Do you eat healthily, seasonally and locally but still your nails are soft, or your skin dull, you feel tired, have the 3pm cravings, have mood fluctuations etc etc. You see where we are going here. The cause could be nutritional deficiencies. We explore the possible reasons for this and what you can do to combat it.
Decrease in nutrition in produce nowadays
Most of us don't realise it, but the produce we buy at the grocery store today isn't as nutritious as what our grandparents ate. Our ancestors had access to "heirloom" strains of fruits and vegetables that were more nutritious than those grown commercially today because of advances in technology like pesticides and fertilisers. While some people may think this is a good thing (and with fewer bugs on their produce there's less chance for contamination), many scientists believe this decrease in nutrition has negative effects on our health over time.
Fertiliser doesn't contain the same micronutrients as compost and manure
Fertiliser is a large-scale industrial product that contains minerals mined from the earth. Compost, manure and other organic matter sources have more micronutrients than fertiliser and are therefore more effective at feeding plants. Micronutrients are important for plant growth. They are what makes those deep green leaves on your kale so perky.
Pesticides may also cause poor nutrition
These chemicals are used to kill pests, but they can also kill the good bugs that help plants grow and eat insects. They can also kill microorganisms in the soil, which are essential for plant growth. Pesticides have been linked to lower levels of nutrients in produce as well as reduced amounts of vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables.
Produce is picked before it's fully ripe
The food we eat today is not as nutritious as it was in the past because produce is picked before it's fully ripe. The shorter the lifespan of produce, the less time for nutrients to develop.
It used to be that most fruits and vegetables were available only locally in season, so they were picked when ripe and consumed within a few days when their nutrients were highest. Today, however, produce travels long distances from farm to market before being sold at grocery stores where customers buy them weeks or even months after being harvested. This phenomenon has been called “food miles” - the distance between where your food is grown and where you consume it.
Nutritional deficiencies can be caused by eating processed foods, or not eating enough or too much of certain foods
The body needs a balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to function properly. If you don't consume enough of these nutrients, they are missing from your body’s stores, and it can lead to health problems. Eating processed food, such as highly processed factory-made breads and cereals, doesn't give your body the right balance of vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly, which is why it's important to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts instead.
Also pay attention to how much you're eating. If you're consuming too many calories every day (more than 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women) but not getting enough fibre from fresh fruits and vegetables, then this could also result in nutritional deficiencies due to insufficient intake of fibre which helps maintain good digestion.
Processed food can be harmful to your health
Processed foods are often high in fat and sugar, which can contribute to weight gain and heart disease. They're also typically high in sodium, which can cause hypertension if consumed in excess. Processed foods often contain hard-to-pronounce ingredients and additives that are linked to everything from cancer to diabetes. And because of their chemical nature, processed foods may have a negative impact on our mental health as well: research has shown that the more junk food we consume, the less satisfied we tend to feel
Nutrient deficiencies can also cause mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression
As you may have heard, most mental illnesses are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, there’s evidence that nutrient deficiencies can be a factor in mental health. Studies have found that people who suffer from anxiety or depression often have lower levels of certain nutrients such as vitamin D which is needed for healthy brain function and omega-3 fatty acids which help with mood stability.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to symptoms like irritability, insomnia, lack of energy and depression. The stress hormone cortisol can affect our moods when levels get too high or low—a problem which some people experience when they don’t eat enough protein or fat each day. A diet lacking in these vital nutrients could lead to an imbalance in serotonin production (the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating your mood) which may cause symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
These examples show just how important it is to maintain good nutrition while managing your mental health conditions.
Most people need supplements
Everyone needs the right vitamins and minerals for their body to function properly. The best thing you can do is eat a wide variety of foods each day and make sure they include some of the key nutrients discussed above. But getting all the nutrients you need from food can be difficult as outlined above.
Supplements are an easy way to get these nutrients in one convenient package, especially in times when we are busy and stressed out. However, it is important to remember that they are no substitute for a healthy diet.
We are strong believers in food and movement first as the fundamentals of good health. If you are feeling a bit lost because your body is constantly changing your goal posts, you won’t regret investing in a nutritionist for guidance and good quality supplements.
How BePure and Eve products can help
BePure’s one core purpose is to transform lives. With over 15 years’ experience, their supplements are high-strength, high-quality formulations, grounded in science and research. In a nutshell, their products are designed to work with everything you need and none of the nasties you don’t.
BePure’s Eve range focuses on the female body, whether it is to support relief in times of overwhelm and stress, to support a balanced, regular and drama-free cycle, to support hormones, hair, skin and energy to thrive and glow or to help carpe that diem in the mornings.