You may have heard conflicting stories about whether supplementing your diet is a good idea or not. We’ve all seen the commercials and ads, or at least, we’ve seen vitamins and supplements on the store shelves.
Some people say that the pills and potions are useless and that you should be able to get all your nutrients from a healthy diet. At the same time, others claim that supplements are the sole reason for their glowing health.
So, what’s the truth? Read on to find out.
Soil Depletion and Food Transportation = Fewer Nutrients in Our Food
If you’re growing all your food in your backyard, fertilizing your soil constantly, and eating the fruits of your labor on the day you pick it, then congratulations: you’re probably getting enough nutrients!
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the vast majority of us. Here’s why that matters: With a very high global demand for food, most of the fields where our vegetables, grains, and fruits are grown are overused.
With overuse, nutrients in the soil get depleted over time. When farmers fertilize the fields, they use enough nutrients to support the plant’s growth until harvesting time, but there’s usually not much left over, meaning that the plants are not packed with large amounts of vitamins and minerals by the time we eat them.
In addition, we rarely get the opportunity to consume foods immediately after they’re harvested. Depending on the fruit or vegetable, we may not eat it for several days, weeks, or even months. By that time, the food has spent lots of time in trucks, in coolers, and on the grocery store shelves. With every day that goes by, fruits and vegetables have less and less nutrition in them.
The apple you just ate might have contained plenty of vitamins and minerals, but it also might have been several weeks old and depleted of most of its nutrients. That’s why, even if you eat a healthy diet, it’s a good idea to take supplements, too.
Many Modern Foods are Inherently Low in Nutrients
Despite our best efforts, many of us struggle to get large amounts of fresh produce in our diets and we eat low-nutrient foods on a regular basis. Any type of packaged food is likely to be low in vitamins and minerals.
While supplements are never a replacement for a healthy diet, they can help you fill in the gaps.
As You Get Older, It’s Harder to Absorb Nutrients
When you age, your digestive system naturally declines in its ability to absorb nutrients. At the same time, many older people are on medications that can further hamper the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
If you are getting up in years, it’s smart to take supplements to make sure your body has plenty of nutrition available to it.
Certain Conditions Can Be Treated With Supplements Instead of Pharmaceutical Drugs
Due to the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, it’s always great if you can avoid taking a drug. But what if you have chronic pain or another issue that you just can’t ignore? Try a supplement. Dietary and nutritional supplements may be able to alleviate the pain just as well as a drug would have done, without the side effects and danger of addiction.
Do you think supplementing your diet is a smart choice? Tell us why, we'd love to hear from you.