Recent studies indicate that the majority of meals in the US are eaten in restaurants rather than in the home. Restaurant food tends to be too high in fat and sugar. Additionally, convenience foods now make up a much higher percentage of the average diet than in the past.
In some people well over 60% of their food is from so-called “empty” calorie foods (candy, sweets, chips, or other highly processed foods that contain very little real nutritional value other than calories).Another factor is the high stresses found in today’s fast-paced and busy life. The greater the external stresses, the higher the nutritional demands on the body.
Eating a poor-quality diet robs you of the nutritional factors necessary to help you stay healthy.Lastly, many people are simply unaware of how to shop for healthy foods. Convenience and taste become the major criteria for food selection, while nutritional value is given little attention, if any at all.
Many nutritional researchers point to the rising problems of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diseases of modern society as evidence of the deteriorating quality of the diet most people consume.
In order to accomplish all of the thousands of day-to-day functions of your body, the food you eat every day must be converted into energy and raw materials (building blocks for muscles, bones, ligaments enzymes, hormones, and so on).
To do all this, vitamins are required. Since we humans lack the ability to manufacture these critical nutrients in our bodies, we have to get them in our diet.Generally, vitamins perform three major functions:1. They are required for the enzymes to do their jobs.
The B-complex vitamins B1 and B2, for example are required for every function in the body that requires production of energy (which means every function!)2. They act as antioxidants, which means they prevent highly reactive molecules called free radicals from damaging delicate cell membrane structure.
Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, protecting cell membranes from free radicals.3. They act as “pre-hormones.” For example, vitamin D functions as a hormone to facilitate calcium uptake and utilization.
Minerals have very many important functions. Iron is required for the manufacture of the chemical hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood to all the cells of the body.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones, and for transmission of messages within cells and from cell to cell. Magnesium is required for production of energy from the food you eat; and a selenium-containing molecule protects the body from damage by free radicals.
Antioxidants are a group of chemical compounds that protect against free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced naturally, or induced by exposure to things like radiation, certain chemical pollutants, or other sources.
When free radicals come into contact with healthy cell membranes, they cause damage to the membrane and may ultimately cause the cell to die. Antioxidants prevent this damage by stopping the free radical and thus helping maintain health and proper function of the cell.
In food, antioxidants are often the substances that give food their color or strong flavor. Prograde VGF25+ is a great source for antioxidants and provides the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 to help prevent free radical formation in your body.
The simplest answer is because most people eat a poor diet. Studies show that the average diet in the US consists of too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
We are eating plenty of calories, but they are often “empty” calories, meaning that they have very low levels of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Since the majority of meals in the US are currently eaten in restaurants or “on the run” it makes good sense to take a vitamin supplement to fill in the gaps in our diet.
While it is important to remember the value of a nutritional supplement in maintaining health, we should never think that taking a supplement replaces a good diet. In other words, the first and by far most important step is to improve the quality of our diet, and then take a supplement as a nutritional insurance policy to make sure we get all we need.
Each person is unique, so each person’s nutritional needs would also be unique to them. This means to avoid highly processed foods (candies, snack foods, convenience foods), or foods high in refined sugar or flour, as these tend to have low levels of important vitamins and minerals.
A high quality multiple vitamin-mineral supplement is essential to “fill in the gaps” in the diet. While other nutrients also may be helpful, it is important to remember our individuality and discuss the specific additional nutrients you might need with your nutritionally-oriented health care practitioner.