Micronutrients are Essential for your Health
Did you know that there isn’t a single university or collage in America that teaches nutrition as a degree? This is when one out of three American kids born after the year 2000 is either overweight or obese.
Among many Americans who die every year, 27% die of because of heart disease, 23% die because of cancer and 6% die because of strokes.
The American diet is based on 62% calories from processed foods, 25% fat, protein and carbs from animal products and only 10% fiber from fruits and vegetables. Since potatoes are considered vegetable, half of the 10% vegetable in our diet include GMO potatoes, fries or mashed potato.
So What is wrong with Our Diet?
Almost everything! Let me explain.
There are two types of nutrients that our bodies need; micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and they do not have calories. Macronutrients have calories and include fat, carbohydrates and protein.
The problem with the western diet is consuming too much macronutrient and not enough of micronutrient.
Not long ago, scientists believed that minerals and vitamins are the major source of micronutrients and if they could add these minerals and vitamins to our diet, they could prevent a wide range of diseases inclduing cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In 1930s, scientists discovered 14 vitamins and 16 minerals. The food industry started adding vitamins and minerals to most processed foods.
The vitamin industry became a BILLION DOLLAR industry by 1935. However, it was clear that adding minerals and vitamins didn’t make much of a difference in people's health since the rate of cancer or heart disease increased significantly.
Later on, the scientists found out that vitamins and minerals aren’t the major source of micronutrients. They found out that the major sources of micronutrients are phytochemicals, bioflavonoids and antioxidants yet to be discovered. For example, a piece of broccoli has 1000 of micronutrients or berries have more than 700 micronutrients. Here is Dr. Joel Fuhrman's micronutrient density score:
It is clear that a major part of our diet lacks essential micronutrients like phytochemicals, bioflavonoid or antioxidants. Over the last 200,000 years, human bodies have evolved on a diet high in micronutrients. But thanks to agricultural age, our diet is mostly based on processed/cooked foods, dairy or animal products. Processed or cooked foods and animal products might have fat, minerals, carbohydrates or protein, but they do not have enzymes and micronutrients like bioflavonoid, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Research shows that lack of micronutrients and too much macronutrient can increase the accumulation of free radicals in the body as well as appetite. Since cancer cells live in fat and thrive on sugar, cutting down bad bat, sugar and oxygen can significantly reduce the chances of cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
Micronutrients reduce your appetite, help to repair and regenerate body cells and increase your metabolism by burning fat. The more micronutrients you consume, the less hungry you feel. Here is Dr. Joel Fuhrman's health equation about micronutrients: H (Health) = N (Micronutrients) / C (Calories).
This equation simply shows that you are healthier when your consumption of micronutrients is higher than your calorie intake.
Isn’t preventing a problem easier than solving it?
With the current increase in rate of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, shouldn’t we all make nutritional/healthy diet a national priority and a major investment for the future of our country and our kids?