How to get the healthiest, nutrient rich foods and when to supplement

15 August, 2013

Living Science soil depletion

I believe in quality over quantity when it comes to the food we put in our bodies. Eating the right amount of quality food for your body-type trumps trying to calculate each calorie of poor to average quality food any day!

There is so much discussion about whether “organic” truly means much healthier and if it is worth the extra money.  There is also confusion amongst the public and scientists as to whether organic foods contain more nutrients so what are you supposed to do?

I would like to give my opinion on this broad topic in this month’s newsletter to ensure you have the knowledge to remain on your path to excellent health. The following are some key points to the discussion:

1) Soil health and plant health = the level of YOUR health.

This quote is the one that really got me thinking years ago about getting enough minerals:

US Senate Document #265: “The alarming fact is that food – fruits and vegetables and grains are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of the needed minerals – are starving us no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn’t big enough to hold them”. -  written in 1936!

This is the same situation in Canada and it has been known for years the soils are depleted of optimal levels of minerals and other nutrients. However, with lots of fertilizers and chemicals plants will still grow and we get something from the soil. It is just that we don’t get enough for excellent health.

Plus, there are numerous (100’s of tonnes per year) chemicals like insecticides, being sprayed on our food because the more the soil becomes depleted of nutrients and living organisms, the more chemicals you need to prop up weak plants. Our bodies need many nutrients to detoxify these chemicals and if many of the trace elements like minerals are not in your diet, your health suffers. So the cycle continues…

2) Organic food is usually better than “conventional” but not necessarily the best.

What I mean by this statement is that unfortunately the waters have become muddied by large corporations buying up some organic operations. This results in standards being watered down and costs being passed on to the consumer for “certified organic” status.
Furthermore, the cost of transportation has increased in the past decade bringing into question the purchase of an organic carrot from California versus a locally grown one from a Farmer’s Market?

Even organic beef is creating a dilemma as it costs more to feed the cattle certified organic grain BUT cows are meant to eat grass! I choose to purchase non-organic grass-fed beef for less money and you get a better product. I support local growers as much as possible and many more people are shopping at health stores who stock local products, purchasing from food co-ops, or even growing their own garden. With these choices you are most likely getting food with more nutrients and fewer chemicals-and you can ask the farmer directly!

3) “If I eat local, organic food do I still need vitamin and mineral supplements?”

I get asked this all the time and the answer is different for everyone depending on their family history, health history, job and stress levels.  My belief is that a person living in a rural setting (with clean air, water, eating local food, and has a stress-free lifestyle) has a better chance than a city dweller (breathing polluted air, fast food every meal and works 10 stressful hours daily) if they don’t take supplements.

Each case is different, however many of the best companies make whole food supplements with ingredients from the best soil-rich farms. The powder is easy to mix in water ensuring you obtain high amounts of nutrients, like minerals. This is a great addition to eating high quality foods and an exceptional insurance policy to avoid diseases related to nutrient deficiencies.

I hope I have given you some ideas to contemplate and, more importantly, initiate to keep you and your family in excellent health. For more information on organic food, gardening, soil amendment practices and getting optimal nutrients into your body, see the below links.

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