Some of the many questions women ask me are, should we take vitamins and other nutrients or not? In what amounts should we take them, which supplements are the most effective and which vitamins or nutrients should we take for a specific illness or chronic disease?
Yes, admittedly, it can be very confusing, especially as there are so many on the marketplace… some pure and some not so pure, but that is for another discussion!
Answering this question is important to our health and longevity – but as we know, there are so many differing viewpoints regarding nutrition and nutritional supplements, it is difficult to know in which direction to move. The RDA, recommended daily allowance, and the RDI, reference daily intake, were developed so they could be used as a guideline for our daily intake of vitamins and nutrients. However, these dietary recommendations are only suggestions, which are often rigidly followed by well-intentioned people.
Unfortunately, these guidelines are way below the levels that restorative medicine would call sufficient (optimal) to help people achieve optimal health – which is its goal. Also, the RDA and RDI recommendations do not consider that every individual is different and therefore their requirements for vitamins, mineral, and other nutrients will be different. T0 enable them to gain full health benefits, nutritional intake needs to be considered.
Of course, stress, age, lifestyle, genetics, medications, soil depletion, vitamin interaction, and whether there is a need for more antioxidants, also all need to be considered. Just because your healthy neighbour or friend is following a certain nutritional plan doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
What does your body need?
It is imperative to understand what the body needs. Only 20 per cent of disease is inherited and 80 per cent is the environment in which we place our body. It is what we personally do to our body that counts. Our health and lifestyle is basically based on lifestyle, environment and nutrition. It is these factors that have a huge influence on the number of years spent in good health. Many studies demonstrate that people with better health habits and nutritional diet survive much longer and with a lesser degree of disability at the end of life.
The Journal of the American Medical Association stated,
“Sub optimal vitamin states are associated with many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. It is important for physicians to identify patients with poor nutrition or other reasons for increased vitamin needs.” Going onto say, “Most people do not consume optimal amounts of all vitamins by diet alone… it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”
What about nutrients from healthy eating?
There are various reasons why it is almost impossible to get all nutrients we need from food:
- most soil is now depleted of many important minerals, such as magnesium and zinc.
- selenium, a trace mineral, is also deplete in some areas but can be found in overabundance in other areas. Selenium is good for health in small amounts but is toxic in large amounts – watch out!
- when fruit and vegetables are not consumed after they are picked, they immediately lose their nutritional value.
- cold storage continues to destroy nutritional value – grapes lose up to 30 percent of their B vitamins, by the time they arrive at the supermarket. Tangerines that are stored for eight weeks lose more than half their vitamin C.
- over cooking – the longer you cook fruits and vegetables, the less nutrients there will be left. It is always better to lightly steam them or eat them raw, and if possible as soon as they are picked.
- processing foods (the foods that most of us eat today) destroy any nutritional value it may have after it has been picked. Food can be processed, blanched, canned, sterilized and frozen – all these mechanisms decrease nutritional value. The milling of grains removes much of its fiber and twenty-six essential nutrients.
In today’s modern society the intake of supplements is fundamental to good health – but make sure you get the right supplements in the right amounts, and clean, pure supplements (no chalk, etc!)
Restorative medicine can design a nutritional programme just for you! Right amounts, clean, pure just for you!