Good nutrition is fundamentally important for good health! The human body is a complex system that requires a full and broad spectrum of essential nutrients – in adequate and balanced quantities for optimal health. We require the correct amounts of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We also require the correct amounts of each of the essential micronutrients – namely the 52 (or so) essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Every day our body is re-building itself, renewing worn out parts, making modifications as a response to day to day stresses and fighting off viruses and bacteria. When you look at the average person’s diet – it is no great surprise that so many of us feel tired, ill or even suffer from a degenerative health condition.
The statistics tell all: heart disease, strokes, and related illnesses cost the health service billions every year. Over 25% of young people are in the early stages of degenerative disease and don’t even know it. Nearly 90% of those 65 and over are suffering from at least one degenerative disease. Most amazing of all is that in most cases all of this is preventable through diet, exercise and other positive lifestyle factors!
An example of the importance of optimal nutrition in order to sustain good health is the number of the cells that our bodies must continually replace during its normal day to day functioning. The aggregate numbers are enormous, and it’s clear that adequate nutrition is critical for cell regeneration, just as it is for all the other elements of good health.
The total number of cells in the human body is estimated to be between 75 and 100 trillion, and through normal wear and tear of living – billions of them must be regenerated every minute of the day and night. Perhaps even more impressive than the total number of cells replaced in a given time is the variety of locations and organs in our bodies, which must regenerate cells steadily or on demand. Each organ has specific functions, which in turn requires different cells in varying amounts. Critical to this process is optimum nutrition.
Optimum broad spectrum nutrition is very important in the short-term – but it is particularly important in the long term as we have come to understand the fundamental and multi-faceted role that nutrition plays in defining the risks of many chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes type 2, macular degeneration, cataracts and so on.
The average western diet falls short of supplying essential nutrients. It has been said that we are overfed and under nourished! Generally we consume large quantities of energy rich but nutrient poor convenience foods. By doing this we take in too many ’empty’ calories – i.e. lots of calories but not so many nutrients from poor quality, often processed, foods. As a result obesity is on the rise. This often means that many of us do not even achieve the RDA levels for many of the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. RDAs are simply the minimum for a general population to prevent an associated deficiency disease and are often far below the levels required for ‘optimum’ function.
So – what’s the solution? Firstly we need to improve our eating habits. This means try to eat a well balanced and varied diet, low in fat (especially saturated fats), rich in vegetables and fruit, try to eat unprocessed foods like ‘complex’ carbohydrates such as fibre and nutrient rich whole grains, low saturated fat proteins such as fish, poultry and some protein rich vegetables like Soy and reduce saturated fats whilst increasing essential fats from sources such as oily fish, some nuts, seeds and vegetables and their oils. Eliminate energy rich convenience foods such as processed ‘white’ grains & sugar.
Secondly – take a high quality, complete nutritional supplement programme that includes a broad spectrum of high quality and highly absorbable vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to compliment and optimise this diet by providing the advanced levels of these essential nutrients we need every day to promote good health and reduce the risk of chronic degenerative disease.
Good diet and nutritional supplementation are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they work together synergistically to promote long-term health.