The Great Debate - Vitamins v Diet
The vitamin versus diet debate has been a topic of heated discussion amongst health professionals for many years. But after all the debating, whose point of view is right?
Some people say we can get all our necessary vitamins and minerals from the food we eat but others say that because of pollution, processing, additives, overcooking, storage and a whole host of other factors that it is practically impossible to get all the nutrients we need into our diets, without the aid of nutritional supplements.
If you live in the country and grow your own organic fruit and vegetables in an area that has relatively little pollution and pick and eat them while they’re fresh AND you have a job you enjoy without suffering from any undue stress AND if you have good relations with loving friends and family AND you have adequate rest and relaxation in your life, then you could be getting a decent amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet from the food you are eating.
But if your situation is that you eat convenience, junk food, rarely eat fresh fruit and vegetables, hate your stressful job, smoke or drink alcohol regularly, and frequently argue with friends and family, then your needs for nutritional supplements will be very high and you could well be on the way to ill health.
It goes without saying that nutritional supplements are not the answer unless you are also going to make some positive steps to improving your general lifestyle.
There are 4 basic factors to consider when deciding if nutritional supplements are needed in your daily routine.
QUALITY – only buy foods that are of the best quality. Fresh foods will lose their nutritional content sooner than processed foods. Store them properly and eat them as soon after purchase as possible. As a general rule, buy food that will go bad and eat it before it does!
QUANTITY – too much food in one sitting or in a day will eventually lead to health problems. People who eat sparingly tend to thrive better than those who eat too much.
CONCENTRATION – be suspicious of any foods that are highly concentrated. The body could be receiving far too much of a particular ingredient in one go, which could cause health problems. For example, concentrated fruit juice can de-stabilise blood sugar levels, causing many symptoms.
DIGESTIBILITY – our foods need to be digested correctly for the body to adequately receive the vital nutrients needed to perform all bodily functions. We need to chew our food thoroughly and slow down when eating. Digestion is enhanced by eating in a calm atmosphere where there is no stress. Ensure you have a quiet space when you eat –it’s much healthier.
The truth of the matter is that many of us would appear to need nutritional supplements in our diets because it’s not always possible to ensure that the above factors are a part of everyday life.
Seek professional advice from a Kinesiologist when choosing supplements as it can be both dangerous (in some cases) and expensive if you make a wrong choice. Bear in mind the above factors and incorporate them into your daily routine, you will soon reap the benefits. Remember the old maxim “you are what you eat!”
Rebecca Smith at Newport Complementary Health Clinic.