January 2nd. Deep sigh. You start making that equally-anticipated but also equally-dreaded list of New Year's Resolutions. And if you are like most Americans, healthy eating/losing weight/better physical fitness tops your list.
Unfortunately, from day one to day eight alone, five percent of Americans drop those resolutions, and that number starts to double past one month, and even more after six weeks. And according to University of Scranton research, only 8% of Americans ever actually accomplish that resolution. With such seemingly daunting odds stacked against us, don't we want to make sure that our health regiments are set up for success right out of the gate?
Nowadays, losing weight and attaining better physical health may require more than just a good diet and lots of exercise, as the nutritional values of food start to diminish. Take fruits and vegetables, for example. When harvested at the peak of their "ripe" stage, the macronutrients and other invaluable minerals they host support a wide-range of bodily functions in the human body. But the reality to this is that most humans do not have the resources, space, knowledge, time, etc. to produce these foods in their home gardens. Therefore, we are left to source crucial fruits and vegetables from our local grocery store--where crops have spent on average about 5 days in transit time from harvest to store, another 1-3 days in storage, 1-3 days on a shelf, and maybe even another 7 days in the consumers refrigerator before consumption. For fruits and vegetables grown only in very sensitive climates, those delays can be extended even longer. And while those foods are being transported from the field to your belly, many essential nutrients have already begun to break down and decompose, not to mention cooking breaks down macro nutrients even further (a research article published by Diane M. Barrett, Ph.D., of University of California, Davis, concludes that 15-55% of Vitamin C can be lost from fresh fruits and vegetables during the cooking process.) And what about the soil? Soil depletion strips the very land that feeds your food of the nutrients they need to produce nutrients in exchange.
Let's not forget the meat--46% of an average American's protein intake comes from meat alone. Meat also carries a variety of vitamins and nutrients essential to the human body, such as Iron (used in oxygen transportation), Zinc (immune system health) and Vitamin B-12 (found almost exclusively in meats and animal products, and used for energy and nervous system support.) And as farmers try to meet demand for high-output meat with low-input costs, the food they feed their beef, pork, chickens, seafood, etc. may contain less-than-sufficient amounts of those nutrients too. Less nutrients to them=less nutrients to you.
Simply put, a diet consisting of whole foods may no longer give your body the ample amount of nutrients that it needs--no matter how much you may "calculate" it (and let's be honest--who has time to sit down and do that anyways?!) Intense or increased exercise also increase your need for a vitamin "boost". Exercise--which plays an irreplaceable role in physical health and body composition--bumps up your body's processing of key nutrients. As those nutrients are used up during or post-exercise, without the support of supplementation your diet has to stretch even further to include these minerals in higher amounts.
Enter now: vitamins and supplements. We are talking small, concentrated doses of the very minerals that your body is not getting from your diet, made to meet and/or exceed daily recommended servings of everything from Vitamin A to Zinc. And one of the best parts? Supplements such as multivitamins or other "single bottle solutions" can provide ingredients that service your body in more than one way. For example, Mt. Angel Vitamins' Premium Multivitamins contain a clinically-studied, trademarked material called KSM-66® Ashwagandha root extract. During the formulation process, Head Formulator and Director of Quality & Compliance John Mills researched this trademarked ashwagandha and the benefits it hosts, to make the Mt. Angel Vitamins Men's, Women's, Men's 50+, and Women's 50+ Multis all encompassing. This material "supports the vital energy associated with everyday living", "promotes a healthy response to everyday stress", "supports alertness and mental clarity", and "enhances sports performance" (good for you gym rats out there!) He also included Lutemax ® 2020 Lutein for eye health, CoQ10 for heart health, and a variety of other vital but sparse vitamins that are often lacking or in very short supply from a typical American diet. Don't forget supplementation of other vitamins too, such as Vitamin D (Everyday Liquid Sunshine from Mt. Angel Vitamins) can help with those winter blues and Biotin/Hyaluronic Acid (Nutrisilk from Mt. Angel Vitamins) can help with hair, nail growth and skin health to complement the "new you".
Bottom line: if we apply supplementation to our health "plan of attack", our chances of success--especially when it comes to fueling your body right--are increased. Better fuel for your body can lead to better performance, and better performance can lead to better results. So, when running those New Year's errands consisting of gym memberships, grocery lists, water bottles and new workout clothes, think twice about the food you are putting in your body and more specifically, what you aren't putting in your body that maybe you should be. And then, consider a supplement or two.