Eat your vegetables…but take your multivitamin, too
When you were little, you were probably told countless times by your mom to eat your veggies. Just like your mom’s mom told her to eat her veggies. If you have a child or grandchild of your own, I’m sure you implore them to do the same.
The reason for generations of parents “sounding like a broken record” when it comes to fruits and vegetables is the same: These are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, regular consumption of fruits and veggies has the ability to help you:
- Reduce the risk of chronic or life-threatening conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
- Prevent obesity and maintain a healthier weight
- Lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Live longer overall
But, sadly, as great as fresh produce is for you, it turns out the stuff your grandma ate was much more nutritious that the produce grown today.
Believe it or not, you’d need to eat EIGHT oranges to get the same amount of vitamin A your grandmother got in just one.
The reason? Soil depletion…
Soil Depletion = Nutrient Depletion
Depletion occurs when the components in soil that make it fertile are removed and not replaced. This contributes to the degradation of the minerals in the growing soil, fewer nutrients being transferred from the soil to the plants, and overall poor crop yields.
Modern agricultural practices are the leading cause of soil depletion.
According to UC Berkeley professor Ronald Amundson, author of a 2015 study on this topic, “Ever since humans developed agriculture, we’ve been transforming the planet and throwing the soil’s nutrient cycle out of balance.” 1
One study examined the nutrient composition of 43 garden crops over a nearly 50-year time span. The plants showed significant declines in six nutrients: protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C, with riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2) seeing the steepest drop—38 percent.The researchers believed all this is due to agriculture that has evolved over the years to improve pest resistance, speed of growth, and larger crop yield…but at the expense of nutrient density.2
The soil depletion associated with conventional agricultural practices makes a very strong case in favor of eating organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Organic gardening not only supports better soil fertility, it reduces pollution and soil erosion and conserves water.
Organic farmers practice crop rotation, which means they plant different plants in the same plots of land from one year to the next. This keeps the soil fertile, healthy, and rich in nutrients, which leads to more nutritious crops.
An added bonus is that crop rotation also helps to reduce soil-borne diseases and destructive insects and pests, so it’s a form of natural pest control.
Multis Provide Extra Protection
Along with choosing organic, I believe taking a multivitamin is the second most important thing you can do to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need for optimal health.
A multi should not take the place of good nutrition, but it does fill in the gaps where even the healthiest dietary choices fall short—or where your body is simply not getting what it needs from food alone. From nutrient depletion as discussed above, or lack of variety.
There will always be naysayers when it comes to multivitamins. I’m sure you’ve heard the claim that vitamins produce nothing but expensive urine. But plenty of research—including surveys sanctioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—extols the virtues of the “measly” multivitamin.
In a 2017 review of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers concluded that multivitamins really do protect against deficits in essential vitamins and minerals. They’re especially important for people who take prescription drugs or have chronic infections or illnesses like diabetes. The researchers wrote, “Frequent use of [multivitamin/multimineral supplements] is effective in increasing micronutrient intakes, decreasing prevalence of most nutrient inadequacies, and decreasing risk of deficiencies of vitamins B6, B12, C, and D in the US adult population.”3
There are a ton of multivitamin choices out there, some of them excellent, others inferior in quality and substance. Fortunately, Newport Natural Health takes the confusion and guesswork out of buying a high-quality multivitamin.
Most of the multis on your grocery store shelf haven’t changed much (if at all) since the multivitamin was first developed some 80 years ago. But LifeMax Multivitamin delivers more than 30 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients—formulated to meet our modern health needs.
With no fillers or synthetic nutrients, LifeMax also offers superior absorption and efficacy.
So remember, while the majority of your vitamins and other nutrients should come from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, a top-quality multivitamin provides extra assurance that you’re getting what your body needs, to function optimally, on a daily basis.
Get the Most Out of Your Veggies
In conclusion, here are some simple ways to easily and painlessly add more organic veggies to your diet.
- Buy smart. Vegetables spoil fast, so buy more root vegetables: carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, and the like, which last a lot longer than other veggies.
- Cook simply. For best flavor, try roasting. Season with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and a few herbs. Roasted veggies store well in the fridge for a few days and reheat easily in the oven or microwave, so make a bunch at once and enjoy throughout the week.
- Hide them. Sneak veggies into favorites like casseroles or burgers. Grate carrots, zucchini, and cauliflower florets, for example, and mix them in while cooking. They blend well with meat, and you get all the health benefits of eating the vegetable.
- Juice them. When you juice instead of cook, you get nutrients not compromised by heat. These nutrients are more bioavailable because your body isn’t fighting to digest fiber. And juicing non-starchy vegetables prevents blood sugar and insulin spikes. Popular juicing vegetables include collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, beets, celery, peppers, carrots, and ginger.
- Yang S. Human security at risk as depletion of soil accelerates, scientists warn. Berkeley News. 7 May 2015. Last accessed February 17, 2020.
- Davis DR, et al. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. Last accessed February 17, 2020.
- Blumberg JB, et al. Impact of Frequency of Multi-Vitamin/Multi-Mineral Supplement Intake on Nutritional Adequacy and Nutrient Deficiencies in U.S. Adults. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 9;9(8). Last accessed February 17, 2020.