Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word and means far more than the basic macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein). Nutrition encompasses the micro-nutrients, and what we need to function healthily or optimally.
But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfil those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right.
There are many opinions and diets out there, vaguely supported by a few scientific studies. But we seem to be only at the very beginning of the science of nutrition, and nutrition probably needs to be subjective. The average person doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Vitamins and minerals are more readily available to us than ever before, and we’re still no better equipped to actually determine what we need to take, than we were forty years ago. Just because we see the latest advertisement about a particular vitamin and decide the symptoms of deficiency apply to us, does not mean we need to rush out and purchase the product. The symptoms of deficiency for lots of vitamins and minerals are the same or overlapping. What we need is a way to detect, on an individual basis, what our body’s lack, and then plan a suggested nutritional solution.
We fall short in providing our citizenry with the tools they need to make better, informed decisions. The medical field has long resented any contact that patients might make with herbalists, nutritionists, vitamins and minerals, or any other proposed health aid, that wasn’t directly related to pharmaceuticals.
Thanks to this prevalent attitude among a lot of doctors, we have missed great opportunities to advance our health. If you were to take a cross section of the population, and check for adequate levels of the most used and fortified vitamins and minerals, you would probably find the as high as 80% or the population is lacking in a least one of the vitamins and minerals. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you stop to think, what if it’s calcium? A calcium deficiency brings on osteoporosis, a deteriorating of the bone. This disease alone costs millions in medical expense to the population. If it’s Vitamin D, then the medical expenses of liver, kidney, low immunity and even bone diseases could also cost in the millions.
If we could take an active interest in learning for ourselves, and getting to know our bodies by testing things ourselves, we may be able to dramatically improve our individual health. Blood tests, urine tests, and other simple procedures would provide the vast majority of the information needed for us to arm ourselves, and head off to the health store. Preventive medicine comes in all shapes, forms, and tablets!