Why Take Vitamins Anyway?
Vitamin supplements and why we need them.
Why Take Vitamin Supplements?
That's a good question and is one that many of us have asked ourselves for a long time, but is taking vitamins just a waste of money that could surely be used elsewhere. After all, if we eat a good diet (maybe following the pyramid of foods suggested by the government), we should be getting all the vitamins and minerals we need, right? Wrong! Even if we stay away from junk food and eat from the 5 food groups, taking care to include them all daily and majoring on fresh fruits and vegetables, we could still be vitamin deficient for several reasons.
One apparent reason is the depleted soil where our plants are grown. We're a long way from the Garden of Eden which fostered rich soil and truly vitamin-rich produce. And though we try to enrich the soil with fertilizers, humus, etc.; let's face it; the fruits and vegetables grown today lack the nutrients to fully sustain our bodies. It's just not there to a sufficient degree. Even organically grown foods cannot give us all we need to meet our daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.
We Need More!
I often hear on the news or read online of clinical studies showing we need increased amounts of certain vitamins, minerals or fish oil, for example. A current one has changed our thinking about Vitamin D and how much our bodies really need. Technically spending 15 minutes in the sun each day would give us what we need for that day. That would be great if we all lived in a sunny climate all year long (unlike Connecticut where I live that's in deep freeze as I write this). Even in that warm, sunny climate would we have the time with our busy schedules to go out and take the children out for our daily sun bath? Probably not.
To add insult to injury when it comes to drinking in some good sunshine is the fear of developing skin cancer (no doubt a possibly deadly disease), so we lather on the sunscreen when we're out gardening, mowing or playing with the kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the sunblock blocks more than the harmful rays: it shuts out the vitamin D as well. So taking a good vitamin D supplement is looking better and better, isn't it?
Furthermore, what about the benefits of eating fish, especially for the Omega-3s found in them? We're warned of high levels of mercury in most fish and how detrimental that can be to our health. So do we take the risk of eating fish and being contaminated with mercury or do we look for a natural form of Omega-3s in fish oil capsules? I don't know about you, but I' go for the gel caps just to be on the safe side and eat fish less often.
Another very obvious plus for taking a multivitamin supplement is we could hardly, due to all the calories we'd ingest, eat enough food to provide us with the nutrients we need each day. I wouldn't even want to try. Plus some vitamins are water soluble so need replenishing daily. That would involve more diligent planning that any of us has the time or energy to carry out.
So I would say that taking a well balanced vitamin/mineral supplement each day would help greatly, along with eating the nutritious foods we know we should.These two thing together would give us the foundation we need for our cells to regenerate properly and divide into more healthy cells instead of poorer ones that eventually cause our health to decline.
Not Convinced Yet?
What about the picky eater? I know people who eat exclusively from a couple of food groups and will not branch out. For these people the only solution is to add supplements to their diet regularly and build up their systems with the nutrients they need.
One of our granddaughters loves her carbohydrates and a only few meats, and though she is made to eat a small amount of veggies with her pasta and a fruit now and then slipped into a smoothie, she balks at all of it. But her mom buys a complete multivitamin in powder form that she slips into those smoothies to keep her body vitalized. It works. She's a healthy little gal, who we hope will grow up to live a long, healthy life.
My recommendation is this: look for a natural, whole food vitamin/mineral supplement. Check out the amounts of each on the label. Do some research as to the quantities you'd need each day. Your body will thank you!