As I do seminar, many audiences ask the same question, “Can I get all the nutrition from food?” The answer is Yes and No depending on where you live, how you live, what you eat, and how much you eat. Also, it relates to one’s genetic foundation. If you live in a less polluted area, and grow your own food, including orchards of fruit and vegetables without any chemicals and pasture raised animals for your own consumption, and don’t eat any conventional processed foods, you would have complete nutrition from what you eat.
However, the majority of people live in developing countries get food from grocery stores. Many varieties of produce are breed so that they have the longest shelf life and can survive travel without bruising and getting ruined. So that breeds out more nutrients from the food. Some of the broccoli can sit on the shelf for seven weeks before it’s purchased. So obviously, that is going to have a lot less nutrition. Also, with mono agriculture soil and commercial fertilizers, there is just less nutrient diversity absorbed from the soil.
Moreover, a lot of people are getting stuck in an eating rut. They’re eating healthy food, maybe chicken and broccoli or salmon and asparagus every night and having the same oatmeal or egg omelet for breakfast or whatever it is they’re eating. So, they’re eating the same thing over and over again and therefore not getting a variety of nutrients.
Whether you get nutrients from food and/or supplements, what you need to make sure is that your digestive tract is functioning properly. You aren’t what you eat. You’re what you’re able to break down or digest and then absorb. So, you could be eating the best of food, and yet, be very unhealthy. Correcting one’s diet and, even digestion, are only going to improve one’s health to the degree that diet and digestion are contributing to poor health. Absorption is very critical.
When it comes to digestive function, you need to make sure you don’t mess it up with medication, especially over-the-counter digestive medicines (e.g. Pepto-Bismol, Pepcid AC). One of the worst things a healthy person can do is to shut down their hydrochloric acid. Taking these medicines on a regular basis would be very unhealthy and a really bad habit. To relieve heartburn or indigestion, people take over-the-counter antacids drugs because they think they are caused by excess stomach acids. However, heartburn or GERD symptoms are actually caused by low stomach acid, not high stomach acid. That acidic feeling is just kind of a symptom. Magnesium taurate can help to remove that feeling of that burning.
The idea that you can get all your nutrients from food is fine in theory, but virtually impossible in practice. Soil and water depletion, food and environmental toxins, poor absorption, pesticides,lack of exercise, and lack of calories can all cause nutrient deficiencies. There is evidence that consuming nutrients from food is more beneficial than supplements, which is why you should focus on a nutrient rich diet first. However, it’s rarely enough anymore.
Please remember that health is not just an absence of symptoms―you have a very good immune system. You have lots of energy to accomplish everything you want because you’re producing it at a cellular level. And you have good hormone balance. You also have clear thinking.
When it comes to supplements, I highly recommend high quality multivitamins because many people don’t eat well and it is really hard to get all the nutrients you need from food. Even if you eat well, supplementing Vitamin D, EPA/DHA, and probiotics is a wise thing to do and overall very cost effective.