Can I get everything I need from food alone? "Are you?”

Do you eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetable everyday? If the answer is NO… then you are not alone! The average American eats only 3.4 servings a day! However, studies clearly demonstrate that you should consume at least 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, every day, to effectively reduce free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes So who eats 8 to 10 servings a day?
In a statement by the American medical association it is stated that:
“Insufficient vitamin intake is apparently a cause of chronic diseases… Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements”
In another recent study (May 2007) conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was evidenced that less than 80% of Americans eat the minimum 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
With an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence being accumulated, the WHO made the following statement in reference to the connection between nutritional deficiencies and disease:
“The social and human costs of these diseases currently account for nearly 90% of all deaths world wide. The non communicable diseases of under nutrition abbreviated as (NCDs) include cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, plus infectious diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Nutrition is coming to fore as a major modifiable determinant of chronic disease, with scientific evidence increasingly supporting the view that alterations in the diet have strong effects, both positive and negative, on health throughout life . Most importantly, dietary adjustments may not only influence present health, but may determine whether an individual will develop such diseases as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes much later in life. However, these concepts have not led to a change in policies or in practice.”

So what are some of the reasons to take supplements?

Food selection – Eating a too limited range of different food groups will result in nutrient deficiencies.
Food omission - Low intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables, through food allergies, dieting, or poorly designed vegetarian diets.
Time and availability – A lack of time to purchase, prepare and cook a consistently varied diet. The lack of year round availability of a number of nutrient rich foods.
Poor lifestyle habits – Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine all can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals or accelerate the loss of nutrients.
Low nutrient content of the foods we consume - Due to decades of over farming depleting the soil of minerals.
Over-cooking and microwave cooking – Can easily destroy or alter valuable food nutrients.
Antibiotics and medications – Taking medications can interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
When you take a look at this list it isn’t hard to see why we are not getting proper nutrition.

Are you skeptical?

Is it hard to imagine that the answer to preventing disease could simply lie in WHAT WE EAT OR DON’T EAT? Is it possible that nutrition alone is as powerful as any man-made wonder druug?
Well if there is ever a case that demonstrates the effectiveness of nutrition in preventing disease - it is that of Scurvy. Once as debilitating and deadly as any of the diseases of today… it was in fact the simple omission of vitamin C in the diet that led to the cause of the disease, and the consumption of vitamin C that was the cure and prevention.
We are not dying of old age… 96% of the US population dies of a disease – we are not getting proper nutrition.
Dr Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, The brilliant scientist and Nobel Prize winner for discovering Ascorbate (Vitamin C) poses this thought:
“Mr. X has a lack of vitamin C and contracts a cold. The cold leads to pneumonia. Mr. X dies and his body is taken to the mortuary…not with the diagnosis "lack of vitamin C", but with the diagnosis "pneumonia". This does not matter for him any more, but matters for the rest of mankind, which is mislead in its thinking and judgment about vitamins.”
Let’s conclude with this statement by Albert Szent-Gyorgi:
“Vitamins, if properly understood and applied, will help us to reduce human suffering to an extent which the most fantastic human mind would fail to imagine."
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