It’s a time-tested tale – food comes first for the source of nutrients that your body needs BEFORE supplementation. And guess what? We completely agree! But the developed and advanced world we live in actually disables us in many ways from getting the nutrients our body so deeply depends on. Now, the counter argument says that there has been nothing that has changed in thousands of years about organic, naturally sourced food. We hope to provide you with some insight as to why that is not true and what YOU can do about it to bridge the gap between a nutritious diet and proper supplementation.
How Can I Tell If I Need Supplements?
In previous years, and still today, there’s a lot of stigma and speculation around the sports supplement and vitamin industry. Likely so, many people are out to make a quick buck or two at the expense of other people’s health. But since that is not the case with Elivate Nutrition let’s divulge a little deeper into a diet that requires no external vitamin supplementation, shall we?
The only person who does not require vitamin supplementation is a person who:
• Eats only wild, fresh, whole, organic, local, NON-GMO food grown in virgin mineral- and nutrient-rich soils and is not transported across vast distances and stored for months before being eaten.
• Works and Lives only outside, breathes only fresh unpolluted air, drinks only pure, clean water, sleeps nine hours a night consistently, moves their bodies every single day (30min-1hr of intense cardiovascular movement), and are free from chronic stressors and exposure to environmental toxins.
DID I DESCRIBE YOU?
Of course not! I actually did not describe anyone on the face of planet Earth. Now, you’re probably thinking how healthy and clean of a lifestyle you live and how you’ve gotten to age whatever by not taking supplements. Sure, I bet you’re doing pretty OK. But what if you were presented with an opportunity with a brand you can trust and rely on to help you live each day to your highest human potential; to hardly EVER get sick, or worn down, overly exhausted or that afternoon-mind block? Who wouldn’t want to give their body the best opportunity to live up to its ultimate potential? If you don’t agree, then this article probably is not for you. Continue on with your mediocre life, or continue reading for the keys to your success.
How Are Vitamin Supplements Different from Sports Supplements?
Good question. Most people do not have an understanding of the role that vitamins and minerals play in our bodies. It’s not a widespread Western practice and takes a great about of time investment to learn more. That’s why we’re here to simplify it for you.
How Much Food Do You Really Need?
Daily Recommendations on the back of your Cheeze-Its is not going to cut it. The DRI (Daily Recommended Intake Values) listed on the back of many pre-packaged foods are based on the very minimum of nutritional needs recommended to avoid serious issues like Scurvy (Vitamin C Deficiency) or Rickets (Vitamin D Deficiency). Honestly, I feel safe saying that people in developed nations are not concerned with getting a 'Pirate Disease' like Scurvy.
Fortified Foods and Nutrient-Rich foods are not enough either. These types of human handled and modified foods were introduced in the early 1900s because of the nutrient decline in foods and the increasing rates of processed food availability to the general public. Mom’s were going to work alongside dads and no longer was someone home all the time to harvest and prepare food from the garden outside. People needed quicker and cheaper options, which in turn led to more than 92 percent of Americans today being deficient in one or more vitamins. And if we refer to the previous paragraph, about how the DRI is the bare minimum amounts to avoid serious deficiencies, these Americans are not just receiving less than the amount they need for optimal health but are actually receiving less than the bare minimum amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases. Let that sink in for a minute…
A USDA survey shows that 37 percent of Americans do not get enough Vitamin C, 70 percent not enough Vitamin E, and almost 75 percent not enough zinc, and 40 percent not enough Iron. Why? We are told and influenced to trust the information given to us at local stores and on the Internet without needing to search much farther, right? That’s just it! We don’t have to go far, reach far, and read far, to supposedly get the information we need. Successive generations of fast pace food growing and manufacturing deprived our soil, foods, and ourselves of vital nutrients.
Food no longer has the nutrient level requirement that you as a human need for optimal health.
"A salmon that grows to market size twice as fast as normal. Dairy cows that produce 15% more milk. Beef cows that grow 20% faster."** Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which even further diminish their nutrient levels and their phytonutrient content. Animals are stuck in pens and giant feedlots instead of roaming free, eating nutrient-rich wild grains and grasses. Antibiotics and hormones are pumped into animals. All of which are going to be ingested in your own body when you eat these products. Regardless of diet preference, Vegan, Vegetarian, Meat-Eater, etc., the dramatic effects of what we have modified our food to do effects, everyone.
To add to the issue of our food, environmental, financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and social dimensions of our lives can even add to some serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies within our bodies. Stressors, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, inflammation, water retention, on and on, the pressure we put on our bodies is adding up and not in a good way.
Supplements: Do You Need to Take Them?
As mentioned earlier, nobody in present-day has a diet that fulfills the micronutrient profile needed for longevity, optimum performance, and attaining the highest quality of life possible. In fact, many of us, including YOU, reading this, are living day-to-day living a life out of balance and are unable to even recognize it!
It is only within the past 60 years or so that a second option has become available, nutrient + vitamin supplementation, that enables us to bridge the gap in food deficiencies to increase overall health.
The Job Your Diet Cannot Do Alone
The Standard American Diet, and probably the general diet you follow, is seriously lacking in nutrients and is overwhelmingly pumped with sugar, additives, and chemicals that take a serious toll on your intestinal and digestive health. Not to mention, chronic stressors and an overhaul of responsibilities physiologically damage the normal intestinal barrier preventing absorption from food. If you are not fueling your body with the ingredients necessary to absorb the nutrients in your food, your environmental and social stress levels are through the roof and naturally, you are decaying your very own intestinal structure. Essentially, you’re damaging yourself from the inside out a whole lot faster than you want to.
Farming practices are becoming more expensive and shortcuts are being taken to pinch pennies. Simple practices in thought, such as crop rotation and properly mineralizing, food is not being done. We’re genetically modifying food to grow faster and larger, using chemicals to kill pests and fertilize crops at the same time, and all of those shortcuts end up in the food we consume. If you didn’t catch that, the modifications, chemicals, and lack of minerals are ending up in YOUR body.
More than eighteen minerals are essential for human nutrition and range from making bones, blood cells, nervous system function, muscle building, healthy weight maintenance, and so on. Inadequate micronutrient intake, even at minimal levels, has been linked to neurocognitive (poor mood, hormone imbalances, anger, depression, insomnia, eating disorders etc.) as well as putting you at an increased risk of other preventable conditions. Vitamin supplements are instrumental in filling nutritional gaps especially in developed nations where processed, fast, and cheap food is abundant and more easily attained than whole foods.
The purpose of a supplement is to supplement the missing nutrients required to build and maintain a healthy body.
Nearly 60% of vitamin C is lost in an orange by transporting it locally. Now think about all the fruit and vegetables that you consume not from your local area and not even in the natural harvesting season. Bananas from Mexico, Apples from Europe, even the beef from Canada, are transported over obnoxious miles of land and sea just so you can satisfy a craving.
Vitamin and Mineral losses in processed, transported, blanched, canned, and frozen food all contribute to mental and dietary diseases. Some of those are directly correlated to dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, bowel issues, and so on.
Taking supplements is a commitment to ensure your body is receiving the vital nutrients needed every single day. The most important part of taking supplements is consistency. Aim to get healthy to stay healthy.
This being said, the quality of the ingredients in vitamin and mineral supplements does matter! Companies that provide vitamin and sports supplements should be:
• Manufactured and sourced in the same country
• Made in a facility that has earned a Good Manufacturing Practices standing
• Have a money-back guarantee
• Sometimes even be gluten-free
• List ingredients and dosages honestly
Products should be kept in their natural chemical makeup and form so that they are not foreign to the body and can be easily absorbed. The best dietary supplements are safeguarded and have the highest tier ranking; that is the exact promise that Elivate Nutrition stands behind and delivers with every single product. Don’t just take a supplement(s) you are unsure of because someone told you to. Know what you're getting and how much of what you are getting in each dose, every time.
What is Healthy Eating? What is a Healthful Diet?
Healthy Eating is a term used to describe a diet that helps you reach your goals, whether it is losing weight, gaining muscle, losing inches, etc. A healthful diet is one that provides the proper combination of energy and nutrients. There are 4 main components: adequate, moderate, balanced and varied.
No matter your age, weight, healthy or coping with an illness, if you mind the characteristics of a healthful diet, you will be able to consciously select foods that provide you with an optimal combination of nutrients and energy each day in addition to supplementation. A healthful diet is eating for life.
Even the most healthful diet is of no value to our bodies unless the nutrients can be absorbed and transported to the cells that need them.
Unlike carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are absorbed 85% - 99% (of what is eaten makes it into the blood), most micronutrients are so poorly absorbed that only 3% - 10% of what is eaten ever arrives in the bloodstream. Let that sink in for a minute…. Why even eat food or take supplements if you’re unable to even absorb it?
By designing a diet bountiful with probiotics (beneficial gut flora), phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and whole foods you are designing a life you can not only sustain but also flourish from. The four keys to designing a healthful diet right for you are these:
1. Eat an Adequate Diet – As said earlier, an adequate diet provides enough of the energy, nutrients, and fiber to maintain a person’s health. Unfortunately, due to the availability of rich and whole foods, this is a hard thing to attain. Eating an adequate diet also means practicing optimal energy control. Failing to eat enough energy deprives your body of adequate nutrients and nutrient uptake ability (from both supplements AND food). Eating too much energy will result in weight gain.
2. Eat in Moderation – Pay attention to serving sizes and portion control. Eating too much of certain foods (fats + sugar specifically) leads to weight gain and can prevent you from consuming adequate vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When people consume adequate calories but inadequate micronutrients, hidden-hunger occurs, causing over consumption of energy dense, nutrient-poor foods that are usually rather inexpensive.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet – Eating the appropriate number of servings to support your goals is important to pull from each food group. Too much of anything is bad, no matter how good it seems to be. No group should be completely substituted for another.
4. Supplement Smart – Pummeling vitamins is not going to get you closer to your goals. By consistently providing your body with vitamins and minerals you eliminate the guessing game with your needs from nutrient-lacking food. Micronutrient supplementation (vitamins + minerals) bridges the gaps to getting the most out of your macronutrients (fats, carbs, + protein) maximizing your body’s ability to use energy for longevity and an overall high quality of life.
Optimize Your Nutrition With Supplementation
The journey through the world of nutrients and deficiencies is long and winding – but it does not have to be a guessing game. By going to the roots of our dietary issues and bridging the gap with appropriate supplementation we’re able to wake up feeling great and keep that feeling going throughout our days, weeks, and years. As you move through your fitness and life journey, there are a few very important things I would like you to take away from this.
It is imperative to accept that the environmental, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual dimensions of our lives take a toll on our health. Diet and Supplementation make up for these stressors and ensure that we are healthy from the inside out, not the outside in.
Micronutrient supplementation goes much farther than sports supplementation - it is the fuel that supports your life long past being an athlete. Life is not about reaching a destination; it is about lifelong happiness and health. Quality is key: with your food, your vitamins, and your happiness.
So, are you getting everything you need from your diet alone?
The answer is NO, nobody is. It is up to you to develop a relationship and a synergistic partnership with your body to live at your highest functioning levels. It’s time to demand more from the world around you, demand more from yourself, and get serious about spending the time you are gifted the way you are meant to. Taking care of yourself is not for the faint of heart or the casual enthusiast.
It’s a commitment, it’s a promise, it’s a conscious decision to say YOU deserve more out of life than mediocrity. Be the leader, step up and take life by the reins, and set out to make a difference. It all starts with you.
Be the leader, step up and take life by the reins, and set out to make a difference. It all starts with you. Join the Elivate Nutrition Movement - lift the veil on supplementation and stop sacrificing a healthy mind in pursuit of an eye-appeasing body.