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Why You Should Take Supplements

Aug 17, 2007
How many of you twentysomethings are taking supplements? Not many I don't think. And if you are, you're probably taking those diet pill supplements that help you lose weight. Am I right? Anytime my friends and I have discussed supplements it has always been the DietTrim, TrimSpa and other craziness. But I am not talking about using diet supplements. I'm talking about supplements to enhance your overall health and diet.

In America, the healthcare system doesn't provide us with an overall wellness program. Your medical insurance will only pay for you to see the doctor when something is wrong with you, not before to prevent something from going wrong. That is left entirely up to you. So how can you maintain your good health? Besides eating right and exercising, you can take supplements to make up for what you are not getting from food.

I know you're thinking that you're healthy now, so why do you need to bother with it right now, but as Christopher Mogridge, Wellness Consultant with The Wellness Group, says, "You need to take care of yourself now, even though you have your health now because you won't always have it." Think about it. We live in a world where people like to put things off until something bad happens. "I'll worry about it later." But you need to maintain that good health because once you lose it it's all down hill from there.

Unfortunately, we take better care of our animals and cars than ourselves. You make sure Fluffy eats the best food to maintain his health, and has plenty of water. With the car, you make sure that you change the oil and get regular check ups to make sure it continues to run smoothly. But what are you doing to make sure you are running smoothly. (Wait, that doesn't read well, but you know what I mean.)

For those of you who eat healthy and try to eat all your meats, veggies, dairy, fruits, and grains, you may not realize that you're not really getting all of the nutrients you need from that certain piece of food. It's not your fault. Let me explain.

"The Canadian counterpart of our FDA did a study of foods and their nutritional value in 1948. And the nutritional value in two peaches then, would now take an excess of 50 peaches. A cup of spinach then contained 158 mg of iron per 100 grams and today a cup of spinach contains about 27 mg of iron," says Mogridge. I don't know about you but I feel like I've been cheated and lied to. All this talk of eating your fruits and veggies and I'm only getting a fraction what I need? Sucks!

The reason for this is farming crops are not cultivated the same as they were years ago. The crops used to be rotated. Once a produce was grown and picked in one area of the field, the old stock and manure was grounded into the soil and the farmer would either grow another produce there or move on to the next part of the field. The produce got all the nutrients from the soil. But it isn't like that anymore. Now that the agribusiness took over, the fields are no longer rotated; the field is swept clean, digging up all the old stocks without replenishing the soil with the nutrients it requires from the old stocks. Instead, chemical fertilizer is added to the soil.

I know you're thinking: "But I buy organic, so I get all the nutrients I need." Organic just means that the produce hasn't been grown using chemicals or had chemical pesticides sprayed on it. The produce is picked green, which isn't supposed to happen. They don't get a chance to ripen and get any of the nutrients from the soil. "While in transit from California, Florida, etc. they are maintained in cold storage for weeks loosing their nutrient value from the time they are picked to when it gets to us," says Mogridge.

What about the vitamins?

And vitamins, please what a joke. Let's take vitamin C tablets. Scientist have found a way to recreate the vitamin in the lab. So instead of eating an orange or drinking the juice you're popping vitamin C tablets and you think you're okay. Not so. It is much better to either a.) eat an actual orange or drink the juice to get all the other nutrients inside that orange or b.) take a vitamin that is food or plant based. By taking a specific vitamin tablet in lieu of eating a piece of food that has it in there, you are loosing out on all the other phytonutrients that can help you. "Just a while back, scientist discovered that vitamin A and a new phytonutrient lutein together help improve eyesight," says Mogridge. So who knows what other vitamins and phytonutrients are out there that we don't know about yet.

One more thing you may not know is that a majority of the vitamins in the store are chemical analogs. And in case you were wondering, the body is not meant to ingest chemicals so when you take your vitamin it is not recognized by your body as food, doesn't get fully absorbed, and much gets flushed out. And then you've spent that money for nothing.

In fact, I just saw an article on msn.com about vitamins doing more harm than good. ConsumberLabs.com reported that half of the vitamin companies' products they tested had elevated levels of lead in them, which when taken daily overtime could lead to toxic levels in the body.

What should you do?

A better option is for you to take a vitamin or supplement that is food or plant based so that the body can recognize it. In order to pick the right supplement, you have to read the label on the back and determine if it is food or plant based. If you can't figure it out, call the 800 number that is on the back and ask to speak to a nutritionist or someone who is really familiar with the product.

I know this is a lot to take in. Here I thought all I had to do was exercise and eat healthy but now that is not enough. You would've thought that the FDA would have told us or there would be a big story on this but no, you really have to do your own research.

Here's to healthy living!

Phytonutrients- nutrients from plants
About the Author
ChaChanna Simpson is the publisher and editor of Twentity.com, the free ezine for twentysomethings, featuring cheap and free events every Wednesday. Subscribe today and get my free financial report on how to manage credit, debit and budgeting. Go now to www.twentity.com
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