The Trouble with Nutrition

Nutrition is a word that is bandied about in many women’s magazines and even on television. We are told to have a healthy diet and also take supplements so that we get enough nutrition, add nutritional powders of all kinds to our fruit juice, juice our fruits and vegetables to ensure we don’t miss some vital vitamin and so on. So what’s the problem with this? Here are a few facts that could surprise you.

  • Supplements: In tablet form, many supplements are synthetic. Our body often cannot make use of them in the same way it does with ‘real’ food. Often, the body doesn’t even recognise the supplement as food, so it just doesn’t get absorbed into the blood stream and taken to the areas that need it. The vitamins and minerals that come from a natural diet are bound up in highly complex molecular structures that cannot be duplicated by those chemical processes that are used in making supplements. Some tablets do not even get dissolved in the digestive system, but pass straight through, wasting your money and leaving you devoid of all those healthy vitamins you thought were making you healthy. Additionally, some supplements are made from genetically modified food and you don’t even know it.

  • Super-food mixes: These are becoming quite popular and indeed, many are better than supplements in tablet form. Yet even here there is a warning to be issued. Many companies add herbs to their products. Herbs are more a medicine than a food and many can react with other medications that you may be taking. Or they can have an adverse reaction in the body for some other reason. Super foods often don’t even contain enough vitamins and minerals to treat specific problems and the amounts are often not on the label, so you don’t know how much you are getting.

So the best way to get all the nutrition you need is by having a healthy diet of vegetables and fruit, right? And if you have it raw, it must be so much better because cooking destroys some vitamins. This sounds good in theory, but in actual fact not all raw food is easy to digest, so you don’t get all the nutrition from it that you could. In addition, cooking destroys any bad bacteria on the outside of the vegetables. It helps to break down the fibres so you can digest it more easily. But overcooking is bad.

In fact, a diet that uses both raw and cooked foods can be quite a good choice. Organic vegetables and fruit won’t have been sprayed with pesticides or anything else that is poisonous, so even though they are more expensive, they may be a better choice for those interested in natural nutrition.