It is gratifying to see that more and more people are realizing the need to take responsibility for their own health and are trying to prevent disease by eating healthily. Unfortunately there is a downside to this because it also means there are more people falling prey to unscrupulous profit-mongers in the food industry who are jumping on the health foods bandwagon. Thankfully there has been a lot written in the media lately about the dangers of so-called “health foods” and nutritionists have had a chance to speak out about some of them, with certain cereals, margarines, milk, fruit juices, breads, health bars, “lite” foods and soya products coming under fire. Apparently many of the synthetic vitamins and minerals added to these “fortified” foods cannot even be absorbed by the body, thus having the potential to cause more harm than good. As for vitamin and mineral supplements, there are some that have more toxic additives in the form of fillers or binders than the nutrients they claim to provide.
In an ideal world
Some people believe we can get our daily requirement of vitamins and minerals simply by eating lots of good wholesome food in its natural state. As a nutritionist I could go along with this, if we lived in a chemical-free world and all our food was organically grown. However we live in the real world, where our diets lack nutrients we were designed to have due to the adulterated foods we eat: processed, mass-produced foods grown in mineral-depleted soils using petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides and now we can also add genetically engineered foods to the list – lucky us!
Consider this quote from U.S. Senate Document #265:
“The alarming fact is that food, fruits and vegetables and grains, now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of needed minerals, are starving us, no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them…”.
This document was written in 1936! Of course the situation is much worse today.
Food is not enough
No matter how healthy your eating habits, it's virtually impossible to get all the nutrition you need from food alone, and that's doubly true if you're over 50. Apart from our food, our air and water is also tainted with thousands of chemicals that play havoc with our health. Our bodies are continuously having to clean these chemicals out and compensate for their effects, which means a greater burden is being placed on our immune systems. For this reason I believe supplementation is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity.
The variety of multivitamins on the shelves is enough to make anyone go batty and anyway, many of them should be left on the shelf where they can do no harm! My advice is as always: “Go Natural”. Take supplements made from whole foods. These contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, phyto-chemicals, fibre, vitamins, minerals and enzymes which will have the greatest impact because they work together in synergy. They have the greatest level of nutritional and bio-available vitality and there is no risk of over supplementation, since it is formulated from food, not synthetics. (Some people absorb less than ten percent of a synthetic supplement pill – expensive urine!). The whole food supplement that gets my vote here is one made from the dried juice of young barley grass. Having been engineered by Nature, it contains all the nutrients your body needs to maintain good overall health.
Boost your immune system
To fortify the troops and ward off colds this winter it’s a good idea to take additional vitamin C with your whole food supplement but preferably only in the buffered, harmless form with added bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is vital to the production of white blood cells, the foot soldiers of your immune system. In addition to this, 1000mg of pharmaceutical grade fish oil daily will also ensure an optimum immune system able to wage war on winter and win! Prevention is always better than cure!
Disclaimer: All information here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure, heal, diagnose nor treat. This information must not be used as a replacement for medical advice, nor can the writer take any responsibility for anyone using the information instead of consulting a healthcare professional. All serious disease needs a physician.