10 Reasons Why You Should Add Supplements to Your Routine
Why do people take supplements? It can be preventative, or maybe it’s for a nutrient deficiency. Whatever has piqued your interest in daily supplements, we are here to help explain why they have become helpful in modern times. The current food supply chain is very good at feeding a lot of people, but there are a lot of sacrifices made to achieve that outcome. There are very few things that half of all Americans do, however, one thing that half of Americans can agree on is taking a daily multivitamin supplement of some kind. Vitamin and mineral supplements are not only helpful in addressing deficiencies due to diseases but can also support a positive and healthy lifestyle. Some of the most important vitamins to have are vitamin A, vitamin D, and folic acid. There are many reasons that you should take nutritional supplements in our modern age, and we’re here to give you the rundown on some of the key reasons why it can be constructive to take a supplement!
Our modern agricultural system is a miracle, but it is incredibly resource-intensive and can deplete soil quality through over-intensive farming. Many areas in the world suffer from terrible problems relating to the nutrients being stripped from the earth. The economic incentives that may push farmers to over-utilize their land can prevent the process where soil naturally replenishes its nutrients over time.
Pesticides and HerbicidesPesticides and herbicides can be present in produce. However, it may be possible to attain some of the same nutrients from supplements without any exposure to pesticides and herbicides. Some crops will extract more contaminants from the soil than others.
We live in a globalized world. The diversification of supply chains across and between borders and countries has reduced costs for a lot of companies and industries. It has also increased the distance between you and your food. You might be eating fatty fish from Vietnam, potatoes from China, and rice from Indonesia all in the same meal. Think of how long all your ingredients took to reach you by cargo ship across the world's vast oceans. This may make you think twice about relying on your food for all of your nutrients. In addition, environmental regulations are not congruent across the globe. You may not even know that by purchasing food from a different region you could be supporting environmental degradation through the use of products like DDT.
Long Distance Transportation and Diverse Jurisdictions of Origin
Food ProcessingThe simple reality is that there were far less than seven hundred million people on the planet for the vast majority of human history. There are now more than ten times that many, and they all need to be fed every day. Before the advent of breakthroughs in modern science, from things like the discovery of pasteurization to advanced food preservation techniques, there would not have been enough arable land on the planet to support the demand for food. That means we need to preserve and process an enormous amount of our food simply to continue feeding the world every day. Unfortunately, the food processing and additives used to achieve this have the ability to compromise a food's nutritional profile. We can break down a little bit of the effect that food processing has on the most common sources of nutrition on the planet, wheat. In the process of normally refining wheat to make white flour, a lot of the manganese and cobalt are lost. If you polish rice, it can eliminate a majority of its zinc and chromium. You can see how the normal processes we go through every day to ensure humanity is also fed can dramatically reduce the nutrition actually available in the food we eat.
Along this same vein, the modern food supply chain uses many methods to add color, preservatives, or other flavorings to boost food marketability. When marketability and sales are the primary incentives guiding the supply chain, nutrition is likely to suffer. This isn’t completely a bad thing--the food supply chain in a modern capitalist society is the most effective in human history. However, artificial flavors, stabilizers, colors, and preservatives are all regularly added to food. Some additives may be harmless and can counteract the nutrients in the food they’re present in.
Digestion or Poor Eating Habits
The average American diet is generally not the healthiest by most standards. While we generally get enough calories, or in some cases too many, they are not always the optimal calories. Millions of Americans likely suffer from digestion issues that may be hampering their body's ability to effectively absorb the nutrients they need for optimal functioning. If you feel you have an issue with digestion, please contact your physician about what supplements may be helpful for you.
Who doesn’t have stress in this day and age? Particularly in our post-pandemic world, merely turning on the television can elevate our stress levels. However, did you know that stress can significantly affect your health and how your body absorbs nutrition? The body releases certain hormones when it is stressed. Being under stress can lead to the depletion of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Stress can potentially reduce digestive strength, and your body's nutritional absorption and utilization can materially suffer if you’re not taking actions to regularly de-stress. If you’re stressed, ask your physician what dietary supplements may be able to provide a foundation of lifestyle that can help turn your stress around.
We all have our vices. Luckily, some of the most damaging ones like smoking cigarettes are generally declining in the population, but the primary causes of death in America are all associated with poor lifestyle and health choices. It can be hard to quit smoking; it is a physical addiction that many people struggle with.
Did you know increasing your nutrition may actually be able to help you quit smoking? Americans also drink a lot. This impairs liver function, which can further damage your body's ability to absorb and retain nutrients. Even if you don’t drink, most Americans are taking prescription drugs that may also impair liver function or inhibit nutritional absorption. Even over the counter drugs may result in an increased need for specific vitamins and nutrients. For instance, those who regularly take aspirin may need to take vitamin C supplements.? Antibiotics are another example, as taking antibiotics may also increase the need for B vitamins and probiotics.
Do you have lifestyle issues you know you could improve? Until you can change your lifestyle for good, supplements may be a beneficial addition to your routine to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Again, make sure you consult your physician before adding new vitamins to your routine.
Before you start a nutritional supplement, you should discuss your options, needs, and individual health profile with a physician or dietitian for your optimal health. Having a micronutrient test done can also be insightful in knowing what your different nutrient levels are and where you might be lacking, giving you a precise need as to your nutritional profile's strengths and weaknesses, and can facilitate your team's decision on which supplements will best promote your health and well-being. If this option is not available to you, you can still choose from a wide variety of daily specialty supplements specific to your age and sex. There are likely products made specifically for your demographic profile and needs. It is never a good idea to simply start taking supplements by yourself without any medical advice. It is essential to choose quality vendors as well.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not certify the contents or claims made by those who sell supplements. Therefore, it is imperative as a consumer to always do your due diligence and to only buy products from companies that are congruent with your values.