Nearly everyone is deficient in some of the essential micro nutrients.
The USDA states that 50% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin A, C and Magnesium and 90% are deficient in potassium.
Its a fact, in the fitness and health world we are all concerned about the Macro Nutrients (Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates) and how many we have and what the best ratio is for us. But do we stop and think about our Micro Nutrients?
If your living low carb, you probably check the level of fat and carbohydrate in everything you eat, yet have you any idea about the essential minerals and vitamins your taking in?
What are some of these Micro Nutrients and what do they do?
If you are deficient in any of these micro nutrients you'll not die today, no you'll probably not die tomorrow either! But it will take it's toll on you one day. Until that day your also not living at your strongest.
If your struggling with controlling your weight, this is also essential. The body craves these elements and this can often feel like hunger. So what are some of these micro nutrients?
Then there's all the Vitamins!
For example, Iodine helps your thyroid gland develop and function. It helps your body use fats and promotes growth. Iodine deficiency is the world's biggest cause of brain damage and during pregnancy can result in still birth and mental retardation.
These things aren't to scare you but it shows important they are.
But we get these in our diet don't we?
Author of the book Naked Calories, Dr. Jayson Carlton, shows a study which highlights the extreme difficulty in being completely nutrient sufficient on a standard American diet.
How many calories would you have to eat to get all our micro nutrients? 3,000? 5,000? No. 27,500 calories. So, it's impossible on the SAD diet to get our micro nutrients. So what can we do?
Rich FoodWhat is a rich food?
Rich food is real unprocessed food that is full of vitamins and minerals to help us be sufficient. Real rich foods are also low in toxins that have harmful inflammatory effects on our bodies. Inflammation leads to disease.
Food processing kills the richness in our food. Everything that is done to our food from the second it is sown affects the level of vitamins and nutrients. Things like pesticides, growing conditions, travel, storage and preparation all lowers the amount of micro nutrients available to us. So buying local, organic and buying fresh really is the best option. For this reason we have a small raised beds in our back garden for growing vegetables and last year we erected a poly-tunnel. This year we want to make lots of fresh organic and nutrient dense vegetables for our family. The taste is amazing and so are the health benefits!
We won't get enough micro nutrients from the standard European or American diet. I know, of all people, that if your running along, thinking that your eating healthy, or "my diet isn't too bad" that your probably not thinking about micro nutrients. But maybe take the time to access what your eating and how "rich" it is. Maybe there are a few subtle changes you can make.
We also need Vitamins taken as a supplement to eating healthy. I will discuss this later... :)