Do We Really Need Supplements?

October 27, 2016

Do We Really Need Supplements?

When it comes to health and wellness, one of the most debated topics is whether or not we need supplements in our daily life to be healthy.

We can't tell you a straight out yes or no, because everyone is different, and has different needs that should be addressed with a health practitioner.

But what we can tell you is that there are a number of reasons why we offer high-quality supplements, and the role they can play in your health and well-being.

 

Most People Consume Low-Nutrient Diets

How many people do you know that consume at least five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every single day, along with at least 30g of fiber, and hit every single nutrient requirement, without fail?

The truth is that almost no one does. Most people don't even come close to it. The majority of diets in the Western world are high in empty calories and low in nutrition.

While it's true that many of us get sufficient doses of macronutrients—our protein, carbohydrates and fats—the majority of people don't get enough of the vitamins and minerals that they need for optimal health.

Common deficiencies include magnesium, potassium, B group vitamins and antioxidants, the ones found in fruit and vegetables.

People who follow a low-fat diet approach are at an even greater risk of insufficient fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as the essential fatty acid omega-3.

Then there's vegetarian and vegan diets. People who follow them can often end up with a host of deficiencies, including iron, vitamin B12, zinc, omega-3s and calcium.

 

Many People Have Chronic Health Conditions

If we accept nutrient recommendations as a guideline on where to start, it's important to remember that these are based off the amounts needed to maintain health in an already healthy person.

But what if you're not already healthy? Chronic diseases are widespread in modern society, and all of the disease mechanisms chew through some kind of nutrients.

If you have a chronic condition, you are most likely depleted in one or more of the essential nutrients needed for health and well-being.

The most common nutrients that your body uses up during a chronic illness include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals such as magnesium.

If you want to heal your body from a chronic condition, eating nutrients according to the recommended levels is never going to cut it.

You're going to need some support, and supplements can offer that, through provision of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant superstar nutrients and herbs.

 

Food Is Nutrient Depleted in the Modern World

Even if you consume a fairly well-balanced diet, you might not be meeting all of your nutritional requirements.

The truth is, our food is becoming less nutritious, thanks to the farming practices employed in the modern world.

It's been found that in the last 75 years, levels of essential minerals, such as magnesium, selenium and zinc in food crops have dropped significantly lower than what they were.

Fewer minerals means less healthy plants, and less healthy plants means fewer vitamins and antioxidants to build our health. So, you might think you're eating a beautiful nutrient-rich salad, but it's a lot less healthy than it would have been when your grandparents were eating the same foods.

When you combine that with the processing methods used today, it's no wonder why so many of us are depleted and sick.

 

Nutrition Is Essential for High Level Performance

The government provides recommended intakes for nutrients. But if you're an athlete hoping to take your performance to the next level, those recommendations may not come close to what you require.

Even if you're an everyday person, if your goal is to maintain your weight effortlessly, have excellent brain-power and prevent future diseases from occurring, you're going to need more nutrients than just the average recommendation to prevent deficiency.

Could you consume all of the food you need to meet your true requirements? Potentially, but you could also struggle to do so without gaining weight or bloating up, especially as our food isn't as nutrient dense as first thought.

That's where supplements can step in and take you to the next level of wellness.

 

A Supplement Is Not a Replacement For Real Food

Taking a supplement is an investment in your health, but it's essentially useless if you're going to treat your body badly the rest of the time.

It can help to improve your health, but it's never going to be a replacement for real, healthy and nutrient-dense food, no matter what unscrupulous salespeople might try to tell you about their latest miracle product.

Why is food superior? It comes with all of the extra supportive nutrients and compounds found in the food that can help you to absorb more of the nutrient you want. It also comes with other bonuses, such as fiber and protein that can help you achieve your health goals.

A supplement is meant to do just that—supplement you with additional nutrients while you aim for a well-rounded balanced diet.

 

Some Supplements Are Best Taken With Health Practitioner Supervision

We don't advise taking any old supplement without a second thought. Sourcing a high-quality supplement is always a priority.

However, there are also some times you'll want to check with your health practitioner about taking a supplement.

A common supplement that people take is iron. But if you haven't been diagnosed with a deficiency, you're best off getting a blood test. Many of the symptoms of too much iron are similar to too little iron, so you may make yourself worse.

Pregnancy is another time when you should consult a practitioner first. Many supplements that are generally safe have not yet been proven to be completely safe in pregnancy, so we can't advise you take them while pregnant or breastfeeding.

So, should you take supplements? The answer is yours to discover. We're just here to offer food (or supplement!) for thought.

 

References

http://piel-l.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Autores_en_una_publicacion_cientifica.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1992931

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19013359

 



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