Obviously, it’s not the same for everyone: we have different lifestyles, finances, different eating habits, favourite foods, different absorption/malabsorption and different needs due to our genetics and state of health. But there are a few basic reasons.
– Foods that we eat are depleted. Mono-culture grown crops with artificial fertilizers probably optimize their growth but that’s about it – the most common formula is NPK, adding only Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. We need more than that! Soil used over and over loses its mineral content, they are washed off by erosion, and there is no added organic matter (like compost) to return those minerals.
– Food storage reduces the nutrient content even more. Foods, especially if shipped from far, continuously lose their nutrient value and oxidise while sitting in the box or on the shelf. By the time they reach your table they are far from fresh (imagine how old your flour is, for example). That’s why there can be massive differences in nutrient content between foods – it just depends!
– We don’t eat the variety of foods. And when I say we don’t, I mean none of us do, even the most chia and matcha “hipsters”. We eat what is available in the shops, aka what the commercial companies decide we’re supposed to eat – what grows easily, what keeps well, what’s more profitable. Every year amazing heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties are lost just because no one grows them. Even family farmers grow what everyone is used to and what they can sell easily.
– We restrict our diets. It’s either dieting, disliking certain healthy foods, going vegetarian by simply eliminating meat and not including healthy alternatives (crisps are vegetarian…) or going gluten-free without any medical reason – it all restricts our nutrient intake.
– We’re not eating enough healthy foods. Processed foods lose nutrients even further (that’s why so many of them need preservatives – they literally go off, not just lose their vitamins). Not only that, some of the foods and their ingredients are damaging to our health, so our bodies use nutrients to process those harmful foods and to reduce the damage (isn’t it ironic?).
– We live stressful lives. And “stress” is not only your general “busy lifestyle” stress, but all the environmental toxins that we eat, drink, inhale, put on our bodies, all the excessive or insufficient exercise, overweight, electromagnetic pollution, already mentioned processed foods or just being unhappy in life. All these stresses require nutrients from the body and can leave us depleted.
– We are not even aware that we’re low in something! I’m mind-blown by the human body – it can take so much battering and still function. Usually, it catches up with us at some point but by then it’s not just a deficiency anymore but a full blown illness and we don’t even make the connection. Just saying, we don’t have any medication deficiency.
So what to do?
– If you’re not sure, do some testing! Speak to me and we can discuss your needs.
– It’s so common that if you think your diet isn’t perfect I would look into a good quality multi-mineral (and/or multi-vitamin) supplement. I can help you choose the most suitable one for you.
– Eat minimally processed foods.
– Buy organic.
– Buy at farmer’s markets and directly from farmers.
– Better yet, grow your own!
– Eat a variety of foods, research and source rare and unusual plants. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new foods.
– Try to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
– Minimize unhealthy habits, such as smoking (including second-hand), alcohol, recreational drugs, non-organic skincare and household supplies.
– Do some exercise and reach your ideal weight.
– Find a balance in life, reducing all kinds of stress.
– Eat more greens! You can also include “superfood” powders such as spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, moringa, kelp etc.
Please don’t make any dietary changes and/or take any supplements without speaking to a qualified health specialist, especially if you’re on any medication.