Wholefoods vs Supplementation

I see evidence of nutrient deficiencies all the time. Most people don’t even know they have them. “But I eat well!” people tell me. So how do these deficiencies come about?

Let’s face it, food isn’t what it used to be. Commercial farming practices, including the use of pesticides and herbicides, rob fresh food of it’s nutrients. Transport and cold storage degrades them even further. Then there’s losses from processing and cooking. By the time food actually ends up on the plate, we’d be lucky if there was half what there was while it was still in the ground or hanging from a tree. That’s assuming that we’re eating our 5-8 servings of vegetables a day. If we’re not consuming that much, then obviously we are missing out on still more vital nutrients.

Hence, most of my clients are on one sort of multivitamin/multimineral formula or another. There’s nothing wrong with this, but let’s face it – we weren’t meant to be getting our nutrition from a tablet…we’re meant to be getting it from food. Food contains nutrients in the right amounts for us to be able to utilise it efficiently. Vitamin and mineral supplements, while excellent at correcting clinical deficiencies, don’t solve the problem of why they occurred in the first place.

We need to eat real food.

This is challenging for many busy people these days. Work and family commitments, social engagements, email, Facebook – they all take up time during the day leaving us less time to think about and prepare food. For myself as a practitioner, lots of these things are outside my circle of influence so I can only work with the client in a way that suits their lifestyle. Sure, we can still make dietary changes, but if they simply don’t have the time or the willingness to implement them, then no matter what I say it’s not going to happen.

What’s the solution?

Organic food contains significantly more phytonutrients and antioxidants than other types of produce. (1) So logically, eating organically increases nutrition. Juicing is another great way of getting more fruits and vegetables into the diet. Consuming fruit and vegie concentrates like juice can drastically increase a person’s intake  by 3-4 servings/day. This is generally what I recommend to most clients who are willing to take the time to make this change.

Food as Medicine

There’s no doubt about it, I’ve found that dietary changes often have the biggest impact on individual health, more than any other form of treatment. People think that it’s difficult or expensive to eat healthy food. It’s definitely not. As a society we’re now facing huge, global health challenges caused predominantly by poor diet.

When weighing all the difficulties of modern life against great health and vitality, our ability to make the changes required can be restricted. What it takes is the formation of sustainable, healthy habits that suit both the individual and their lifestyle. Getting all the nutrients we need from food can be challenging, but it is possible.

For those times when it’s not, I highly recommend a good multivitamin and juicing. If you’d like more information on how boosting your wholefood consumption can improve your health, please feel free to contact me.


 

(1) Crinnion, W.J. (2010). Organic Foods Contain Higher Levels of Certain Nutrients, Lower Levels of Pesticides and May Provide Health Benefits for the Consumer. Alternative Medicine Review. 1 (15) http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/15/1/4.pdf

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