Why Food Isn't Always Enough
Of course, getting your vitamins and minerals from real food is the ideal. However, as a working mom with two picky toddlers and as a registered dietitian, I. encounter a long list of scenarios in which real food just doesn't cut it, and I thank the heavens for the modern-day convenience of supplements (like Vitaminis!) to fill in the gaps.
Maybe you, like me, set off with the best of intentions to fill every plate (mine and my kids’) with vegetables, but by the end of the day, consider it a win if even one serving of veg gets down the hatch. If you can’t relate, because you are a veggie-eating rockstar, consistently getting your 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies every day, you still might benefit from supplementing your diet
with additional nutrients like those found in Vitaminis - magnesium, vitamin C, fiber and more.
Here’s why: First, certain life stages – think preconception, pregnancy and postpartum, and rapidly growing kiddos – simply demand more nutrition. During these times of life, bodies need more vitamins and minerals to support rapid cell growth and division, blood volume expansion, etc., and it’s challenging to get enough of all the needed micronutrients from food alone – even with the
healthiest of diets. The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, reports that most women of reproductive age, in the US, are not getting enough vitamins A, C, B6, E, folate, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in their diet.
Another life “stage” that demands more nutrition are times of high stress. (“Stage” is in quotes because for too many of us, ‘stressed out’ is the norm, not a passing phase.) Whether physical stress from fighting off a virus or intense exercise, or mental/emotional stress from the demands of adulting, stress makes our adrenal glands work overtime, and in so doing, they burn through nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium. You can help support your stress response with additional vitamin and minerals for optimal adrenal function.
Yet another factor is soil depletion due to modern agriculture practices. When soils lack key minerals, so too does our food. Researchers have found significant reductions in the levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium in our fruits and vegetables over the past 80 years.
Now, let’s say you’re eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, grown in the healthiest, richest soils, then there’s the consideration of how well you can absorb those nutrients. If your gut health is suboptimal- think constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, heartburn, etc.- these symptoms are not just nuisance; they’re also indicative of reduced absorptive capacity in your GI tract. In other words, rather than all those vital nutrients getting from your food into your cells where they’re needed to make energy, they’re getting flushed down the pot.
This entire discussion of why you may need additional vitamins and minerals beyond what you’re getting from your food, has assumed you’re actually eating your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. So now, back to reality, because most of us are not.
Even as a dietitian who has dedicated my career to the power of food as medicine, I struggle to get in all the veggies that I know I should. Because this is real life. And there are so many real-life scenarios that, like it or not, limit our ability to get all the nourishing food we need.
For example, picky kids! In my home-life, I live with two tyrants (ahem… I mean toddlers) who will only eat green if it’s disguised in a muffin. But they WILL drink “juice” even if it’s a healthy vitamin drink like Vitaminis disguised as “juice”.
In my professional life, I help women reverse infertility and enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Even the healthiest of pregnancies, however, often includes debilitating nausea. A time when you feel like you should be eating aaaallll the veggies to give babe-to-be the best possible debut into the world, yet the site of spinach makes you want to yak. Thank heavens for supplements like Vitaminis to take the pressure off, so you can rest assured you’re giving baby what she needs,
even if all you can eat are saltines.
And for those of you parents who have littles in your arms, you get it that feeding yourself anything is a triumph, much less 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables!
I’m sure as you read through this blog, you thought of a gazillion other barriers that stymie the best of vegetable-eating intentions. That’s why I’m so thankful for innovative companies like Vitaminis, making it easier (and tastier!) than ever to get that needed nutrient boost.
Written By: Anna Bohnengel, Fertility Nutritionist