hundred years ago, manures were used soley for fertilizer.  Today, superphosphate fertilizers have largely replaced manures.  These contain mainly nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and are deficient in the trace elements contained in manures. Superphosphates often act more as growth stimulants.  This has contributed greatly to depletion of the soil and crop minerals.

 

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Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that utilizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system. This self sustaining type of agriculture aims to restore our soils to health, In the mean time, most of us are eating as best we can however the majority of people fail to eat even the bare minimum required fruit and vegetable servings. This is a problem when you consider that even those who do are probably also missing key nutrients. Importantly, supplementation is not a substitute for a healthy diet. But until we can replenish our soils and eat produce freshly picked in season, supplementation can be a tool to help aid for the shameful lack in our foods.
 

Pesticides and herbicides kill soil microorganisms and affect the nutrition of the crops.  Soil microorganisms are needed to make minerals and other nutrients available to plants.  The result is lower nutrient content.  Also, our bodies require extra nutrients to process pesticide residues that remain inside the foods.

Many pesticides are deadly chemicals that severely tax the human system.  Some contain lead, arsenic and other toxic metals that slowly accumulate in the body unless and until one follows a health program designed to remove them.

Our laws currently allow sewage and factory sludge to be sold as fertilizer that contains significant quantities of toxic metals. These add greatly to our toxic metal burden and require extra nutrients to help remove them from the body.

Thanks to our current exposure to environmental pollutants, we may also require higher doses of nutrients than any of our predecessors. Many cities around the globe already exceed the air pollution limits established by the World Health Organization. Logic dictates that in our polluted world, our bodies need all the ammunition that is possible to stay healthy.

Long-distance transportation of many foods diminishes their nutrition. Many of our fruits & vegetables are grown thousands of miles from population centers.  They may come from California, Florida, Mexico or even as far away as China! They are harvested green & sprayed with chemical preservatives to help them stay fresh for the long journey this further diminishes nutrients. They may spend weeks on trucks, trains or containers on ships to reach you.  As soon as a food is harvested, the levels of certain nutrients begins to diminish. This is another factor that reduces our nutrient intake.

Food processing often drastically reduces nutrient content.  Refining of wheat to make white flour removes 80% of its magnesium, 70-80% of its zinc, 87% of its chromium, 88% of its manganese and 50% of its cobalt. Refining sugar cane to make white sugar removes 99% of its magnesium and 93% of its chromium.  Polishing rice removes 75% of its zinc and chromium.  Food processing procedures reduces the nutrients through heating processes & kills any natural enzymes left in the food. 

Food additives can further deplete nutrients. Thousands of artificial flavors, colors, dough conditioners, stabilizers and preservatives are added to many foods.  While some are harmless and may increase the value of food, many are toxic and can deplete the body of nutrients.  For example, EDTA added to some frozen vegetables to preserve the color of the vegetable does so by removing vital minerals from the vegetable so it does not “tarnish”.

We then take this nutrient deficient food & heat it or even worse microwave it we kill the enzymes & rob even more nutrients.  While some foods such as carrots when cooked make the beta carotene more digestible hence increase the vegetables nutrient powers more accessible.  Below is a chart showing the lose of some nutrients after being processed. 

 

USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors (2003)

Typical Maximum Nutrient Losses (as compared to raw food)

Vitamins

Freeze

Dry

Cook

Cook+Drain

Reheat

Vitamin A

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Retinol Activity Equivalent

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Alpha Carotene

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Beta Carotene

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Beta Cryptoxanthin

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Lycopene

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

  Lutein+Zeaxanthi n

5%

50%

25%

35%

10%

Vitamin C

30%

80%

50%

75%

50%

Thiamin

5%

30%

55%

70%

40%

Riboflavin

0%

10%

25%

45%

5%

Niacin

0%

10%

40%

55%

5%

Vitamin B6

0%

10%

50%

65%

45%

Folate

5%

50%

70%

75%

30%

  Food Folate

5%

50%

70%

75%

30%

  Folic Acid

5%

50%

70%

75%

30%

Vitamin B12

0%

0%

45%

50%

45%

Minerals

Freeze

Dry

Cook

Cook+Drain

Reheat

Calcium

5%

0%

20%

25%

0%

Iron

0%

0%

35%

40%

0%

Magnesium

0%

0%

25%

40%

0%

Phosphorus

0%

0%

25%

35%

0%

Potassium

10%

0%

30%

70%

0%

Sodium

0%

0%

25%

55%

0%

Zinc

0%

0%

25%

25%

0%

Copper

10%

0%

40%

45%

0%

The best way is to use Vitamin & mineral supplements in conjunction with a regular exercise program and a whole food diet including as much raw as possible. Exercise can help control blood sugar, maintain weight and improve mood. It is also important to consume a diet rich in plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits and low glycemic complex carbohydrates (legumes), nuts & seeds, which contain many additional micronutrients.  An attitude that looks for the positive aspects of life’s experiences, & a daily sense of purpose are present in many healthy individuals.

 

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Disclaimer - The products and the claims made about the products on or through this site have not been evaluated by Health Canada and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional; or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. The information contained in these articles is the companies own opinion and are not meant to be interpreted as conclusive. This document is sole and in part to educate people about natural supplementation and to help create a drug free environment. Information about each product is taken from the labels of the products or from the manufacturer's advertising material.

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