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Sunday
Nov272011

Nutritional supplementation: Isn't a good diet enough?

In theory, an excellent diet should provide your body with what it needs.  Prior to global industrialization, it probably was enough.  But in today's world, there are a number of additional factors to consider when addressing the bigger picture of nutrition:
  1. Soil is not as rich as it used to be.  It is depleted from large industrial farming practices, so the nutrient content in our food is less than it used to be.
  2. Pollution, commercial products and preparation, and other environmental factors all lead to nutrient depletion.  For most of us on this planet, it's just a fact of life.  It is a fantastic idea to "green up" your home, but there are many factors you have little control over.
  3. Who does eat a "perfect" diet?  The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in refined and prepackaged foods and low in fresh fruits and vegetables.  It is calorie-dense and nutrient-poor.  Did you know that many people who are morbidly obese are actually malnourished in certain regards?  It is now cheaper to eat the highly refined and inflammatory SAD than it is to eat the variety of nutrient-rich foods necessary for proper nutrient balance.
  4. Stress deplete certain nutrients from you body.  Stress can be physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual.  You may be managing your stress as best you can, but that doesn't mean you aren't experiencing some repercussions on a cellular level.
  5. If you have signs or symptoms of a specific nutrient deficiency, or have test results that indicate the deficiency, then it may be wise to supplement the nutrient on a short-term or long-term basis.
  6. Genetic errors are present in all of us, but without testing we don't know exactly which ones we possess.  The outcome of these errors may be an increased risk of lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, but a good diet and supplementation may help you never express that outcome.  Your need for certain nutients, however, may be much greater that it is for other individuals.
  7. Drug-nutrient depletions are another good reason to supplement your diet.  For example, antibiotics deplete the body of B-vitamins and potentially probiotics.  This is a good reason to supplement following a course of antibiotics.

Please, consult with an expert to make sure that you are choosing the proper combination of nutrients, the correct forms and that you are using them correctly.  As with anything that can help you, supplements can be harmful if used incorrectly.  Remember, this is an unregulated industry, and just because you find a good price on it at the drug store doesn't mean it's going to help you.  In some cases it can actually harm you.  Choose your products wisely.

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