The Need for Nutritional Supplementation
In the last hundred years, our food has changed while our nutritional needs have only increased. It wasn't long ago that we were ‘locavores’, meaning what we ate was grown locally. Our food travelled down the road, not to different continents. It was fresh in a way that we rarely experience today and its nutritional value was significantly higher. For example, the nutritional value of a carrot you buy in your local supermarket is very different from those put on the table in the 1950’s.
"Fruits and vegetables have decreased in nutrient content by 5%-40% over the past 70 years"
The convenience of food has obviously increased, but at a direct cost to its nutritional value. Food today is widely produced and sold for its appearance and palatability. The stability of food over long journeys and shelf lives, achieved through the inclusion of additives and preservatives, is prioritised over nutrition. Much of what is consumed is canned, frozen and fried, impacting the foods complex vitamin makeup. The simple effect of heat on food can degrade vitamin C content by 30% within 15 mins, while vitamin C in orange juice can degrade by up to 35% in as little as 4 weeks even when stored at 4°C. Furthermore, over farming leaves soil depleted of nutrients and overfishing leaves the waters with elevated levels of toxins - all of which compromises the nutritional integrity of food.
Storing food in a solution, even water, can reduce the nutritional content and effectiveness due to important enzymes breaking down.
The question is; have the changes to how we eat and what we eat had an impact on our health? The answer is: definitely.
A study conducted on the micronutrient status of adult females found that women are at an increased risk of micronutrient deficiency, particularly due to the higher micronutrient requirements during childbearing years, in addition to multiple food group avoidances. The nutrient deficiencies include zinc, iron, copper, selenium, vitamin B12 and folate and resulted in cases of anaemia, hyperferritinemia and low B12 levels leading to reduced energy and immune function.
Dr. Daniel Jones, Chief Science Officer at SISTERLY, adds that it is particularly important for women between the ages of 30-60 to be conscious of nutrition to avoid nutrient deficiencies stating:
“during these crucial years the female body requires a focus on nutrition due to physiological changes and varying nutrient demands. Women are not small men. They go through multiple transitions and stages which require specific nutrients to support proper function and recovery, including zinc, iodine, selenium, biotin, copper and vitamin B12.”
The subtle gaps in women’s nutritional needs lead to deficiencies over time which can compromise our health and wellbeing. A simple example is vitamin K, which is required to absorb calcium into the body. When the body is looking for calcium to strengthen bones and teeth, if there is not enough vitamin K present, it does not matter how much calcium is available, it can’t be absorbed.
"Calcium without vitamin K is like Thelma without Louise"
Nutritional supplements help to fill nutritional gaps within our diet, and can play a key part in maintaining good health over time by ensuring our body has adequate supplies of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. This helps our bodies to support the function of every system with ease and unlock our true health from within.