In France and Western countries, the majority of the population has access to a varied and fairly balanced diet. Cases of childhood rickets, scurvy or beriberi have completely disappeared from public health statistics. However, it is important to note that the modern diet, produced by the food industry turns out to be be inadequate to our nutritional and micronutrionals requirements, directly impacting our health. Therefore Nutritherapy is increasingly essential.
Modern Diet and Nutrients
The modern diet is rich in calories but poor in nutrients. It has specific characteristics unsuited to the human body, which has a hard time assimilating or is simply deprived of certain essential nutrients. It is important to remember the role of the diet in human evolution through the ages. Both the human body and nature can adjust, but only over the very long term. Yet the modern diet has changed considerably in the past 70 years. This change would be one explanation for the increase in lifestyle diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.).
Drawbacks of the Modern Diet
- Aggressive cooking methods that completely or partially destroy the nutritional quality of food.
- Intensification of crop and livestock breeding, land phytosanitary treatment of soil, which undermine the intrinsic nutritional qualities of plants and animals.
- Inappropriate methods of harvesting and storing fruits and vegetables. Currently, immature fruits and vegetables, which do not yet have their full complement of vitamins, are harvested. These fruits and vegetables are also chemically treated against rotting. The prolonged storage of fruits and vegetables promotes the breakdown of vitamins by natural oxidation.
- Industrialization of the diet: industrial refining and additives in the preparation of complex dishes.
- Unstructured meals with low intakes of fruits and vegetables.
Overuse and Deficiencies
Lifestyle and environmental factors have a certain impact on our nutritional needs leading to overuse of nutrients. Here are a few examples of this:
- Stress causes magnesium and B vitamins to be lost in the urine. These deficiencies make us more sensitive to stress and exacerbate the feeling of being unwell. Over the long term, stress can have consequences on health in general.
- Fatigue related to the aftermath of infections, overwork and stress causes overuse of all nutrients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements.
- Industrial pollution, smoking and taking certain medications also causes overuse of all micronutrients. They produce free radicals which accelerate cell destruction, a source of accelerated aging and breakdown in the genetic complement of cells.
- Athletics cause overuse of all micronutrients (perspiration) and also generate free radicals by oxidative stress.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding cause overuse of all micronutrients.
- The sun generates large quantities of free radicals and therefore leads to excess consumption of reparative micronutrients.
Free radicals alter molecules in our bodies by the effect of pollution, radiation and sun exposure (these are free electrons). Very active free radicals attack the constituents of the cell and are responsible for pathological processes and degenerative diseases. The consequences can be serious: free radicals promote carcinogenesis and exacerbate all inflammatory processes and cardiovascular problems.
Finally, excess consumption of medications has significant side effects that lead to more medical prescriptions to relieve these side effects. Furthermore, the extension in life expectancy facilitated by medical progress is concomitant with excessive medication consumption.
How the Nutritherapy Serve the Human Being
An ideal diet is increasingly impossible. Indeed, micronutrients provided by the diet are limited, due to intensive agriculture and soil depletion. The modern diet and lifestyle also reduce micronutrient intake while increasing need (overuse). Finally, we are subjected to massive attacks by free radicals due to changes in the environment and our lifestyles.
It is possible to act, by choosing whenever possible food from organic agriculture that you will cook yourself, while making use of supplementation, that is to say, taking dietary supplements, that are appropriate for your needs.