Numerous essential nutrients are absent from the Standard American Diet (SAD). being largely comprised of convenience foods that have been pre-packaged and few natural food products; This diet has contributed to an epidemic of extreme nutritional deficiency as well as obesity. There are a lot of vitamin and mineral supplements on the market, but they are made artificially, which makes them less bioavailable and encourages chemical contamination. Whole Food Supplements, which are vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient-rich products made from actual food concentrates, are the solution to America’s nutritional deficiency because Americans are unlikely to eat food directly from their gardens again.
The Problem with the Standard American Diet In the early 1900s, most Americans had no choice but to consume whole, healthy foods. The family either grew all of the food themselves or got it from nearby local sources. The majority of people in America lived in rural areas and could grow their own food during the 1900s. A significant number of people have moved to urban areas over the past century. Because of this, the majority of people no longer have the ability to grow their own food, despite their desire to do so. Very few people have gardens or know how to cultivate one, and even fewer cultivate dairy products and animal husbandry as sources of protein.
Despite this growing migration, families were encouraged to have a “victory garden” during World War II. While allowing the majority of commercial food production to be sent to the troops overseas, this was done not to guarantee that Americans would eat well but rather to guarantee that American families would be able to feed themselves. During that time, the majority of American nutrition came from locally grown food.
Americans started to realize the importance of including vitamins and minerals in their diets around the 1950s. This was discovered as nutritional deficiencies began to appear and an increasing number of pre-prepared, highly processed food products became available.
Many families became two-income families after World War II ended. Additionally, an increasing number of single parents are now raising their children alone. This indicates that, in most households, each adult is likely working outside the home full-time, which leaves little time for food preparation alone or even for food production. America has become a nation of convenience foods, getting most of its food from non-natural sources.
Food “products” are simply those that come in prepackaged forms and are simple to prepare. They may contain some “essential nutrients,” such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, but they are not real food. Many Americans are unaware of the low nutritional value of the food they consume on a daily basis, and the entire food supply chain is plagued by contamination and chemical processing. The so-called “food pyramid” has received so much attention in media and education. Except for the RDA for essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium, the government and educational institutions that developed the ideal American diet have never really addressed the lack of nutrients.
Even though these recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals may be absolutely necessary to avoid obvious deficiency diseases like scurvy and rickets, they are insufficient and only reflect a small portion of the nutrients found in whole foods, which are essential for health promotion and disease prevention.
America’s crisis: In the face of malnutrition, obesity and other diseases have emerged. In recent years, the American diet has focused primarily on reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates. This line of thought was meant to cut down on the obesity epidemic, but over the past two decades, obesity rates have risen to levels that make it seem like a crisis for Americans. In point of fact, the percentage of adult Americans who are obese has increased by 60% in the past two decades, reaching an unprecedented level of almost 35%. The fact that roughly 32% of children in the United States are overweight or obese is even worse. The life expectancy of these children may be lower than that of their parents or grandparents for the first time in American history.
This has resulted in a record-breaking epidemic of heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related issues, not only among adults but also among infants as young as 18 months. A wide range of diseases, including immune disorders linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Cancer, as well as psychiatric and neurological conditions like ADHD, Autism, and Depression, may be caused by a lack of appropriate nutrients in American diets other than simple vitamins.
The majority of people hold the belief that overeating is the sole cause of obesity. Even though that is partially true, obesity can also be caused by constantly consuming the wrong kinds of food. Obesity was extremely uncommon in the 1900s, when Americans ate a mostly natural, whole food diet that came straight from the farm to the table.
Our total food consumption has increased as our diet has changed from the nutrient-dense foods of an agrarian society to the highly processed, artificial foods of an urbanized society. This is in part due to the fact that, despite receiving more calories from food, the body continues to be depleted of nutrients, leading to an increase in food intake. Additionally, despite the fact that our bodies require less food when we live a sedentary lifestyle than when we lived and worked on the farm every day, we still consume more due to a lack of appropriate nutrients, an abundance of readily available processed food, and other psychological conditions like stress eating. In the end, America has become a nation of obese individuals who still suffer from malnutrition and disease.
An Attempt to Address the Issue The genuinely ideal diet would be to return to whole-food “farm to table” eating, in which families either grow their own food and prepare it within minutes of harvesting or, at the very least, purchase food that is grown locally from the market and prepare it within a day or two. This is no longer possible in modern society. Our nation’s food supply is contaminated by the use of hormones, pesticides, and herbicides, and transportation of the food crop from thousands of miles away loses a lot of its nutrient value, even when fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed as a large portion of the diet. Before it reaches our grocery stores, food is harvested before it is truly ripe, irradiated, cold-stored, and transported across states, nations, and even oceans as tasteless, substandard, and nutrient-poor produce.
For this reason, many people are attempting to consume only organic, locally grown produce. Even though this may provide more nutrients than the typical American diet, it is almost always much more expensive, making it unaffordable for many people and unavailable to others. This is because most markets do not focus on obtaining such products. Therefore, despite its valor, this effort is still insufficient.
The good news about the nutritional situation in the United States is that it can be easily fixed. The human body has a remarkable capacity for self-healing when fed the right nutrients. Supplementing with whole food nutritional products makes it simple to treat many diseases and conditions brought on by overconsumption and malnourishment.
The only solution appears to be whole food supplementation because Americans cannot rely on the food supply to provide adequate nutrition and cannot trust the source, quality, or purity of most commercially available nutritional supplements.
What is an all-natural supplement?
Nutritious supplements derived solely from food are referred to as whole food supplements. This is a much more beneficial and natural way to get nutrients from food and herbal supplements.
Sadly, the majority of nutritional supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, that are available on the market are artificially synthesized in a laboratory using chemical processes or, even worse, are made entirely from extracts of a single ingredient. Although synthetic supplements may contain essential vitamins and minerals, many of the alkaloids, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that are thought to be essential for complete nutrition and disease prevention are absent from artificially prepared products.
The same is true for herbal supplements and treatments; while the majority of commercially available herbal products contain either an extract or a synthetic form of the herb’s primary active chemical, they do not contain many of the synergistic ingredients that are thought to provide additional benefits from herbal and nutraceutical treatment.
Vitamins and minerals are absolutely necessary for life, but the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is typically insufficient and unattainable through the typical American diet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does little to regulate the production of food supplements like vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, despite the fact that numerous commercially available nutritional supplements can be found in every corner. This is due to the fact that it is necessary. It would appear that the FDA is unable to carry out even its primary responsibilities, which include ensuring the safety of the American food supply and regulating the pharmaceutical industry.
Many counterfeit pharmaceutical products have been discovered over the past few years. One example is the online flu medication that was made outside of the United States and was found to be gelatin capsules filled with sheetrock. E. coli and salmonella contamination of American and foreign farm crops like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers has also entered our grocery stores, resulting in case after case in the United States. Even the so-called “organic” products, which were said to be safer than conventional crops, were among these items.
Why a Whole Food Supplement? The nutritional supplement market is even smaller due to inadequate oversight of the pharmaceutical and food production industries. Chemical synthesis and heat processing are used to make the typical vitamin or nutritional supplement, which destroys the product’s nutritional value. Additionally, fillers, additives, preservatives, and other questionable chemicals are used in the production of many of the products that are available for purchase. Supplements from whole foods are not.
In terms of food and health products made in other countries, significant flaws have emerged in recent years. Numerous products have been found to be contaminated not only with known chemicals that are found in American food supplies but also with unknown chemicals that are much more dangerous and should never be used in manufacturing. Buying high-quality goods from a company with a well-established reputation for upholding strict manufacturing and purity standards is the only way to avoid this. Since whole food supplements are natural products, it would be best if the manufacturer followed environmentally friendly policies and practices.
The best manufacturer of nutritional supplements understands that vitamins are interconnected. The synergistic interactions between hundreds of other plant alkaloids, phytochemicals, and enzymes, as well as vitamins and minerals, are what give whole foods their nutritional value. In the process of restoring the body’s biochemical balance, the cofactors and bioflavonoids like terpenes and isoflavones found in whole foods and whole food supplements play an important role.
When you look at the label of a nutritional supplement, vitamin, or herbal product, this is easy to spot. Even though the FDA doesn’t do enough to keep an eye on the food supply or the pharmaceutical industry, they have standards for labeling that make sure that all of a supplement’s ingredients are correctly identified. When compared to whole food supplements, which contain natural vitamins and minerals obtained from concentrated food sources like fruits and vegetables, a close examination of the majority of regular supplements will reveal that the majority contain synthetic vitamins, chemicals, and filler products.
Supplements made from whole food sources will not only contain vitamins and minerals in their natural form, but they will also contain all of the essential phytochemicals and phytonutrients that come from whole food concentrates and are important for restoring nutritional health and preventing disease.
Choosing a High-Quality Supplement Whole food supplements are dietary supplements made entirely from food. Cold processing techniques are used to concentrate natural food grown in controlled conditions. The phytochemicals, alkaloids, and other valuable natural substances that ensure adequate nutritional support and aid in disease prevention can be concentrated using these methods without being eliminated.
When selecting a whole food supplement, one should ensure that it comes from a manufacturing company with a long history of quality and whole food processing expertise. Whole food products that have been refined using cold processing without the nutrient-depleting effects of extreme heat, pasteurization, or irradiation should make up all of the products. Additionally, they ought to be free of chemicals used as preservatives and artificial fillers. If a customer is dissatisfied with the product, the manufacturer ought to provide a money-back guarantee and a procedure for testing for purity. In order to ensure the long-term viability of the food supply, a company with “green” policies should be chosen for the benefit of the environment and the American consumer.
Vitamin A and the carotenoids, which are needed for specific nutrients, are found in a lot of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, fish, and animal livers. They are necessary for:
o essential for protein utilization; o essential for the immune system’s protection against viruses and infections of the organ linings of the bladder, kidneys, lungs, and mucous membranes; o essential for the proper functioning of the eye and skin, including the gastrointestinal tract; o functions as an antioxidant, preventing cancer and aging-related diseases. A vitamin A deficiency results in dry hair, skin, eye disorders, fatigue, difficulties with reproduction, frequent colds and infections, and skin disorders.
Synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate and/or beta carotene isolate are common ingredients in traditional vitamin supplements. Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, retinal, retinoic acid, a number of more than 500 carotenoids—all of which are precursors to Vitamin A—as well as essential fatty acids, natural sugars, minerals, and other phytonutrients that can only be found in whole foods will be found in Whole Food Supplements.
Vitamin B Complex is actually a group of compounds that are similar to one another and can be found in yellow and green fruits and vegetables, particularly cruciferous and leafy green vegetables, as well as in nuts, grains, eggs, dairy products, and meats. These compounds are known to be necessary for:
o the care of the skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth; o a healthy digestive system and brain; o coenzymes that are involved in the production of energy; and o the proper functioning of the nervous system, especially in the elderly
B-3 Niacin deficiency – pellagra, bad breath, skin and mouth disorders, memory impairment, confusion, depression, muscle weakness B-5 Pantothenic Acid deficiency – abdominal pains, skin disorders, hair loss, muscle spasms and poor coordination, immune impairment, low blood pressure B-6 Pyridoxine deficiency – eye, skin and mouth inflammation, mucous membrane disorders, lack of wound healing B-12 Cyanocobalamin deficiency
Vitamin C Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that can be found in green vegetables, citrus fruits, and berries.
o tissue growth and repair; o adrenal gland function; o healthy gums; o production of anti-stress hormones and interferon; o iron absorption in the digestive system; o metabolism of amino acids and vitamins; o antioxidant activity and immune system support; and o Scurvy, poor wound healing, gum disease, edema, weakness, frequent infections, fatigue, and joint pain.
While Whole Food Supplement vitamin C contains phytonutrients like rutin, bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, ascorbinogen, vitamin C factors like J, K, and P, as well as the mineral co-factors necessary for vitamin C activity, all of which are appropriately derived from whole food, traditional vitamin C supplements only contain ascorbic acid or ascorbate.
Vitamin D is primarily found in dairy products, but it is also found in fish and fish oils, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, egg yolks, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin D is required for:
Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, osteomalacea, loss of appetite, burning in the mouth and throat, diarrhea, insomnia, visual difficulties, and muscle performance, including skeletal and cardiac muscle. Vitamin D deficiency also prevents bone and tooth loss in the elderly.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), which is less absorbable and more difficult to use than its cousin Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), makes up the majority of commercial Vitamin D products, including prescription formulas. On the other hand, whole food supplements contain a lot of Vitamin D3 and many other beneficial phytonutrients in the form of whole food concentrates.
Cold-pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains all contain vitamin E, which is necessary for:
Vitamin E deficiency can cause damage to red blood cells, nerve destruction, infertility, menstrual issues, and neuromuscular disorders. o antioxidant activity important for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. o circulation and tissue repair. o blood clotting and healing. o the health of the skin and hair.
Alpha-tocopherol, one of the eight active components in the vitamin E family, is typically the only active ingredient in conventional vitamin E supplements. Supplements made from whole foods will contain not only alpha-tocopherol, but also the seven other concentrated food-derived forms of tocotrienol and tocopherol—alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
Calcium is necessary for the development of teeth and bones, as well as for the health of the gums. It plays a role in the functioning of cells in virtually every part of the body and is necessary for the operation of all muscular tissue, particularly the heart. Dairy products, oily and meaty fish, and green leafy vegetables are all rich sources of calcium.
Brittle bones, teeth, and nails, skin problems, cardiac conditions like high blood pressure and heart palpitations, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity, and seizure disorders are all symptoms of calcium deficiency.
The majority of traditional calcium supplements will only contain calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, with Vitamin D possibly being added, or D1-calcium phosphate, which is completely insoluble and cannot be absorbed. The amino acids and vitamin C that are required for calcium absorption and utilization will be present in Whole Food Supplement calcium products.
Iron The production of hemoglobin, which is necessary for the distribution of oxygen throughout the body, relies on iron. Additionally, the body’s production of numerous essential enzymes depends on iron. It is abundant in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, and milk thistle, among others.
Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, mouth inflammation, fingernail malformation, and mental impairment are all signs of iron deficiency.
Iron sulfate or iron gluconate can be found in the majority of commercially available iron supplements either by itself or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. When iron is consumed as a component of a food source and in the presence of vitamin C, it is more easily absorbed. Because it is derived from whole food, whole food supplement iron will result in better absorption and less stomach discomfort.
Magnesium Magnesium is essential as an enzyme catalyst, particularly for the production of energy. It is also necessary for the transmission of nerve and muscle impulses because it aids in the uptake of calcium and potassium by cells. It can be easily found in a lot of foods, especially animal products like dairy, meat, and seafood. It can also be found in a lot of fruits and vegetables like apples, apricots, bananas, whole grains, and products made from soy.
In addition to contributing to hypertension and sudden cardiac death, magnesium deficiency can cause muscular irritability, mental disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndromes, depression, and pulmonary disorders.
While whole food supplements contain other minerals like calcium and potassium, vitamin C, and other nutrients from whole food concentrates that are necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of magnesium, traditionally prepared magnesium supplements only contain magnesium, typically in the form of magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate.
Zinc Zinc may help regulate oil gland activity and prevent acne. It is necessary for the growth and function of reproductive organs. It has been demonstrated to have potent antiviral activity and is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and protein as well as for a healthy immune system. It is important for wound healing as well as the sense of taste and smell. Additionally, it is a component of numerous physiological chemicals like insulin and enzymes. Eggs, fish, beans, meat, mushrooms, and many seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, contain a lot of zinc.
Zinc deficiency may cause fingernails to become thin and weak as well as a loss of taste and smell. Other symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, sluggish wound healing, recurrent infections, growth impairment, and male and female sexual organ disorders.
Zinc gluconate can be found in combination with other minerals or as a stand-alone ingredient in many commercially available supplements without consideration given to the appropriate ratios for optimal absorption and utilization by the body. Because whole food supplements are made from real food, nature already has the right ratios that will give you the most benefit.
Unique Advantages of Whole Food Supplements According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 70% of Americans do not consume enough whole food products to meet even their recommended daily allowance of vitamins. Vitamins are necessary for life, but taking regular supplements won’t completely replace them. Whole food supplements, in contrast to the majority of commercial dietary supplements, contain any number of several thousand known and unknown phytonutrients, such as:
o Carotenoids o Polyphenols (also known as flavonoids) o Phenols o Indoles o Lignans (also known as phytoestrogens) o Phytates (also known as isositols) o Saponins o Sulfides and Thiols o Terpenes Research has demonstrated that these nutrients protect against a variety of diseases. Enhanced immunity, cancer prevention, detoxification, and DNA repair are just a few of the benefits that are known to be provided by certain kinds of phytonutrients.
Carotenoids The phytonutrient class of carotenoids has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer, assist in the prevention of cardiac disease, and prevent optical failure from conditions like macular degeneration. Many fruits and vegetables’ vivid colors are partially due to carotenoids.
Several carotenoids are known to be anti-oxidants, which may protect against aging-related diseases and environmental toxins. Additionally, carotenoids can assist the body in producing vitamin A by acting as precursors to vitamin A. Carotenoids may also play a role in the treatment and prevention of the following diseases:
o Cancer, including skin, throat, lung, prostate, and cervical cancers o Heart disease, including angina pectoris and congestive heart failure o Infections, including AIDS, Chlamydia, Candidiasis, and pneumonia o Immune system-mediated disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis and photosensitivity o Other conditions, like asthma and osteoarthritis A balanced formula of carotenoids, like those found in whole foods and whole food supplements, will be Whole food supplements outperform simple vitamin supplements for many reasons, including this one.
The following fruits and vegetables are known to contain beneficial carotenoids:
o alpha carotene, which is found in carrots; o beta carotene, which is found in green cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts; o lutein, which is found in leafy green vegetables like turnip greens, collard greens, and spinach; o lycopene, which is found in red fruits like watermelon, guava, tomatoes, and red grapefruit; o zeaxanthin, which is found in Polyphenols found in foods include, but are not limited to:
o anthocyanins, which are found in red foods like berries, red cabbage, and red grapes; o flavones, which are found in celery and parsley; o ellagic acid, which is found in berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; o catechins, which are found in tea, wine, and chocolate alongside other tart foods like berries and apples; o flavanones, which are found in citrus fruits; o coumarin Phenols have been shown to prevent many diseases that are partly caused by oxidative stress, such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as age-related disorders. Along with wine and tea, purple fruits like grapes and blueberries contain phenols.
Indoles It is known that indoles aid in hormone production and balance maintenance. Indoles are also thought to protect cells from a variety of cancers, including endometrial and colon cancer. Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, contain the majority of them.
Lignans Lignans, also known as phytoestrogens, have a weak estrogen-like activity. This is important for preventing hormone-mediated cancers like breast, testicular, and prostate cancer and possibly treating them. They might also stop inflammatory processes from happening, which could help treat things like arthritis and stroke-causing platelet aggregation. Lignans are found in a lot of flax seed and soy products, but they can also be found in beans, vegetables like broccoli and garlic, as well as other grains like wheat, barley, and oats.
Inositols Phytates (Inositols) may aid in the prevention of mental disorders like bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression by lowering blood cholesterol. Grains, nuts, and members of the melon family like squash, cucumbers, and cantaloupe contain a lot of phytates and isositols.
Saponins Saponins have been shown to lower cholesterol and may boost the body’s immune system, preventing infections caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. They have also been shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer and may also offer some protection against heart disease. The structure of saponin is the basis for several cancer drugs. Asparagus, red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and soybeans all contain saponins.
Sulfides and Thiols Sulfides and Thiols are essential to the cardiovascular system, which includes the linings of both arteries and veins as well as the smooth muscles of the arteries and arterioles. Thiols have been shown to play a crucial role in the formation of plaques that cause arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Terpenes Terpenes are thought to protect against cancer and free radical damage, which may contribute to aging-related diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s. Members of the odiferous Lilly family, such as garlic, onion, chives, and leeks, contain a high concentration of thiols and sulfides. Terpenes are abundant in grains, soy, and green foods, as well as in numerous herbs like gingko biloba.
These phytonutrients, which support the use of Whole Food Supplements, are just a few examples of natural molecules that are known to aid in health promotion. There are thousands more that are present and beneficial but cannot be synthesized in a laboratory and have yet to be identified. A nutritional deficit cannot be remedied by taking isolated vitamins and minerals on their own.
Consuming a whole food supplement appears to be the only way to actually bridge the nutritional canyon that the American diet has created as a result of a lifestyle of convenient packaged food that is easy to prepare but severely deficient in nutritional quality. Since Americans are unlikely to return to the farm,
Anthony Antolics, RN, BSN [http://www.thenutritionnurse.com] * Bachelor of Science in Nursing — Excelsior College, Magna Cum Laude * Bachelor of Arts in Psychology — Southern Connecticut State University, Summa Cum Laude * Sigma Theta Tau, the National Honor Society of Nursing * Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology * Zeta Delta Epsilon, the Honors Service Society by invitation, Southern Connecticut State University * Tau Kappa I came to the conclusion, after conducting extensive research, that my supplementation regimen had in fact led to additional nutritional deficiencies. Bio-identical hormones and synthetic compounds made up a lot of my supplements. As a result, extensive research was conducted on whole food supplementation, including the origins of vitamins, minerals, and herbals as well as their processing methods.
It became very clear that the best supplements had to come from whole foods, herbs and botanicals that were grown organically, and they had to be processed with little or no heat to keep the enzymes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients only found in raw whole foods working. Whole food supplements that have been processed in this way are absorbed by the body as nutrition and can be used to boost one’s sense of well-being, strengthen one’s immune system, and improve health and function.
I eventually discovered Shaklee Corporation, the leading natural nutrition company in the United States and one of the Fortune 500 companies. Over the past 50 years, they have been making people healthier. Shaklee is also the first company in the world to be certified as Client Neutral TM and to completely offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in zero environmental impact.