The nutritional decline

2018-04-04 06:03

A 2012 STUDY by Popkin et al shows that our diets have changed significantly over the past few decades.

With modern diets too often dominated by processed foods, unhealthy fats and sugar, we’ve seen sharp global spikes in statistics relating to lifestyle illnesses like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Terrifyingly, even if your diet does contain fresh vegetables, they’re probably not providing the same nutritional clout as they did 50 years ago. According to Scheer and Moss (2018) of Scientific American, the soil depletion that is caused by intensive agricultural methods means that the nutritional value of our fresh fruits and vegetables is decreasing.

Ray (2015), of the New York Times’ science Q&A column, says that this nutritional decline is caused by more than just soil depletion. It can also be attributed to changes in farming methods, processing, preparation, pesticides, chemical fertilisers and the preference for high-yielding crops, which is associated with lower nutritional density.

• The role of supplements

How can we get enough nutrients to keep us healthy? Ray (2015) says that the best approach is to eat “more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans, and less refined sugars, separated fats and oils and white flour and rice, which … have all suffered losses much greater than the potential losses for garden crops.”

Additionally, you can take nutritional supplements like vitamins and minerals. While they’ll not replace a healthy diet, many experts believe that supplements can help to bridge the gap between the nutrients you get from your food and what your body needs.

Some of the common supplements.

• Multivitamins

According to MedilinePlus (2018), there are 13 essential vitamins that we need for healthy cell function and development, including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, multiple B vitamins, and folate (folic acid). According to Whitaker (2018), a daily multivitamin can support your health in many ways, including helping you to:

• manage your stress

• improve your skin

• boost your mood

• detoxify the body

• boost energy levels

• support healthy ageing

• maintain muscle strength

• correct nutritional deficiencies

• omega fish oils

Probiotics are the bacterial micro-organisms that live in your gut. When this stomach flora is out of balance, supplementing with a probiotic can help to:

• reduce cholesterol

• lose weight and belly fat

• alleviate digestive issues

• boost the immune system

• improve several mental health issues

• reduce the severity of some allergies

Mohr (2017), a nutrition consultant and author, says that less than six percent of men and nine percent of women between the ages of five and 34 consume the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Leafy greens form an especially potent part of that count. According to Alam (2017), they may prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you don’t get enough leafy greens (in salads or smoothies), taking a supplement can help.

Herbal treatments

EnCognitive.com author Nancy Kalish (2018) says there are many powerful herbal and natural supplements available too, like: turmeric for inflammation, St John’s Wort for depression, Cinnamon for blood sugar control and cholesterol, and garlic for cardiovascular health and cancer prevention. If you want to add a new supplement to your regimen, do your research and talk to your pharmacist or local health professional. — Supplied.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.