Soil Systems Farm

Nutritional Supplements – have we forgotten to eat complete food?

Almost everyday we hear from friends and family about the latest supplements they are taking. Whether it be vitamin & mineral, energy enhancing, low carbohydrate, liver detoxifying or high protein supplements, there is now marketing hype to prod you to follow the crowd. On top of the advertising is a plethora of advice given to us from nutritionists, natural therapists and doctors who coincidently have a new line of “bio-active” products that match your diagnosed deficiencies.

Why do we need nutritional supplements?
In order to thrive in this challenging world, there are a number of reasons why most of us need to use supplements.

Declining soil fertility and utilisation of marginal soils
Most of the food that is grown today is grown on soils poor in nutrients with little or no humus. The excessive use of artificial nitrogenous fertilisers and poor modern practices have led to declining soil fertility. Together with urbanisation, this has resulted in farming being pushed onto marginal soils that are not optimal for food production. This is why you need nutrition supplements. However, the real issue is how much can be absorbed into our bodies or are we giving ourselves expensive urine? The best way is to absorb the necessary nutrients is to eat the right food that are each grown correctly. Only then can they be readily absorbed through the digestive tract.

GMO’s and rise of junk foods
The consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMO’a) in junkfood has led to irritable bowel syndrome and poor absorption of nutrients. Imported GMO corn and soybean products made into junk food contains large concentrations of glyphosate that stops minerals from being absorbed. It actually chelates the minerals making them unavailable. So in order to have a better digestive system, you need to be really strict with avoiding junk food.

Lack of trace elements and rare earths
Very rarely are trace elements and rare earths added to soils. This effects the production of enzymes, amino acids and beneficial organic compounds. This is the cornerstone of a healthy immune system and essential when growing organic vegetables. The old mantra of being “Chemical Free” is only the beginning, we need mineral rich food (nutrient dense food) that has vitality and flavour.

Soil microbiology effected by fungicides, insecticides and weedicides
Modern agriculture is dictated by the dogma that plant fungal infections, insects and weeds must all be killed with a chemical. These chemicals also kill the beneficial microbes that surround the roots and leaves of every plant. These microbes play an essential role in defense and the production of a number of organic compounds that are later absorbed back into the plant. This then becomes the foundation of a healthy gut.

Food especially organic travels long distances
Most of our food that is delivered to conventional and organic on-line distributors, retail outlets and supermarkets takes up to a week to reach its destination following harvest. This is especially the case with organic farming where last year over $400 million of imported certified food came into Australia. This is why supporting local organic producers is so important for your health. Every day after harvest reduces the valuable vitamins in our fruits and vegetables.

Food is over processed
Many of the vitamins, enzymes and anti-oxidants come from fresh ingredients. Over processing food under the guise of convenience is another word for “junk food”. This also applies to “Organic Junk Food”. Even protein supplements can be loaded with “natural” sugar which is not good for you. Cooking and preparing whole food from scratch is essential for health and vitality. Whole foods was a foundation principle of the organic industry but this has been lost in the value adding processing business.

Food additives promote ill health
Food additives and colours have many long term health effects and reduces the nutritional benefits of the food. These are best avoided.

Stressful life demands more nutrients
A stressful life and impaired digestion has a dramatic effect on the bodies ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese. Many of these nutrients are already low in Australian soil and very rarely applied at the right concentration. As an example, chromium is critical in sugar metabolism and essential for diabetics.

Passing on deficiencies to the next generation
Many of the nutritional deficiencies are passed on to the next generation. This is referred to as Epigenetics. What boys are fed during puberty and women eat during the last trimester of pregnancy directly effects their grandchildren’s health (see BBC Ghost in your genes)

Medications and prescription drugs
Many prescription drugs have a big effect on nutrient absorption. Some of these include paracetamol, antibiotics and anti-acids to name a few.

Our toxic environment
Many people have heavy metals accumulated in their body. Toxic chemicals effect all aspects of our health including digestion, hormones, mental cognition and nervous systems. In addition, modern fluoridation of the water strips iodine from the body which is essential for developing breast tissue and reducing the incidence of cancer. Fresh air, clean water and fresh nutrient dense food are essential tools for dealing with a modern life.

Skin disease and suppressed immune systems on the rise
Skin diseases and suppressed immune systems are on the rise. The lack of enzymes, minerals and vitamins through mineral deficient foods has led to an epidemic in collapsed immune systems, inflammation and associated diseases.

The challenge with supplements
The problem with most supplements is that they have a very low efficacy. In other words, most of the nutrient is not absorbed but rather expelled through urine or faeces. In some cases only 5% of the nutrient is absorbed by the body. These added nutrients are not in their natural form found in food. They should be attached to other organic compounds that are readily absorbed through the wall of the digestive tract. If you are spending $100-400/month on these supplements it is more cost effective to buy larger amounts of quality vegetables and consume them raw, in juices or with light cooking.

The other issue is the inerts used to carry the nutrient. What effect do these inerts have on the body and are there any medium or long term side effects? Salmon is one such example where the contamination is almost global. In short, no one is monitoring these products or is asking the right questions.

Why fresh nutrient dense vegetables are so critical
The word “nutrient dense” refers to the amount of minerals, enzymes and amino acids found in the food you buy. It is directly attributed to the amount of soil humus and applied minerals in the soil. When a plant is able to absorb enough minerals from the soil it produces essential anti oxidants and other beneficial compounds. The food should taste delicious and pick you up – it is the vitality of the food that makes it so addictive.

Rebuilding an immune system when you have cancer
Cancer essentially refers to a breakdown in your immune system to the point that the body doesn’t clean up abnormal cells that grow uncontrolled. Whether you take a natural or a common approach (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy), the changes in your lifestyle will dictate your medium and long term health. The essential first step is to eliminate stress and get a clean source of untreated water and quality food for cancer. A diverse selection of a different vegetables especially with colour will provide the body with essential nutrients, antioxidants and salvestrols. Many of these natural products found in the vegetable world assist the body during this rebuilding phase. One example is the presence of Indol 3 Carbinol found in kale grown on mineral rich soils. This product is a natural oestrogen blocker with a 95% efficacy, ideal for oestrogen sensitive breast cancer sufferers and survivors.

Choosing local quality organic producers
The choice of locally grown organic produce makes a big difference to your health. Although 98% of certified organic vegetable growers use pellitised chicken manure, there is still a small number of quality producers who use traditional compost and remineralisation techniques. This helps in the production of essential lysine (for skin elasticity) and argenine (immune system). These amino acids can be as much as 50% more under such a programme.

The addition of trace elements and rare earths also help with shelf life and vitality of the product. When coupled with producers that sell their product within 2 days of harvest, this helps you the consumer cope with the stresses of modern life.

A simple inexpensive green juice
In the end the world we want is created by how you the consumer purchases their food. Choose local and nutrient dense food for a better environment and healthier you. We recommend you budget $5 per person everyday on fresh green juice. Did you know that a mixture of 1 x salad mix, 1 x kale and 1 x chard with 1-2 apples and 100ml water makes up to 3 glasses of sweet green juice. Why not give it a try and say no to coffee for couple of weeks.

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