You’re feeling pretty good about the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins you eat every day. You’re exercising regularly and following all the recommendations for living a healthy life: not smoking, limiting alcohol, curbing stress, or avoiding fatty and sugary foods. Surely this means your body is receiving everything it needs for a long and healthy life, right? The answer is “not exactly.” While doing everything right assures that your body is as healthy as can be, trying to get all your nutrient needs met through food alone isn’t possible.
If you are wondering why this is the case, it may help to know that our bodies were designed to subsist on the least amount of nutrition possible in order to survive. Our bodies weren’t designed to intake the maximum number of nutrients available to thrive into old age. After all, our ancestors would often only expect to make it to ages forty through sixty, at best. This is simply because we as humans were designed to survive on whatever was available until we made it to our reproductive years, or around age twenty. Once Mother Nature got us to that point, we were on our own! Sure, there are some people who naturally seem to thrive until a ripe old age despite poor diet or lifestyle choices, but that is the exception, not the norm.
For the rest of us, it takes a bit more to provide our bodies with enough of the nutrients it needs to not only survive until a ripe old age, but to do so while looking and feeling healthy. This is where supplements come in. While the recommended daily allowance of most nutrients seem to come from the foods we eat each day, there is a little catch. The RDA are what our bodies need to perform their normal functions. The RDA are not sufficient to help our bodies repair themselves, ward off disease and prevent against deficiencies.
It may come as a bit of a surprise that in today’s world, there are many people in our own country who are nutrient deficient. However, eating a diet that lacks nutrients while failing to supplement leads to such chronic health concerns as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, cataracts and rheumatism. Sound familiar? All of these conditions are thought to set in as we age. However, a contributing factor to the onset of these conditions is the accumulation of years of nutrient deficiencies due to the eating patterns that are prevalent in our country. Heading to the doctor with complaints such as fatigue, insomnia, irritability, allergies, memory loss or general aches and pains may seem like just a necessary obstacle to deal with as we age. However, it is becoming more apparent that the onset of many of the problems we face as we age could have been prevented if we had spent all those years making sure our bodies received enough nutrients to thrive rather than just survive!
So keep doing all the good things you are doing, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding harmful activities and substances. And if you’re not already supplementing with the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, today is a good day to start. It will add years to your life, and quite possibly life to your years!