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“Many people will get up before dawn to check the stock market, work until all hours of the night on a project for work or church…but they will not remember, or think it is important enough, to feed their own bodies.” – Dr. Jesse Hanley, MD, and co-author of Tired of Being Tired, Women’s Passages, and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Everyone wants to remain youthful and live for ever. But is a long life really the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you’re feeling vaguely unhealthy much of the time? And why do so many of us feel lousy when we still think of ourselves as young and vibrant? Two words: vitamin deficiency.
“You can’t get away without a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement,” says Dr. Hanley. “The ground is so depleted that not even the bugs can live in our refined wheat and white flour anymore!”
The simple fact of the matter is that our bodies are not getting what they need…and even if we were to suddenly adopt a diet that made us poster children for healthy living, without a multi-vitamin supplement, we will always remain vitamin deficient.
Chemicals and Processing Drain Food of Vital Nutrients
Living a long life might be possible for today’s middle-aged, but unless many people are willing to change their approach to nutrition, the life expectancy for today’s youth will be a different story. Many medical institutions do not expect children to live as long as their parents because of obesity, toxicity, and the deficiencies inherent in the Standard American Diet.
The state of our food, coupled with our dietary choices, has rendered us toxic and depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need to function and thrive. Most of the food we eat contains barely half of the vitamins and minerals it did fifty years ago; today’s high yield wheat crops offer only half the protein they did a century ago.
Processing methods – by their very nature – deplete food of nutrients. And the length of time it takes to pick, transport, and stock onto grocers’ shelves, means food has lost much of its nutritional value by the time it finally gets to our plates.
While alternatives such as organic foods are free of dangerous GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and many toxic pesticides and fertilizers, they are far from perfect as it can take decades for soil to fully recover from years of abuse.
How Chemicals and Food Processing Methods Affect Our Food1
- The over-cultivated soil in which we grow our food is depleted of zinc, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, calcium, and magnesium.
- The superphosphate fertilizers we use in place of manure contain mainly nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, but are deficient of the many vital trace elements contained in good, old-fashioned manure.
- Pesticides and herbicides destroy soil microorganisms and affect plant nutrition.
- Refining wheat into white flour strips it of between fifty and eighty-eight percent, of its cobalt, magnesium, zinc, chromium, and manganese.
- Refining sugar cane into white sugar depletes it of ninety-nine percent of its magnesium and ninety-three percent of its chromium.
- Polishing rice removes seventy-five percent of its zinc and chromium.
- Many additives, artificial coloring, preservatives, and stabilizers destroy nutrients and, further, work to impair nutrient absorption.
- Pollution works to deplete nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
But in spite of all the doom and gloom, it’s possible to turn the deficiency tide, and learn how to take care of ourselves in a whole new, 21st century way.
Ensuring Adequate Vitamin and Mineral Intake
Starting from Scratch – How to Get What You Need
First, forget what you thought you knew about adequate vitamin intake. Take a fresh approach to your health – likely, your old approach doesn’t take into account what experts are discovering about the sorry condition of our soil, the depleted state of processed food, and our bodies’ agonizing struggle to overcome vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Everyone on the planet at some point in their lives will require extra vitamins and minerals to compensate for deficiencies in the Standard American Diet. In times of special need – during pregnancy, periods of overwhelming stress, or illness – nutrients are good therapy, so it’s vital to update your knowledge base.
For example, consider the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals. These figures were calculated in the 1940s when soil was healthy, and food refining and processing was relatively rare. Today, our vitamin and mineral needs far exceed the circa World War II recommendations handed out by many health practitioners.
And all the hype about low-fat, fat-free, sodium-free, vitamin-enriched, and on and on…it’s all just bunk, part of food companies’ marketing strategies to convince you to buy their products. The truth is, all the processing to make food other than what it naturally is simply removes the life-giving nutrients our bodies need.
Real food – free of unnecessary additives and processing – is the simple secret to health and longevity, so beware of terms like vitamin enriched. All this means is that the food was stripped bare of its goodness during processing, and then something was added in a futile attempt to make up the loss, and give it some sort of bare minimum value.
By midlife, an overwhelming number of Americans will have developed a chronic illness or contracted some form of cancer due to diet deficiencies. But why wait for a health crisis to start giving your body what it needs now? After all, regular maintenance is always preferable to crisis management.
Overcoming Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
- If you cannot get fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, opt for frozen over canned.
- Always eat real food, and never buy anything that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil – i.e. never eat anything containing trans fats.
- Read the label. If you don’t know what a word means, or cannot pronounce it, don’t eat it! Opt instead for something real.
- Don’t buy products with a long shelf life – the better they do on the shelf, the worse they are for your body.
- Never eat food products that have been enriched. They have been completely devitalized during processing.
- Avoid food that has been genetically modified or engineered. Nearly all processed food contains GMOs.
- Some nutritionists recommend kelp tablets / granules, or using unrefined sea salt as an added mineral source. Ordinary table salt has been stripped of vital trace elements during refining.
- Try a herbal colon cleanse. Cleansing can help you eliminate the toxic build up that occurs from years of eating processed foods.
- A high quality, daily multiple vitamin / mineral supplement is essential. You can be assured – by starting with a multiple – that you’re taking the right combination, which enables vitamins and minerals to work synergistically in your metabolic and enzymatic systems.
Remember, when implementing dietary changes, take it slowly, pay attention to how your body responds and, if possible, consult a health practitioner.
By giving up the Standard American Diet, and supplementing your new multiple vitamin and mineral regimen with individualized care that factors in age, gender, weight, and your unique health conditions, you may end up feeling better than you ever have in your life…for the rest of your life!