Vitamins are natural substances that help your body with important tasks like growing and healing. Without them, your body can’t work properly! The biggest debate over vitamins and supplements is the question, “If I eat a balanced diet, won’t I get all the vitamins I need?” In short, no.
Modern diets consist of over-processed foods and lifeless foods which produce little enzyme activity and contain little or no fibrous material. We are eating devitalized foods that are not fresh, with fewer nutrients.
All the natural fiber, such as grain peels, have been removed in the refining stages. Because of this the diet is poor in fiber, digestion is slow and the waste materials stay in the body longer. This sets up the perfect condition for toxic materials to form. Also, processed foods can contain huge amounts of chemicals and toxins which were added in the processing.
Even if you do not eat any processed foods, the farming industry has changed incredibly over the last 20 years. Genetic modifications, gene splicing, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and the lack of crop rotations all contribute to the lack of nutrients in our foods.
Why are they salty? Because salt (sodium chloride) helps prevent spoiling by drawing moisture out of food so bacteria can't grow. Salt also kills existing bacteria that might cause spoiling. At one time, salting was one of the only methods available.
Additionally, the food that has been processed contains a lack of enzymes. Every metabolic function in our body and every chemical reaction that keeps us healthy is helped by enzymes. An enzyme is a catalyst, which makes something work more efficiently. The oil in your automobile engine is a catalyst. Although your engine runs on gasoline, how efficient would it run without oil? This is an example of a catalyst which helps reactions take place more efficiently.
Without enzymes there is no life. Enzymes run the body. Every day your body burns enzymes to run our organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, as well as the trillions of individual cells that carry on life. Those enzymes need to be replaced as the body uses them up.
Your body re-supplies enzymes by manufacturing them or by receiving them from an outside source. They come from raw foods - vegetables, fruits, and even meat. They can be converted for bodily needs.
When there aren't enough enzymes available on a daily basis, your body begins to cut back from various bodily functions. For instance, hair may become dry, nails may crack and skin may become dry - giving the appearance of an older person. Then more critical, the liver will not be able to handle the excretion of waste products.
Fifty percent of all enzymes burned by the body are used in digesting our food. When insufficient enzymes are available for the digestion process the body steals them from other organs. Evidence, the high number of indigestion aids sold and the fact that you get sleepy after a meal. The body is stealing energy (enzymes) from other bodily functions. Without these enzymes, due to the lack of them in the food we eat, the average person only digests about 30 to 70% of what they eat.
Processed foods and most all packaged foods do not contain live enzymes. When any food is heated over 112 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzyme activity is destroyed. The bottom line is that when we put foods that are void of adequate nutrition and void of any enzymes into our bodies, we eventually run down. The destruction of live enzymes do not permit our food to be thoroughly digested. Then our immune system becomes weakened, and we develop degenerative diseases.
Many scientific studies have been conducted on how this effects our health. In the 1940, a medical doctor named Dr Pottenger wanted to know how processed foods affected our health. He financed his own research, so he wasn't influenced by any big business interests to come up with certain results. Dr. Pottenger studied 900 cats over a period of several generations.
Dr. Pottenger divided his cats into 5 groups. The first two groups he fed raw food and they remained healthy throughout the experiment. The remaining three groups were fed processed foods. The first generation of these cats developed degenerative health conditions (arthritis, allergies, diabetes, etc) near the end of their life. The second generation cats developed the same health conditions during the middle of their life span. The third generation of cats developed the same health conditions very early in life.
The same is seen today in humans. Children are being born with chronic degenerative diseases or are developing them much earlier in life. This is a relatively new phenomena, but nevertheless the trend in humans is following Dr. Pottenger's experiments very closely. In addition, Pottenger found his third generation cats could not conceive or if they did they aborted. Right now, in America, 25% of young adults are sterile and they cannot conceive and miscarriages are on the rise. Have you noticed a rise in Fertility Clinics?
In Today's Health, a magazine published by the American Medical Association, an article appeared which indicated that many researchers are convinced that virtually all disease can be traced to missing or faulty enzymes.
Why are processed foods not good?
There are forty nutrients that cannot be made in the body. They are essential fatty acid, 15 vitamins, 14 minerals, and 10 amino acids. Collectively these forty nutrients are spoken of as the body's requirements. From these our bodies synthesized an estimated 10,000 different compounds essential to the maintenance of health. All the forty nutrients work together. Therefore, the lack of any one might result in the underproduction of hundreds of these essential compounds. Processed foods contain refined sugar, extra salt and other flavor enhancers. Processed foods contain unhealthy fats.
Unhealthy chemical additives are added to foods so that they stay fresh longer. Chemicals such as MSG is added. Processed foods increase your body's level of homocysteine. (Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in blood plasma. High levels of homocysteine in the blood are believed to increase the chance of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis.) Many processed foods are filled with strange parts and pieces. For example hot dogs contain "edible offal"???
Processing takes a lot of nutrients out of the nutrient rich foods. Processed foods are fortified with synthetics. Most of the pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, cholin, inositol, vitamins B6 and E are discarded in the milling of breads and the refining of flour for cereals. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added. Although helpful, these synthetics are not as healthy as their natural counterparts. The amounts of vitamins returned in "enriched" flour are far less than the quantity that naturally occurs. Much of the goodness is cooked or processed out of our foods. We do not benefit from the enzymes and nutrients the foods normally contain. The missing nutrients which allow illnesses to develop have been discarded in processing and refining foods. Research shows that disease produced by combinations of deficiencies can be corrected when all nutrients are supplied.
What can we do?
Since our normal food supply sources do not contain enough vitamins minerals or enzymes for the body to get the complete nutritional intake necessary to maintain health. We must supply them with supplemental nutrition. Remember that 50% of the body's enzymes are used for digestion.
What vitamins do you need: A good Whole Food Multivitamin, Digestive Enzymes and a high quality fish oil.