Why Does the Perfect Diet Include Food Supplements?
A balanced diet is trendy today. More people are educating themselves about healthy nutrition and self-care because all of us realize that our health, our looks and performance depend, to a significant extent, on what we eat. However, what is served on our plate doesn’t always mean we get enough of what our body really needs. What can be done about it?
Variety or deficit?
Today, a perfect menu is more than an illusion. Although supermarkets offer an array of various products, catering to any taste and wallet, most of ust do not have a balanced diet.
Fashion magazines and instragram bloggers provide us much information concerning proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. We can also learn and process a lot of information, if we really wish to. However, the situation gets tricky when it comes to micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, trace elements, the biologically active compounds.
Recently, the nutritional value of food has seen a staggering decrease. The world of cutting-edge technologies aims at modernizing and streamlining all processes between agriculture and the delivery, of ready made goods. We want food to be produced faster, cheaper, and in larger portions. We interested in the pursuit of maximum yield, earlier ripening, varieties that can be stored for longer time periods, which has lead to the loss of necessary substances for the human body. For example, vegetables have lost about 43% of iron, 15% of vitamin C, and about 40% of vitamin B2. Unfortunately, fruits have not become the exception to this. Our meals are now made of more refined products that have lost much of the necessary nutrition and heating food removes between 25% to 100% of vitamins and minerals.
In conclusion, according to scientists, almost half of the European countries’ population lacks vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, polyunsaturated fat and other important components. If our bodies consistenly experience shortages of these elements, sooner or later our health will break down.
How to escape the vicious circle?
These days, we have access to a lot of information to adjust our regime for good health. How do we go correct the shortage of nutrients in our diet:
- Option One is to turn to products rich in vitamins, minerals, and microelements, i.e. yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, enriched with calcium, vitamins and probiotics. Milk enriched with vitamins A and D is also a good choice, and a higher percentage of fat content in the product, the better the body will absorb and process the vitamins. However, this may cause problems to people who cannot consume products rich in fat.
There have been attempts to enrich breads with nutritional supplements, however, bread makes up a mere 3% of the food production volume.
The more we learn about these issues, the more questions arise. One and perhaps the toughest, is how to calculate “smart” and plan our diet adequately, if products contain different sets of vitamins and nutrients, in different proportions.
- There is another, more efficient solution to the conundrum. “Food supplements are intended to correct nutritional deficiencies, maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients, or to support specific physiological functions. They are not medicinal products and as such cannot exert a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action. Therefore their use is not intended to treat or prevent diseases in humans or to modify physiological functions”, says European Food Safety Authority . Are you still in denial? Food supplements are most often completely natural products. They are produced using vegetable, animal, marine, mineral raw materials receiving precious concentrate from useful substances. It is worthwhile to remember that most of them our body can not synthesize, — it can only get them ready, therefore they are called irreplaceable.
Food supplements differ in ingredients and properties
To keep it simple, we divide them into three groups:
- The first group complements the diet and helps to make it more balanced. It includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- The second group includes dietary supplements that are used as aids in the treatment of diseases. They are not medicinal substances but they represent a support team for an organism in a period of stress, illness or high demands from the outer world. These are organic acids, bioflavonoids, and glycosides.
- The third group is food supplements – probiotics, which normalize the state of intestinal microflora that predetermines the strength of our immune system.
There are also a number of co-formulated substances that combine the properties of different groups. Moreover, some supplements do not have any ingredients of animal origin, which makes them perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
In all, the priority function of dietary supplements is to enable people to efficiently manage their health. Assuming control and responsible attitude to health is a matter of individual choice.
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