Why on Earth Would You Ever Need Supplements?
Just eat real foods.
You can get everything you need from a balanced diet.
Supplements are basically just peeing away money.
But are they really and is a balanced diet enough in 2021?
Supplement — defined as “something added to complete a thing, to make up for a deficiency or extend or strengthen the whole.” A supplement to your food does not mean “eat a subpar diet and hope for the best with a little pill that claims to have lots of Vitamin C and zinc and folic acid” (which is a synthetic form of folate, by the way).
I get it. There are reasons to be concerned. Simply by the last line I just mentioned, supplements are often made in laboratory settings, where synthetic compounds mimicking the real deal are smashed together claiming to give you a boost. And there’s a lot of money to be found in the dietary supplement industry — in fact the industry, in 2019, was worth $42.9 billion.
So if 77% of Americans regularly use food supplements, then why are 88% of us metabolically unhealthy? Why aren’t, then, Americans a perfect picture of health?
Maybe it’s the fact that most of us don’t...
hunt our own meat, concentrating on eating the internal organs of that which we kill.
forage on diverse, untilled land.
drink from clean water sources.
live in a toxin-free environment.
get plenty of sun exposure daily.
take no pharmaceuticals.
So let’s talk about why on earth you would ever need a supplement and what to look for when you’re seeking them out?
Why would we need them?
Nutrient density in our food is lacking.
The food found on supermarket shelves has a fraction of the nutrients in it than it did even 30-40 years ago. An assessment of the nutritional concentrations of 43 crops, mostly fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999 revealed a decline in most nutrients. Six key nutrients— protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C—significantly declined between 6% to 38%. The same study also revealed higher water and carbohydrate concentrations in our food.
Why? Industrial agriculture has depleted soils worldwide and bred plants for size and rate of growth—not nutrition—in a narrow pursuit of ever-increasing yields. They farm for calories, not nutrients. Considering that we are only as healthy as the food we eat and the food we eat only as healthy as the soil it is grown in, this becomes a problem when we go to seek out our food from our modern grocery stores.
Let’s take for example phytochemicals in our food. Phytochemicals are the healing properties in our food. They play a critical role in many functions in the body, especially the immune system. Research has shown us that organically managed soils contain higher levels of microbial diversity and organically produced foods possess higher levels of bioactive phytochemicals than conventionally managed soils and foods. But the problem is that organic farms make up a single digit percentage of the total farms in America.
We have loads of epigenetic blockages in our cells.
We are collectors. Within our genetic information, we carry with us not just the code to how we look and which disease we are susceptible to, but we also carry with us collected emotions, memories, and programming from our ancestors.
According to the book, It Didn’t Start With You, “A mother’s emotions such as fear, anger, love, hope among others can biochemically alter the genetic expression of her offspring. During pregnancy, nutrients in the mother’s blood nourish the fetus through the wall of the placenta. With those nutrients, she also releases a host of hormones and information signals generated by the emotions she experiences.” These stress induced — whether by emotion or nutrient deficiency — irregularities in micoRNA levels can affect how genes are expressed in multiple generations.
In addition to this, we are gifted our lymphatic systems from generation’s past. Lymphatic congestion in our lymph nodes but especially our kidneys can be passed through to you, so although you may eat well and live a healthy life, if someone you’re connected to in your lineage did not, you might be bearing the burden for them.
The bottom line: Your health isn’t solely your own, and healing that lineage takes a lot of energy and a lot of nutrients.
Access to clean, toxin-free food is a challenge.
If there’s one thing that is true about our food system today, it’s that our food system is toxic. All kinds of additives and preservatives with incomplete safety data are mixed in most of our food on the shelves, and nearly all of it is subject to the assault of the agricultural industry.
Four billion pounds of glyphosate — a common agrochemical — is sprayed on crops worldwide annually. When glyphosate enters our body, it begins to kill the life organisms in our body that help to keep us healthy. After all, it is an antibiotic. When the diversity in our gut lining is compromised, we are unable to uptake important vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients and we are vulnerable to all kinds of disease and illness.
A Few Parting Thoughts About Supplements
If it’s not radically changing your health, then it’s wasting your time and money.
You are made up of a beautiful terrain of microbes and fungi and viruses that all respond to the environment around you and what you put into your body. If a supplement you’re taking is truly worth taking, you should feel this shift. If you're not feeling a noticeable difference after you begin using a food supplement, there’s a good chance that supplement isn’t doing what it says it should.
Purity is everything.
Have you ever looked at an ingredients list of a supplement (or any food for that matter) and not know what all the ingredients are? Do some of them sound like they were made up? It’s probably because they are. Many supplements are made in labs where what’s known as isolates are pulled together into a pill form, which simply makes it easier to take. The problem with this is that if the supplement company does not have a commitment to purity, then it’s likely they have used fillers to take up some space in the supplement, leaving you with an empty dose.
How is that supplement company caring for the planet?
Let’s say you do find a company that uses all real food in their supplements. The next question for you should ask is “how were these foods grown?”
Did this company connect to the innate intelligence of nature to bring this food into the world? Are they rotating crops, leaving the soil structure in tact, avoiding chemicals? Are they supporting small farmers who are not extracting from the earth but using the rhythms of nature to bring food life into the world?
If not, then your supplements could not only be causing more harm than good in you (or simply providing you nothing at all), but they could be harming the planet and the people who work to bring you that supplement.
And lastly, what’s their plan for plastic use? (Need I say more?)
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to supplements. Choosing clean, nutrient dense foods and supplements is of utmost importance if we are to heal our bodies and heal our world. When we look to the terrain of nature to help us, we find that we can heal faster than we disease...and more often than not, we could use a little boost with our daily diet.