It is an unfortunate fact that Americans don’t get all the necessary nutrients for their bodies from the foods they eat. The body needs nine essential amino acids that it can’t produce which must come from foods. The body needs some vitamins and minerals in order to absorb other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin supplements, also unfortunately, have taken the place of dietary nutrition. The human body will fail without proper nutrition. Yet, economics dictate how much or how little food Americans consume, and that is the greatest tragedy of all.
Amino acids are necessary to the production of protein in the body and cannot be obtained through vitamin supplements. They must come from the diet. Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids plus three essential fatty acids. Grains such as rice and wheat breads supply some amino acids. Plants supply one or two and should be combined to obtain all nine amino acids. Nuts and seeds contain some amino acids. Animal products contain the rest of the amino acids. Taken in combination daily with other sources of proper nutrition, any or all of the above will supply the body with the necessary amino acids.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The body does not manufacture fatty acids, so they must come from vitamin supplements. Without fatty acids the body will suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and increased body fat. Fish oil can be ingested from eating fish, but most people don’t or won’t eat as much fish as it would take to fully supply the body with Omega 3s. Supplementation is a necessity.
Iron carries oxygen to cells and tissue in the entire body. Pregnant women in particular need iron or they can become anemic. People usually think iron in the diet must come from animal liver, but that’s not so. Foods such as cooked beef, turkey and white meat chicken supply iron. Other foods rich in iron include oatmeal, soybeans and kidney beans. Iron supplements are a big seller because most Americans don’t get iron through their diet.
Energy seems to flag around three in the afternoon. Instead of reaching for another pot of coffee, try an apple, a small cup of beans, a banana, nuts or whole grain crackers. Fiber alleviates a host of ills such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Fiber cannot be supplemented and must come from our foods. In conjunction with vitamins, fiber increases energy and has been known to strengthen the intestines.
American have long known that proper nutrition in addition to vitamins and vitamin supplements stave off illness and increase energy. That they cannot get all the necessary nutrients from their diet has also long been known. Supplementation is necessary in some cases, although using supplements as a replacement for proper diet is not advised and can be harmful. A wise and informed decision regarding the two is a simple matter of research, which will assure Americans of peak health.