There are many people who still question the importance, and value, of taking vitamin and mineral supplements. ‘You can get everything you need from a good diet’ they say. And maybe, years ago, that was true.
But in today’s world there are a number of good reasons why such supplements can be rather important. This may be especially true right now, when we are all trying harder to stay healthy in the face of a virus as powerful as COVID-19.
Here are just ten of those reasons:
1. Modern mass agriculture techniques often leave soil lacking in important minerals that it once contained. And if the soil doesn’t have them then neither will the produce that is grown in it. In other words, right from the start, sometimes even your vegetables are not quite as healthy as you thought they were!
2. Often the foods you buy in the big shops have traveled long distances to get there. During that time certain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals are depleted, especially B complex and C vitamins that we think they contain lots of.
3. Modern food preparation methods can further deplete the natural benefits of certain foods we think of as very healthy. Freezing, boiling and even microwaving can all remove nutrients from food without us ever realizing it.
4. Some mass-produced foods are being genetically altered to make them look more appealing or to grow faster. This may result in them lacking in the vitamins and minerals that their unaltered counterparts possess.
5. The busy lifestyles we all lead often result in skipping meals, eating on the go and general extra stress, all of which can interfere with proper digestion and lead to our bodies failing to extract nutrients from food properly.
6. The number of medications, both over the counter and prescription, that the average person regularly takes has increased over the years. Many medications do deplete the bodies of those taking them of certain stored vitamins and minerals.
7. A change in the environmental makeup of the world around us often causes our bodies to use up more of the vitamins and minerals derived from food in order to better protect it from harmful toxins. This is especially true of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E.
8. Specific times in life call for an increased amount of certain vitamins and minerals. For example, pregnant women are routinely advised to increase their intake of folic acid and menopausal women need additional calcium to help prevent osteoporosis.
9. Although we all mean to follow a healthy diet at all times doing so can be rather difficult, especially when we are very busy and/or away from home and the comforts of our own kitchen. This leads to us missing out on continuous levels of certain vitamins and minerals.
10. Emerging research is proving that additional amounts of certain vitamins and minerals can be effective in preventing and even in treating, some health conditions. Research is strongest in the area of immune boosting, something that is of huge importance to us all right now.
You do not need to stock a whole medicine cabinet full of different supplements; a single good multivitamin supplement may very well be all you need. If you do not already take one discuss which might be best for you the next time you visit your GP.