Do I need supplements to feel better now, be healthier and live longer? Are they a waste of money? Can I get all of the nutrients I need from the food I eat? If I do need them, where on earth would I start? These are common and fair questions. Ones that send us searching hours upon hours looking for answers. And often times we are left just as confused as when we started the search. Here are the simple answers.
“I want to live a life full of energy, mobility and with a clear mind. I want to move through this life and experience it to the full. Enjoy my days and the people around me.”
I think this is a fair assumption for most of us.
And, it is commonly known, a key component in keeping our bodies at their optimal capacity is found in the foods we consume. Some believe if we eat the “right” foods our bodies receive everything they need for optimal health.
Research is proving different.
I was eating all the “right” foods and still found myself low in energy, with muscle and joint pain, brain fog, weight gain at one point, among other ailments. I was confused and set out to understand why.
This article is the cumulation of my likely hundreds of hours of research and self trials. This is the information I found to resound across numerous of the top trusted Functional Medicine Doctors—what they commonly agree as definitive, what science seems to support. And what I have found works for me. The supplements we should all be taking every day and why.
Do we need Supplements?
The short answer is yes. Research has consistently shown we need supplements to our food—even when we are eating the best possible diets.
Some argue we should be getting all we need from our food and do not need additional supplements. Research, however, begs to differ. Primarily due to the way our foods are grown and processed today, plus the environmental stressors to our bodies in this modern world. Supplements should be viewed as essential concentrated sources of food nutrients.
It was once commonly agreed in the medical community that if one ate the “right” diet they would not need supplementation and in fact could see adverse effects such as toxicity from supplements.
That train of thought has seen a shift over the last several years as more and more research has shown the opposite. Research is showing the majority of us are deficient in several key vitamins and minerals. Key nutrients that are crucial to our bodies performing at their best and staying healthy.
Why are we Nutrient Depleted or Deficient?
The foods we eat today are not as nutrient rich as those our ancestors might have consumed. This is due in large part to our farming and production practices. Plus our increased intake of processed foods which are devoid of vitamins and minerals and high in sugar which require even more nutrients to process them.
Today a prevalence of farms are over-farmed and the practices of crop rotation have declined. There has also been an increase in pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
These changes in practice are due in part to the shift in how we source our foods. Typically there is a larger demand as less and less people grow their own foods and thus a higher demand on the producing farms. As a result, the nutrient levels of the soil is depleted and thus the food product itself, by way of obtaining their nutrients from the soil.
Another contributing factor is the transportation of foods. Research has shown vegetables start to diminish their nutrient content within 1-3 days of picking. Given today’s growing and transporting practices, a food item can travel 1,500 miles to reach the stores. Just the sheer timing starts the degradation. On the bright side, today’s packing, storing and transportation practices do help to offset the effects to some degree.
Another caveat to nutrient depletion as mentioned above is the large amount of processed foods being consumed on a daily basis.