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To take or not to take nutritional supplements? This is a question that raises quite a lot of debates. Many people become very passionate when it comes to the necessity or non-necessity of nutritional supplements for a great health.
The “no supplements” side’s argument sounds, generally, something like “I eat very well and healthy. I see no reason to take supplements”.
The “yes supplements” side is more talkative when it comes to explaining why supplements are really a must if you want to enjoy an optimum health.
Both sides agree on the fact that vitamins, minerals and all the nutrients our body needs to stay healthy should be taken from our daily food. The question is “Are they in our daily food and in the requested amount for an optimum health?”.
Before continuing, let’s understand what optimum or optimal health is. Michael O'Donnell, a consultant and speaker in the health care industry, explains in an article in the “American Journal of Health Promotion” that optimal health focuses on mental health and healthful relationships, as well as nutrition and exercise.
Nutrition. According to World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/, the definition of nutrition is “Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity.”
From an article published in HortScience, http://hortsci.ashspublications.org, we find out that “The evidence for nutrient declines began to accumulate in the 1940s with observations of (environmental) dilution effects on minerals in many foods and diverse other plants. Recent studies of historical nutrient content data for fruits and vegetables spanning 50 to 70 years show apparent median declines of 5% to 40% or more in minerals, vitamins, and protein in groups of foods, especially in vegetables.”
The article ends with “Over three billion of the world's population is malnourished in nutrient elements and vitamins (Welch and Graham, 2004), including in developed countries. Vegetables and fruits are among the richest sources of many nutrients. Thus, declining nutrient concentrations in horticultural products are most unwelcome.”
Imagine you want to grow an apple tree in a poor soil, depleted of the essential minerals and nutrients. One day it will give fruit and they might be big and beautifully colored. What do you think? Will any apple from your apple tree have the necessary nutrients you are looking for? What about all the other fruits and vegetables you buy from the supermarket? If your answer is NO, do you think high quality supplements might be a solution for you to complete the necessary nutrients your body needs?