balanced diet2Are you getting enough from your diet?

A diet which is rich in organic vegetables and fruits, wholegrain products and good quality proteins should provide all of the vitamins and minerals you need. However, it is worth bearing in mind that much of your food is processed or grown on land which is itself poor in nutrients.

As long ago as 1936 warnings were being given about the poor quality of soil and it’s effect on the food being grown on it. Problems have arisen because chemical fertilisers primarily contain the growth promoting elements nitrogen and phosphorus and exclude the trace elements which are vital to human health. It follows that if the soil does not contain essential minerals, then plants cannot take them up. In 1991 a report showed that the mineral content of our food was over 45% greater in 1946 than in 1991.

If possible, eat organic fruit and vegetables grown on land which is fertilised using manure. Buying food which is organic will assure you that chemicals and pesticides will not have been sprayed on it. However, if the land it was grown on has been chemically fertilised, then it will be deficient in minerals.

Do also be aware that if you buy your fruit and vegetables wrapped in shrink wrap plastics, then they will absorb xenoestrogens from the plastic. Xenoestrogens come from plastics, foods, microwaving food and pesticides. Studies have linked xenoestrogens to breast cancer, testicular cancer, endometriosis and reduced sperm count.

The whole problem is compounded by the fact that the toxic load on our bodies, and therefore our requirements for vitamins and minerals is greater than ever before. Combined with the increasing poor nutrient contents of our food, the gap between what we need and what we actually get from our food is getting wider.

All supplements are not equal!

At the least, you should consider a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement such those produced by Solgar.

As with all things, you get what you pay for when buying a supplement. Many “one a day” multivitamin supplements sold by chain stores or supermarkets only provide 100% of the recommended daily amount (RDA).

You should bear in mind that RDAs were formulated in the first world war and were the amounts that were reputed to be adequate to prevent deficiency diseases such as beri beri, scurvy or pellagra. RDAs are wholly inadequate to promote optimum health, particularly when our need for vitamins and minerals is higher than ever.

A one a day multivitamin is unlikely to give you all that you need and be especially cautious of any product container sugar or an artificial sweetener. Read the product label before you buy.

Follow the links on the left for a comprehensive guide to supplements, what they do, when to use them and when not to take them. If in doubt, always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking supplements.