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Are You Getting Your Essential Nutrients?

October 2, 2010

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            Do you eat a balanced healthy diet? Eating a balanced diet will ensure that your body is receiving the essential nutrients that it needs to function at an optimal level. When you don’t get these essential nutrients the bodies functioning diminishes. Overtime the lack of essential vitamins and minerals causes nutritional deficiency as well as a decline in health.  It can cause health threatening diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, fatigue, or weakness, deficiency diseases such as scurvy, beriberi, or kwashiorkor, or chronic systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. In very severe cases it can lead to death.


            The body is a unique organism the functions entirely on its own. The chemical composition of the body is so extraordinary that everyday scientists and researches learn new processes, substances, and reactions that occur within the body. One of the many extraordinary aspects of the human body includes the ability to synthesize its own substances. These elements also known as non essential nutrients are produced by the body and used in the body. However, not all the synthesized substances are produced in adequate amounts. These are called essential nutrients because even though the body can produce small amounts of the elements it still needs additional resources from outside the body. Furthermore the substances that the body cannot manufacture such as vitamins and minerals have to be introduced through food sources otherwise the body lacks essential nutrients.



            The essential nutrients that the body requires are vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. In addition water and oxygen are required to sustain life and cannot be created adequately within the body, however most often than not they are not included in the list of essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are substances that enrich the body by building and repairing tissues, providing energy and heat and regulating metabolism. If just one of these essential nutrients is missing then certain functions within the body will deteriorate until they stop working. Most often the initial signs of deficiencies are missed, however overtime the symptoms grow.



            Due to the American lifestyle deficiencies are becoming more and more frequent. Junk food, fast food, high fat content and processed sugars run rampant within the diets of Americans. Foods that are high in fat, sugar or grease don’t have any of the essential nutrients that the body needs. This has led to the increase of disease, obesity and death within our society. Natural and organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein are all excellent sources of essential nutrients and should be consumed on a daily basis as part of a balanced diet. If you are concerned about your diet or want to learn if you have any nutritional deficiencies contact your medical provider. Nutritionists, chiropractic physicians, acupuncturists, herbalists and other medical professions can determine if you are nutritionally deficient.  They can set you up with meal planning, nutritional supplementation and guidance to help alleviate these problems.



            Nutritional supplementation is one of the fastest growing health markets available today. One of the reasons is that nutritional supplementation although regulated by the FDA; they do not fall under the same guidelines as conventional food and drugs. Therefore manufacturers are required to market safe supplements but are not required to register their products with the FDA. Nutritional supplementation is a great way to decrease your symptoms of deficiency, improve your health and regulate body function. However finding the appropriate supplementation is important. Always check with your physician before taking a nutrition supplementation. Check the ingredients to make sure you are not allergic and to make sure there are no additives that could be harmful to you. Not all nutritional supplements will have the same effect on every person. Although it is ok to take an overabundance in some essential nutrients because the body will excrete the extra amount, however other nutrients can be harmful in extra large amounts therefore it is important to make sure you need to be taking the supplement before you waste your time and money. A simple blood test can determine the most common deficiencies.