We are surrounded by a vast range of foods claiming to be healthy. Is it possible that this overwhelming variety of foods is not providing us with everything we need ?
The average Western diet, typical of supermarket food leaves a lot to be desired and can be said that it falls well short of optimum nutrition. Yet paradoxically our need for nutrition is much higher today in order to deals with the added pollution we face every day.
Research finds that our plates lacking in a number of essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Not surprisingly our health is suffering. We are suffering from over 160 nutrient deficiency diseases. The conditions killing us now in huge numbers are not viruses and bacteria, but preventable degenerative conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
We all begin with a basic genetic blueprint. This gives us weak spots or predispositions to various conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma etc.. But genetics accounts for maybe 20% of illness. The rest of the 80% is determined by environmental factors.
Our health is the result of a combination of our inherited strengths, weaknesses and our circumstances.
Nutrients are the essence of life. Many sources say we need over 90 nutrients every day to function well. These include 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 essential fatty acids.
We can obtain these from the foods we eat. The level of nutrients in our body is affected by two main factors. They are:
· What we put into our bodies in the form of nutrition or food.
· The toxic level of the environment we live in making demands on our nutrients.
Can Wholefood Supplements become Your Health Insurance ?
It is best to try and get these vitamins and minerals and nutrients from whole, minimally processed food (preferably organic) as opposed to supplements.
Fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy foods contain nutrients and other substances not found in a pill, which work together to keep us healthy. We can't get the same synergistic effect from a supplement.
Yet given our polluted and stress filled world it can be difficult, if not impossible to get our full quota of nutrients in our diet. We can still look to nature for supplements that are plant derived and from whole, organic, minimally processed and natural sources.
Finding a source of good quality supplements is essential. It is best to avoid synthetic nutrients as they are isolated compounds such as vitamins and minerals produced in a laboratory. Natural supplements may contain other beneficial nutrients not yet discovered; luckily our bodies know what they are for.
Artificial additives and fillers can also be a problem. Supplements that are not labeled natural may include coal tars, artificial colouring, preservatives, sugars and starch.
Usually cheap products have lower nutrient levels and more harmful fillers and additives…this means that quality can come at a price.
Investing in your health brings quality of life.
Nature knows best. In nature each food is a whole food, meaning that it has the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids plus many unidentified phytonutrients.
Some examples of wholefood supplements to add to your diet are:
Moringa: Gram for gram, moringa leaf contains, 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 2 times the protein in milk, 3 times the potassium in bananas, 25 times the iron in spinach. Moringa is helpful for anemia, high cholesterol, diabetes, immune stimulant, metabolism booster, increases quantity of breast milk, ant-bacterial properties, anti-cancer properties (inhibits activation of lymphoblastoid – Burkitt’s lymphoma cells and reduction in size of tumours)
Aloe Vera Juice: aids in the healing of stomach disorders, ulcers, constipation, hemorrhoids, and helpful to fight against infections.
Spirulina: detoxifying, vitamins E, B12, C, B1, B5, B6, Beta carotene. It has minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, anti-aging, anti-oxidants, Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), enhances and strengthens the immune system.
Chlorella: Is a wonderful detox aid which helps to pull out heavy metals from the body and other toxins such as pesticides and herbicides.
Flax Seed Oil: is high in omega-3’s making it an excellent source for of omega-3’s for vegans. It reduces pain, inflammation, swelling in arthritis and lowers blood cholesterol.
Wheatgrass: is known to be highly nutritious. It defeats nutritional deficiencies, strengthens the immune system, is good for people with cancer and encourages health and healing among many other benefits.
The best ways to add these nutrient dense, wholefood supplements into your diet is by adding them into a smoothie or a fresh vegetable juice.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !