Past issues of the HealthQuest have reviewed nutritional solutions for a variety of different health challenges. All those articles were written with the implied understanding that our readers already maintained a “basic” supplement regimen, hopefully combined with regular exercise, sufficient rest, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated (animal) fats. Sadly, most Americans fail to meet these basic health requirements.
Statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control
Only 27% of adults eat 3 servings of vegetables per day
(while 3-5 are recommended)
Only 13% of students meet the vegetable goal
Only 33% of adults eat 2 servings of fruit per day
(while 2-4 servings are recommended)
Only 32% of students meet the fruit goal
Even worse, these numbers are artificially inflated, because foods like sugared fruit drinks and French Fries are still counted as food “servings”.
Another nutritional issue stems from the fact that industrial farms force-grow our crops, with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on depleted soil. Many fruits are picked green, chilled during storage, and then exposed to ethylene gas to artificially ripen them before sale.
These are among the many reasons why the measured vitamin levels in “conventional” crops continue to decline.
And most alarming, more and more American staple crops are being grown from genetically modified organisms (or GMOs), which have no established track record for their impact on health or their health benefits or pitfalls. European clinical trials that fed animals GMO foods observed that subject deaths went unreported, with damage to their intestinal tracts, and second or even third-generation sterility were reported in their offspring.
All these problems in the food chain, coupled with our questionable dietary habits, emphasize why it’s so critical that we adopt a basic nutrition program,
which will provide all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we need to maintain proper health. That is why Dr. Shaklee always emphasized that the basic core of a nutritional program is a high-quality multivitamin and a plant-based source of protein. This is why Vita-Lea and the earliest version of his soy-isolate protein formulas were developed, well before 1960. He started by creating the basic nutrition program.
We can rest easy because Shaklee products are produced from non-GMO crops that are completely free from pesticides, heavy metal residue or hundreds of other toxic contaminants. Every product is pure and potent. Their supplements are also guaranteed to be bacteria and virus free. Only Shaklee can truthfully make that promise, because do routine purity testing of ALL raw materials, before they ever enter the factory floor.
Considering the endless news reports about product contamination, by even the largest-named manufacturers, why should we place our trust in anyone besides the Shaklee Corporation? To date, they have a 64-year, unblemished reputation for creating amazing products that deliver on their promise wsith no FDA recalls.... ever.
About Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
The simple truth is that we MUST have those key nutrients in our bloodstream every day. But, because the food we eat contains less and less of them, the only way we’ll get all those nutrients would be to graze all day, but according to the CDC almost no one is doing that.
The US Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website contains a list of the 13 “essential” vitamins
and the 15 essential minerals
that are required to sustain life and basic health. I’ll leave it to you to review those 2 websites. The diseases associated with their deficiencies are legend.
Researchers have continued to examine other compounds found in our food, and are producing an ever-growing list of other beneficial substances found in food. They are loosely described as phytonutrients.
These unique compounds help protect plants from attack by germs and viruses, fungi, bugs, and other threats.
In essence, they are the plants own immune system.
While these recently discovered nutrients aren't considered “essential” by the traditional definition, many of them appear to reduce the incidence of the diseases of old age, when we consume more of them in our diet.
Unfortunately, few Americans eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables necessary to claim those health benefits. That is why we need to supplement, to fill in those gaps.
There are thousands of unique phytochemicals, and each one works differently to support our overall health. Here are just a few of their documented properties:
Antioxidant powers — Most phytonutrients have antioxidant activities that protect our cells against oxidative damage, while reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Phytochemicals with antioxidant activity include
- allyl sulfides (onions, leeks, garlic),
- carotenoids (fruits, carrots),
flavonoids (fruits, vegetables), and
- polyphenols (tea, grapes).
Hormonal activities — Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogen, and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis, and have been shown to reduce the incidence of both uterine and breast cancer.
Stimulation of enzymes — Phytochemicals can also act as enzymes to enhance chemical reactions in our cells. These include the terpenes (lemons, roses, and numerous spices)
and the anthocyanins (citrus fruits and cherries).
Cherry extract has recently been shown to provide significant anti-inflammatory properties which are comparable to ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), without any of their well-known adverse side effects.
Anti-bacterial effect — The phytochemical allicin from garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory agent.
Echinacea contains numerous phenols, which contribute to its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
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