Back to the Basics: Essential Vitamins
Why it’s important to Supplement
In a perfect world: You lead a healthy lifestyle. You exercise, eat your fruits and veggies, take care of yourself. Why should you have to supplement? Aren’t you getting that from the foods you consume? Aren’t you so healthy that your body wouldn’t dare drain itself of essential nutrients? Sure—in a perfect world. In this world, it is not possible for the food we eat to provide all the nutrition we need, and exercising regularly actually causes your body deplete more vitamins and minerals. When it comes to providing essential vitamins to your body (or not)--what we eat, how we eat, and even how we feel are key factors.
Why do we need to supplement?
The way we eat.
Let’s face it. Most of us are constantly on the go. We grab something quick as we rush out, or sit at our desks guzzling coffee before our morning meetings. That isn’t eating. What it does is leave us hungry and unfulfilled the rest of the day, making it more likely for us to binge later. By doing this, we put undue stress on our digestive system, causing a slew of uncomfortable symptoms later. Even worse, skipping meals in general for lack of time, or options, causes a deficiency in the nutrients you need to go about your day energized and focused.
When we do manage to cook a meal, we have a bad habit of overcooking our food, or cooking it “to death.” This results in a huge loss of nutrients—far less vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Of course, cooking anything will deplete some of the nutrition, but it’s best to consume fruits, veggies, and meets as close to raw as possible (We’re not suggesting you eat raw meat—just don’t serve it black!).
What we eat.
The way our food is farmed, how it’s processed, and even what it’s fed plays a major role in the nutrients that actually make it to our plates. For example, when it comes to meat, grass-fed vs. grain fed is more than a personal preference. When herbivores are fed grains, those animals become malnourished—grains are not meant to be food for grazing animals, nor humans. Compared to grass-fed meat, grain-fed meat is significantly lower in vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Grain-fed meat and farmed seafood can also serve as a carrier for more toxins, which increases nutrient needs.
The problem isn’t only what these animals are eating; it also lies in how our produce is farmed. Farmers repeatedly grow their plants on the same land, in the same soil. That soil then begins to become depleted of essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and microbes—way faster than they can be replaced. Fertilizer may help a little, but it does not provide enough nutrition to support optimal human health. In addition, we all know that the produce we are buying from the grocery store isn’t always fresh. By the time we purchase them, they could have been sitting on trucks, shelves and counters for weeks! Over time, the nutrient content of these plants decreases.
Lastly, a lot of us look to milk to provide key nutrients. However, the majority of nutrients in milk are found in the fat. Once the pasteurization process begins to remove or reduce the fat, a lot of the nutrients our bodies needs is removed as well!
So you see, unless you live on a farm yourself and can monitor what’s going to become your food, claiming that you eat healthy on the daily isn’t enough anymore. Our food is so far depleted of the vitamins and minerals it’s meant to provide your body with, that it’s impossible to get enough from food alone. This is not to say that a healthy diet isn’t necessary. It’s quite the contrary! Nutritional supplements are designed to complement a healthy diet, not replace it.
How we move.
If you’re doing enough exercise to substantially deplete energy reserves, you’re also using more nutrients for energy production and recovery. As a result, those who work out heavily are at an even higher risk of nutrient deficiencies.
We all have commitments. Whether it be to work, family, school, an organization, errands to run, or deadlines to meet—sometimes these commitments get the best of us. All the stressing we do trying to check off our to-do lists or be the perfect parent/mate/friend takes a toll on our bodies and weakens our immune systems. Taking supplements can help strengthen our immunity and give our bodies some of the nutrition it needs to function optimally.
What are Vitamins good for?
Vitamin A (Retinol)50% of Americans don’t get enough
- Healthy teeth and skin
- Immune function
- Iron absorption
- Energy production
- Red blood cell formation (B12)
- Skin & hair
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)50% of Americans don’t get enough
- Strengthens blood vessels
- Skin elasticity
- Anti-oxidant function
- Iron absorption
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces wrinkles (assists with collagen formation)
- Protects against heart & eye disease
- Strong, healthy bones
- Helps in the absorption of calcium
- Fights seasonal depression
Calcium70% of Americans don’t get enough Calcium
- Healthy teeth and bones
- Heart rate regulation
- Muscle contractions
Omega 3 (Fish Oil)
- Joint mobility
- Heart health
- Brain function
- fights skin wrinkles
- Attacks acne issues
- Builds and maintains muscle
- Cell renewal
- Fetus development during pregnancy
- Builds muscle naturally
- Maintains healthy blood
- Cell repair
- Bone and teeth strength
- Muscle function
- Converting food to energy
Potassium90% of Americans don’t get enough Potassium!
- Fluid balance and hydration
- Nerve signaling
- Muscle contraction
- Acts as an important electrolyte
- Breaks down proteins, fats and carbohydrates