Vitamins and minerals play key roles in our ability to live our best lives and feel like our best, healthiest selves:
- Vitamin D may improve our mood
- Magnesium may empower us to better handle stress
- Vitamin B12 may boost our energy levels
- And much more!
Unfortunately, these vital nutritional needs are also among the most common nutritional deficiencies found in people. Even with the best goals and intentions, there are three surprising reasons why we may not be getting enough of these nutrients.
Are you Getting Enough Daily Nutrition?
We’re Not Eating as Healthy as We Think We Are
Just over three quarters of Canadians think they follow healthy eating habits, says a Dietitians of Canada survey. But actual statistics paint a different mealtime story.
For example, a report found that while many of us try not to skip breakfast — the most important meal of the day — most Canadians spend as little as 60 seconds making breakfast. And studies suggest that in our early morning rush, that may be why more and more of us are stopping at fast food restaurants for our day’s first meal. Market research shows breakfast sandwiches are one of the biggest fast food trends in our country!
Breakfasts aside, government research notes that our fruit and vegetable consumption is a great “health indicator…for good eating habits.” Unfortunately, Statistics Canada warns that only 50.1% of Canadian women and 37% of Canadian men eat our recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Even if we’re the exception and manage to eat a healthy diet high in fresh veggies and fruit, these foods are shockingly getting less and less healthy over time.
Healthy Food Only Grows in Healthy Soil
The nutritional content of our food starts with the health of the soil in which it’s grown. Unfortunately, modern agriculture’s focus on squeezing more and more productivity out of every square metre of farmland is taking a dramatic toll on our soil health, and thus our food health. In one estimate by the Nutrition Security Institute, Canadian soil has lost 85 per cent of its mineral content in just 100 years!
To combat poor soil nutrition, farms are turning to massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers. In a 30-year period, Canadian farms doubled their use of such fertilizers, reports Statistics Canada But synthetic fertilizers harm soil health even more, warns registered dietitian Sharon Palmer for Today’s Dietitian, and combined with soil erosion, pesticide use and toxic pollution, it may be making the foods we eat increasingly less nutritious.
The Proof is in Our Bodies
Whether it’s due to unhealthy food habits or the alarming drop in the nutrition of our food, more and more of us are exhibiting signs of nutritional deficiencies.
According to Health Canada, many Canadian adults don’t get enough magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and potassium, to name a few.
Take vitamin D for example: Approximately a third of Canadians don’t eat enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, and this number skyrockets to 40 per cent of all Canadians during the winter when it’s less sunny outdoors.
How to Address Nutritional Deficiencies
1. Talk to a Healthcare Professional
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to diet and supplements. Talk to a doctor, dietitian or naturopathic doctor if you’re worried about whether you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals, especially if you’re experiencing general signs of a nutrient deficiency like chronic fatigue, irritability, problems sleeping and more.
2. Eat more organic food
Studies are not conclusive on this matter, but a scientific panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that organic farming improves soil health and avoids the “nutrient dilution” created by excessive use of synthetic fertilizers. And in 2015, a group of international scientists published a major study in the British Journal of Nutrition and found that organic fruits and vegetables have up to 60 per cent more nutrients than non-organic crops.
3. Get a quick, healthy nutrition booster
It can be hard to remember all the vitamins you should be taking and work to optimize your diet every single day.
Boost your nutrition daily with LeanFit’s new All-in-One complete nutrition protein shake. The All-in-One shake nets you 20 grams of protein, plus fruits, vegetables, greens and superfoods, some of which are organic!
It also delivers 50 percent of our recommended daily intake of 24 different vitamins and minerals to ensure we don’t have any nutrient gaps in our day.