As the Standard American Diet (SAD) shifts further and further away from nutrient-dense foods like high-quality animal protein and vegetables, nutrient deficiency is becoming a widespread epidemic. But even if you’re following a more nutrient rich diet full of quality protein and fats, you can no longer rely on getting all of your nutrients from food. It's a scientific fact that nutrient deficiencies hurt your performance, causing DNA damage, making you age faster, and contributing to chronic disease. If that’s not convincing enough, here are 8 more reasons you should consider supplementation:
1. You Eat A Standard American Diet
Grains, legumes, and most forms of modern dairy are not food. The purpose of consuming food is to nourish the body and mind. These foods do the opposite. First off, legumes, and conventional dairy are low in nutrients and difficult for a lot of people to digest. Modern grains and legumes contain phytic acid and other compounds that can interfere with nutrient absorption and can cause intestinal damage, which makes it even harder for your body to absorb nutrients. So even if you’ve stopped eating these foods, you may be in nutrient debt or have lingering intestinal damage, which is interfering with nutrient absorption. Conventional dairy is inflammatory and difficult to digest for many people. It also contains mycotoxins, which are extremely inflammatory.
2. Soil Depletion
Improper farming practices deplete the soil of essential nutrients. When plants are repeatedly grown on the same land, the soil loses vitamins, minerals, and microbes faster than they can be replaced. Over time, the plants have fewer nutrients to grow. Fertilizer contains just enough nutrition for the plant to survive until harvesting, but not enough to support human health. In addition, most plants are not harvested fresh. They sit on trucks, shelves, and counters for weeks before being eaten. Over time, the nutrient content of these plants decreases. Most modern fruits and vegetables are grown to increase their sugar content, not their nutrient value. As a result, the most common fruits and vegetables are artificially high in fructose and lower in key nutrients. Consequently, when plants contain fewer nutrients, the animals that eat these plants are also malnourished.
3. Water Depletion
Water is also depleted of minerals due to modern production methods. There is a huge variation in the mineral content of bottled and tap water, with tap water generally having more. Most water filters remove important minerals such as magnesium, which is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body! Up until recently, clean, unfiltered fresh water was the main source of magnesium for humans. Not anymore. Our water is filtered of essential minerals like magnesium, contaminated with chlorine, and fortified with potentially harmful chemicals like fluoride. The filtration of precious minerals from water could explain why people who drink water higher in calcium than magnesium develop more myocardial infarcts and ischemic heart disease than ever before.
4. Low-Calorie Diets Are Low Nutrient Diets
I know this is a crazy idea, but starving yourself of key nutrients is bad. Consuming a low-calorie diet means you’re consuming fewer total micronutrients. As humans, we’re designed to consume large amounts of nutrient-dense calories to meet our body’s needs. When you’re constantly restricting your caloric intake, it’s easy to become malnourished. When you’re consuming low-quality foods, like pasteurized non-fat milk and other franken-foods, you have to eat even more to obtain the right amounts of nutrition. That’s how you get fat. Hey, you don’t have to be a hater, its just one more example of why food quality matters.
5. Non-organic foods contain fewer nutrients
Non-organic, pesticide-treated vegetables are lower in cancer-fighting polyphenols than organic ones. This is because the plant produces polyphenols as a defense against bugs and pathogens. When there is no reason to defend themselves, the plant stops producing polyphenols and your body and brain suffer the consequences. There is also evidence that glyphosate – RoundUp herbicide – chelates minerals in crops on which it is sprayed. It remains to be seen how much of an impact this effect has, but it’s overall pretty sickening and absolutely imperative to avoid GMO foods not only for your health, but for a variety of other reasons.
6. Toxin Exposure
Your body needs nutrients to deal with toxins. When more toxins are present, you need more nutrients. If you’re living in a cave or the Garden of Eden, this will be less of a concern. If you’re like the rest of us mortals – you’re exposed to a litany of toxins on a daily basis.
Here are just some of the things your body has to contend with:
Xenoestrogens (plastics, BPA, some molds, petroleum products).
Industrial solvents and cleaners.
Stress and lack of sleep.
7. Exercise Increases Nutrient Needs
Athletes often think tons of exercise is the key to a long and healthy life (it’s not). They are among the first to denounce supplementation as unnecessary, often with the idea that exercise is the best medicine. If you’re doing enough exercise to substantially deplete energy reserves, you’re also using more nutrients for energy production and recovery. As a result, athletes are at an even higher risk of nutrient deficiencies. Since many athletes eat a low nutrient, high toxin diet – this is a serious concern.
8. Supplementation May Help You Live Longer
Aging is a natural process, but it’s not fun. If there are supplements that can delay this process, why not take them? As long as there isn’t an undue risk of harm, it’s hard to justify avoiding a substance simply because our ancestors didn’t have access to it. There is good reason to believe a higher intake of nutrients may prolong life. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have been malnourished at certain times, which is not beneficial. If supplements can buy you a few more years of quality life, why not take them?
About the Author:
Bestselling Author & Consultant
Founder & CEO of MIND BODY LIFE