Dietary supplements: Do we really need them?
Lets look at nature: If you want to grow vegetables in your backyard, you need to prepare the soil. Once the seeds are planted and showing some sprouts, you need to provide them with water and fertilizer. Without those, your vegetables would still grow, but not as well, not as strong. Smart farmers who want their crops to prosper treat their crops with some form of fertilizers, along with the proper amount of water and sun.
Our body is a living thing that is constantly growing. So in order for our body to regenerate itself, we need to supply it with effective fuel. Now, in an ideal world, no one would need dietary supplements: our diets would provide all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients our bodies need.
But unfortunately, we live far from that ideal. Too much of our food is highly processed and loaded with additives The soil that grows our food, because of the abuses of large-scale commercial farming,is no longer naturally fertile, requiring the use of more and more chemical fertilizers. And that is why, some nutrition experts and supplement advocates argue, we need dietary supplements.
When I was in Asia, I had the opportunity to meet the next door grandma who, although in her early 80’s, was still remarkably fit and active. I asked for her secret in aging gracely, and all she said is that she drinks ginseng and other chinese herbal soups on a regular basis, and takes one hour walks, twice a day.
While back home in sunny Santa Monica, I know an elderly couple (both of whom still have the strength of a 30 year old), who frequent the old muscle beach: the husband, in fact, though in his 80’s can still do the travel rings and climb a 25 ft rope! And just like the old grandma, they both credit their health and fitness to eating right, along with the proper use of dietary supplements.
But is it really necessary for someone who is still young and healthy to take dietary supplements? You may think that your diet is healthy enough, but vegetables and dairy foods can only be as good as the soil in which they are grown, and many farmers will agree that their soil is worn out. Why else do they have to add chemical fertilizers at ever increasing rates? If the soil were farmed organically, instead of with a continuing eye to profit, it would be in much better health and so would we.
So, again, do we really need dietary supplements?
I am a strong advocate for dietary supplements. I had such a great transformation because I did rely heavily on supplements as part of my diet . (When I was first started working out it wasnt that great. I was low on protein and didn’t eat any vegetables.) Now, as part of my goal of continuously improving on my diet, I’ve begun consuming tons of superfood (like Shakeology) as antioxidants- California is not the most pollution free area, so I need as much help I can to improve my immune system – along with proper post workout drinks to recover and replenish my muscles so that I can give 100% in my workout the next day.
Furthermore, we all lead busy lives and between commitments to your family, school, work, community, faith and other obligations, our lives are stressed to the max! All of this stress takes a toll on your body and weakens your immune system. Taking supplements can help to bridge that gap and give your body more of the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
So, do you need dietary supplements? I’d say, if your full time job is hunting down high nutritious food, and that you have the funds and resources to get things like natural ginseng, acai, kamu-kamu, coconut water (which is a great electrolyte especially for post workout, or use P90X Recovery Drink), then you might not need any supplements. But if you have a full time job, or if you play intense sports or do intense workouts, if you have family to take care of, and if you do not have the luxury to hunt those superfoods, then you do need supplements.
That is why we buy food at the groceries, because we don’t have the time to farm our own produce, so the same goes with dietary supplements.
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