You might think that if you eat your fruits and veggies, get adequate sunlight exposure, plenty of sleep, and stay hydrated, your body probably does not need a supplemental source of vitamins and minerals. Well, let’s try to explain some of the many reasons where you might be wrong. Let us start with just 5 simple reasons that you might need to take dietary supplements, no matter how healthy you believe your lifestyle to be.
Depletion of Soil Nutrients
Modern farming techniques utilize fertilizers that actually deplete the soil of essential nutrients. Agriculture relies on the elements in the soil for absorption of proper amounts of minerals, and when this process is interrupted, the plant does not contain essential minerals and cannot form essential vitamins. And if the plant doesn’t have it then you’re not going to get it from eating the plant!
Nutrient Absorption As You Age
Your ability to absorb nutrients from food actually decreases as you age. So while growing children should absolutely be taking a multivitamin to support healthy tissue and bone formation, supplementation becomes equally important for the older population. Sure, you could just eat more food, but this introduces a problem with caloric balance. Beware that many medications also interfere with proper nutrient absorption.
Mass Production Degradation
Commercial harvesting, shipping processes, long term food storage, processing, and addition of preservatives degrades the nutrient content of food. Therefore, unless you’re eating a very fresh plant, it is a far different species at consumption than it was when initially harvested. In addition, compounds added to the food during many of these processes, such as MSG, saccharine, colorings, and flavors will increase your body’s need for nutrients to deal with these damaging synthetic derivatives.
Pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals found in the modern food supply are combined with chemicals in water, environmental contamination from elements such as degraded plastic, air pollution from carbon monoxide, lead and mercury. These synergistic elements vastly increase our need for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to combat formation of free radicals and the attack upon our metabolism and immune system.
More Exercise Means More Nutrients Needed
Are you an athlete or just exercise regularly for enjoyment or your health? The amount of extra oxygen and energy expended by exercising will require more nutrient consumption to compensate. Increasing your exercise activity without increasing your nutrient intake can actually limit your fitness goals.