When I began to study nutrition, I too believed that it was possible and even easy to get all the nutrition I needed from diet alone.
What I discovered was shocking to me. Over the past 50 years the quality of nutrition, or the availability of nutrients in our diets, has steadily decreased. This is even true for people who think that they eat a healthy diet today. Why does this happen? The complete answer is complex but in short, nutrient depletion in our soil, combined with green harvesting (which interrupts the natural biology of the plant before it has manufactured most of the nutrients we should be getting), and new toxins found in our environment result in produce that simply has fewer nutrients available to us than previously found in those same foods. Organically grown products offer some greater benefit however most are still green harvested and are therefore picked before most of the nutrients have been manufactured. At least they have lower levels of man-made toxins than some non-organic produce.
This problem is further compounded by our fast food diets. All too often we eat food that provides calories but does not provide adequate nutrients. So we are feeding our bodies but we’re not nourishing our bodies. Nutrients provide the basic building blocks for all of the functions of our cells. If we are only providing our bodies with calories we are depriving our bodies of the other essential components to good health.
Many of us take better care of our cars than of our bodies.
So while it is important that we all learn how to make better dietary choices, it is also essential that we take supplementation, to make up for the nutrients that are missing from our food and that our bodies need so much. There is no single nutrient that will make up for a deficiency of another nutrient. We need to be taking balanced supplements which provide us with quality sources of all of the nutrients, provided in the correct ratios to each other.
To be clear, supplementation means supplementation. It is not substitution for a healthy diet. We should all be eating more whole foods and fewer processed foods.
Mega dosages of individual vitamins are not necessarily beneficial to us. In fact, some studies have shown that certain fat soluble vitamins should not be taken in extremely high quantities. This makes complete sense to me. Think of supplementation as simply providing the nutrients that should be in your well balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals and other nutritional components often works synergistically with each other so it is vital that you get all of the nutrients that are necessary for support of natural biological function.