Here in America, and in many other countries, there is a wide selection of healthy nutritious foods available to the general public. The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) regularly states, as do many professionals in the nutrition sector, that Americans can get all the vitamins and minerals they need for good health from a diet comprised of these foods. They say that supplementation with vitamins is not needed for most people.
However, almost everyday we hear or read about someone whose health has suffered because of a “vitamin deficiency” of some sort or another! How can this be happening? Is the FDA lying to us? Is there something wrong that we don’t know about?
Here’s just a few points to consider.
Let’s take an average American, or citizen of England, Germany, France. Let’s take you.
What did YOU eat for breakfast yesterday? How about lunch and dinner? What snacks did YOU have? Did you smoke or drink alcohol? Are you pregnant, nursing, or overweight?
So, breakfast (if you ate any at all) was a bowl of cold cereal with milk or some toast with coffee, there was that candy bar halfway through the morning, then for lunch, you went to McDonald’s…you get the picture, right?
I’m sure that before fixing or selecting each meal, you took a look at the FDA’s food pyramid…what’s that? Oh, you’ve got it memorized and always select the proper number and size of portions throughout the day. Right! Well, maybe you at least counted calories and checked the nutritional labels… Oh, you…er…didn’t do that either, huh?
Do you see my point?
The nutritional elements we need ARE probably there in the foods available to us, but the choices we make, and the knowledge we have, are not the choices we should be making.
But who has the time, or the will-power, to lug around a copy of some book on nutrition, or memorize calorie charts, or check the menu against them even if we had them? I don’t, and I bet that you don’t either.
Maybe that’s why we see people with vitamin deficiencies!
How about this one?
We’re all different, and we have different eating patterns, or we don’t have a lot of money, so we eat a lot of starchy food (carbs…very bad carbs), or we just never learned that much about nutrition.
Tell you what! Let’s try to eat all the foods we need to eat to get all the natural nutrition we need. What’s that? You tried that, and gained weight because it required you to eat so many calories?
What if you are trying to lose weight? Maybe you are eating a healthy diet, but you are restricting or avoiding certain foods. Maybe you are also avoiding some of the vitamins and minerals you need.
How about the food itself? Has that radish or apple been processed or stored so long that it may have lost some of it’s nutritional value?
That smoking and drinking thing: Did you know that smoking and drinking actually interfere with your body’s ability to process or effectively use some essential vitamins?
It seems as if it’s a losing battle. Actually, there are a lot of things that someone can do to make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need. Knowing something about nutrition is good, planning meals or selecting carefully from the menu based on nutrition is good, and so is getting the proper amount of exercise and rest. But, it seems plain to me that making sure you are getting the appropriate amounts of the various vitamins and minerals can be difficult the way we live our lives today.
Recommendation? Take a daily multivitamin supplement…just to be safe. A bottle of vitamins doesn’t cost much, but it can potentially head off major and minor health problems in you and your family.
Donovan Baldwin is a freelance writer and a University of West Florida alumnus currently living in Stone Mountain, GA. He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, .and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, yoga, writing, the environment, happiness, self improvement, and weight loss.