BEVERLY NADLER, CH, CMT - Speaker, Author, Trainer, Re-Programming Coach and Consultant
If You Eat Well, Are Nutritional Supplements Necessary?
By Beverly Nadler, CHT, CMT © 2007
There is probably no subject that has more information, misinformation, opinions, beliefs and myths about it than nutrition. There are millions of research documents, many of which conflict with each other, and new "diets" and eating plans (some of which are ridiculous) are promoted every few months in best seller books.
Confused About Nutrition and Diets?
With constantly changing and often contradictory nutritional data and reports, you can't help but be confused. Nutrition has been made so complex, complicated and contradictory - it's no wonder that most people don't know what to do...and so they do nothing. Other people take every "miracle supplement" that comes out (or at least as much as their pocketbook can bear.)
As for diets (I am using "diet" for any food plan, not necessarily weight loss) - there is no agreement among so-called "experts" as to what makes a "good" diet. We have the frequently-changing pyramid diet recommended by the U.S. government, the high protein diet, low protein diet, vegetarian diet, vegan diet, low carbohydrate diet, high complex carbohydrate diet, the low fat diet, the fruitarian diet, natural hygienic diet, blood type diet - to name the most common ones.
Every diet has its adherents (those who love and swear by it), and every diet has people who hate it and proclaim it's unhealthy. Aside from the diets that are supposed to be everyday food plans, there are many different weight loss diets and plans, such as Atkins, Carbohydrate Addicts and Cave Man Diet, plus Weight Watchers and those sold at the various weight loss centers. And, of course, new weight loss fads come out with regularity and then fade away. (Peanut butter diet? Ice cream diet?)
Is It Really Possible to "Eat Well" Today?
Poor farming practices have depleted our topsoil of nutrients for generations. This means that fruits, vegetables and grains have less nutrients now than they had 20-30-40-60 years ago. Here's what's happened to spinach since 1963: 45% LESS vitamin C; 17% LESS vitamin A, 6.45% LESS calcium, 10.22% LESS magnesium. Here are other examples: 50% less calcium in broccoli, 40% less vitamin C in cauliflower, 88% less iron in watercress - all since 1975! And scientists have even analyzed carrots with NO vitamin A! (When I "googled" soil depletion, 1,275,000 references came up!)
Not only does produce lack nutrients (one reason for world-wide mineral deficiencies), it contains more pesticide and herbicide residues than ever, because each "spraying" adds to the residues already in the soil. That's why residues are even found in organic produce that is not sprayed.
Processing foods removes many essential nutrients. Over a dozen natural nutrients are taken out of flour and FIVE synthetic ones added -- and this is called "enriched"! Fresh food loses nutrients during storage and transportation across the country -- a good reason to grow your own organically or purchase from local farms. We've been eating processed foods with hydrogenated oil and preservatives for years; now we also eat genetically modified foods of dubious safety.
Animals are fed hormones and antibiotics, so when we eat meat, including chicken, we're also ingesting hormones and antibiotics, unless it's organic. Fish swim in polluted waters and we get a dose of toxins, especially mercury from tuna, (highest is in white albacore tuna) and other large and older fish. Salmon, praised for its high Omega 3 content, has less of this precious oil when farm-raised. Plus, the salmon are fed antibiotics and contain more PCBs than wild salmon. Needless to say, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, mercury and other water contaminants, PCBs and various chemicals added to our foods don't contribute to "eating well".
Your Body Can Handle Toxins - It's the Amount That's the Problem
Our incredible bodies are designed to handle some "poison". We have built-in filtering systems, especially our liver and kidneys. They filter out harmful toxic material for our organs of elimination to get rid of. If that weren't true, we'd all be dead!
However, here's one of the problems with toxins. The so called "safe" or allowable levels don't take into consideration how many different toxins we ingest, inhale and absorb. There's a huge difference to your body if you get a "safe" amount of a few toxins, or a "safe" amount of 100 or 500 different ones. The more you take in, the bigger the burden on your liver, kidneys and elimination system and also on your immune system. In fact, the more toxins in your body - whether from ingestion, inhalation or absorption -- the more well-nourished your body needs to be, in order to counteract the ill effects.
Why Supplements Have Become Essential
You can see from the above, "eating well" is difficult, if not impossible. Also, about 50% of our meals are not prepared at home, so we don't know all the ingredients. Then, of course, with our hectic lifestyles, eating-on-the-run is often a necessity - usually of "fast foods", which are not known for their high nutritional content.
Suppose you prepare all your meals -- avoiding fast foods, highly refined sugary and starchy foods, soda, chips etc. -- does that mean you don't need supplements? I doubt it. I eat very few "foodless foods" (I admit to enjoying a sweet treat now and again!), and I eat organic foods when possible, but there are other challenges that require us to increase the amount and quality of nutrients our body receives.
Some people have the illusion that if they meditate or do yoga and/or other spiritual practices, they don't need to be concerned about nourishing their body. Maybe this is true for very "highly evolved" people who are in a state of perfect mental/emotional and spiritual balance (I don't know any of these people), but for everyone else, the cells of your body need to be well nourished. And food alone is unlikely to do the job!
Stress, Exercise and Other Factors Increase Nutritional Needs
The ever increasing physical, mental, emotional and environmental stresses that plague modern society -- including extra low frequently (elf) electronic waves from power lines, computers, TV, cell phones, etc.** -- increase our nutritional needs. Stress uses up a lot of nutrients that must be replaced to maintain health and prevent disease. People who exercise heavily -- athletes, weight lifters, body-builders, dancers, etc.-- need extra nutrients, not just extra protein. While exercise is vital for health, keep in mind that it also increases the need for certain nutrients. (**contact me for information on devices that can help protect you from these elf frequencies that are incompatible with the human body.)
Our bodies require "extra" nutrients (more than food can supply) in order to deal with a variety of situations and conditions, including the following: genetic weaknesses, illness and injuries, recovery from surgery, the side-effects of medicinal drugs, smoking or living/working with smokers, working with chemicals, excessive alcohol, social drugs, excessive sugar consumption (sugar uses up B complex vitamins).
Can Supplements Replace Drugs?
That's not likely, nor is it desirable. Aside from all the political and monetary "reasons" for the proliferation of drugs, sometimes drugs are essential, especially for life-threatening, acute illnesses or for elderly people who haven't the stamina to rebuild their body naturally. And when it comes to controlling pain, nothing is as effective as drugs. (Would you want to suffer excruciating pain after an accident or injury, without pain-killers? I doubt it.) Of course, since the side effects of drugs are undesirable, we want to avoid them when possible. The best way to do that is to be so well nourished and so healthy that you rarely need them.
If you get sick or are injured or have a surgical procedure, you need extra nutrients to assist your body in healing, no matter what else you do. I can't tell you that specific nutrients heal anything (that's considered "practicing medicine without a license" and is illegal). However, you can "google" individual nutrients and find out the roles they play in helping your body heal. (Googling Vitamin C resulted in 30,100,000 references.) When you're sick, supervised short-term fasting may be advised to get rid of toxins, but after that you need to have a well-nourished body.
Remember this fact -- when your body has what it needs, it heals itself - even from deadly, life-threatening diseases. I know. My body healed itself from cancer in 1994!
There's a lot of nutrition information on this site, including material you probably won't read elsewhere. As a companion to this article I highly recommend that you read Since Millions Of People Spend Billions of $$ On Supplements Annually, WHY Are So Many People Still So Sick? and Is Your Body Getting Cellular Nutrition?
To ask specific questions that arise after reading my nutrition articles, and to order recommended supplements at wholesale prices, Contact me at 203-373-1943 or click here
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