Why You Need Supplements
You may at this point be asking why, if a plant-based or diet is the healthiest diet we know of, one must supplement the diet. It does seem contradictory that the diet is advocated for its superior nutrient content and yet is nutritionally incomplete. Firstly, the standard western diet is not nutritionally complete to begin with. In the US, 97% of the population are deficient in the nutrient of fiber.
Only 3% meet the daily minimum requirement for fiber intake. If you do not know by now, fiber is only found in plants. Less than 2% of Americans meet the minimum daily requirement for potassium
, which again is highest in plant foods. Water, like potassium, is required by every cell in our body to function correctly; 75% of US adults are also chronically dehydrated
. Water is found in either liquid form, or in food. Animal products contain no water, again, it is only found in fresh fruits and vegetables. B12 deficiencies are common in Vegans and meat eaters alike, and is explored further below. It is recommended that all adults over 50 should be taking a B12 supplement
, regardless of meat consumption or not.
Secondly, our food, in this case fruits and vegetables, is grown by the agri-food industry; not nature. Food grown in nature is nurtured in vastly bio-diverse ecosystems, where soil is naturally rich in minerals and vitamins. The agri-food industry on the other hand grows food on an industrial scale with yield, profit, demand and low cost production at top of mind. As with all industries, profit maximization is the goal,
while nutritional content is an afterthought. In nature, a piece of fruit falls from a tree when it is perfectly ripe; we harvest before it is ready, which leads to lower nutritional content.
The nutritional content of a plant is dependent on the nutrient content of the soil, air, and water in which the plant is grown
. If there is low nutrients in its environment, the plant itself will be of low nutritional value. Sadly, industrialization of farming and mono crop cultures (the growing of only one crop repeatedly in the same field) has resulted in soil so depleted of nutrients that the UK, our nearest neighbour, has only 100 harvests left in its soil as nutrient content sharply declines & bio diversity is lost.
Eat organic fruits and vegetables where possible. If it is outside your budget, aspire to eat partially or wholly organic one day.