How Essential are Trace Elements to our Health?
It is a fundamental fact that what we eat is essential to good health! This was described as far back as 450BC by Hippocrates where it was discovered that a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables could lead to disease. It is not only the vitamins and minerals within these products that are essential to maintain health but also minute amounts of trace elements. We are told that simply ‘eating healthy’ will give us the nutrients we need. However, what healthy eating is for some is not the same for the others and information on what is ‘healthy’ can also be very contradictory! Furthermore, it can be debated as to whether we really are getting everything we need from the fruit and vegetables grown in essentially over-cropped soil.
What is ‘healthy eating`?
Healthy eating should basically be a varied diet with a balanced amount of protein, carbs, fruit and vegetables. Many people however, especially those wanting to lose weight, eat a high protein diet while others are addicted to a diet of highly processed carbohydrates. Essential to a balanced diet though is fruit, and more particularly vegetables. Research though has proven that the quality of the soil we use today to grow crops is often lacking in the essential minerals that it once had. The continuous cropping of this soil has led to the foods produced being nutrient depleted.
Furthermore, fertilizers do not contain any trace elements that nourish the soil and there are also many problems with soil oxidation and soil PH. Exacerbating this, is the fact that there are many people who do not ‘eat healthy’, with a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, and instead live on fast ‘modern’ food, filled with herbicides and pesticides, additives, conservatives and flavourings.
So where are we Getting the Nutrients From?
With such depletion in the soil, it is obvious we are not getting these essential elements in the amount that we need. The question then must be raised as to what exactly is the amount we need to have as our Recommended Daily Allowance. For most nutritionists the RDA is the absolute minimum before deficiencies arise. It therefore makes sense to assume that if we are not getting the trace elements, we need from the food we eat, then we are generally eating on the edge or below our RDA.
For those of us with access and know-how, we can avoid these deficiencies with good quality, easily absorbable supplements. For those who have no access or know-how, or even those taking inadequate products, the bodies store house is running on empty. The results of this can be seen not only physically but also mentally, with certain trace element deficiencies leading to ADHD, anxiety, aggression, bipolar disorders, depression, PMS and even schizophrenia. Our brain, as with the rest of the body, requires nutrition in order to function. Many professionals say that adequate nutrition comes from a good quality diet. Unfortunately, a ‘good quality diet’ isn’t enough anymore.
There is a long list of trace elements that are essential to our dietary intake and all play a vital role. The amounts vary between mineral to mineral but even if we need them in minute amounts, we cannot survive without them. Some common trace element deficiencies can have substantial mental health implications. In order to prevent the increase in certain mental disorders, and as our intake of minerals through food is inadequate, the best we can do is choose a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement in order to keep our body and mind free from possible life-debilitating illnesses.