When it comes to living a healthy life, what do you put at the top of your list of things to improve? Is it increasing your exercise? Sleeping more? Eating more nutritious foods?
We know that all of these are extremely important for good health, yet many tend to struggle with making some of these lifestyle changes. This is especially true when it comes to eating more nutritious foods including vegetables and fruits.1
I've noticed that many dieters tend to eat the exact same foods every day - you know the routine - baby carrots, an apple, boiled egg, low-fat greek yogurt, turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread - rinse and repeat. Sure, it might not be those exact foods EVERY day, but you get the idea. This dietary repetitiveness can lead to boredom and even distaste for certain foods. More importantly, it can severely limit the diversity of nutrients that you are consuming. You might be getting adequate amounts or even too much of some nutrients, while completely missing out on others.
Improving the diet is difficult for some people simply because of personal taste. Perhaps you just don’t like the flavors or textures of certain foods and choose to avoid them. I can certainly sympathize with that - as much as I want to like raw tomatoes, there's just something about them that I can't get around - even straight out of the garden! Don't get me wrong - I love them cooked, and will eat just about anything else out of the garden - but the point is sometimes we just don't like certain foods. Now there are things you can do to train your tastebuds to like foods, and learning to cook with healthy herbs and spices helps a lot as well - but that's a discussion for another day.
I can't tell you how many times I've had patients tell me that they wanted to eat healthier but just couldn't afford or even find the healthy options in their local stores. Unfortunately, for many this is unavoidable since the healthiest foods are fresh with short shelf lives which drives up the price at the store and limits how far they can be transported before spoiling.
Nutritional value tends to decline when foods are preserved by canning, cooking, etc. so those cheaper options are generally less nutritious. This is a significant barrier to millions of people who wish to eat healthier but do not have access to fresh healthy foods.2–6
Now remember, the cost of illness is also very high. So the money you save on cheap processed food may just go right back into expensive medications, procedures, and doctors visits that we'd prefer to avoid. Also remember that more expensive doesn't always mean healthier - though a lot of times it seems to be that way.
Even when people are able to find and purchase healthy foods, they encounter another barrier with the time required for food prep and cooking - or perhaps there is a lack of knowledge about how to cook healthy meals. Many of us have very busy lives and don't have a lot of free time that we are willing to give up to prepare healthy homemade meals. You made the healthy choice to join a fitness club - but that just ate away at what little time you had for cooking, cleaning, socializing, hobbies, and relaxation!
Not enough time - not enough money - so we turn to cheap convenient food options. But generally speaking, the low-cost convenience foods that we routinely turn to don't provide the nutrients or potent antioxidants that the body needs. Many practitioners are beginning to recognize that for some of their patients, a nutritional supplement may be the only way to consistently get them the nutrients they need.
According to survey data collected for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III), a large portion of Americans are not getting enough of several vital nutrients without the use of supplementation. The following chart shows the percentage of people age 2 and up that are not obtaining the estimated average requirement (EAR) from their diets on a daily basis without the use of nutritional supplements.7
So we have to ask - if people have the desire to nourish their body but can’t afford or access the proper foods, or don't have time or knowledge to prepare them - what options are available to make sure their daily nutritional needs are consistently met?
Healthcare providers know that the body requires vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polyphenols, and a whole host of other nutrients in order to promote optimum health. Nutrient deficiencies are continuously being linked to decreased health status and increased risk of major diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, hormone imbalances, neurodegenerative disorders, and more.9–12 There is no argument that we should ideally try and obtain nutrients from a natural diet compared to artificial sources, however as I've already outlined above, this is not always possible or feasible.
The purpose of nutritional supplements is to augment your diet with naturally derived nutrients and help fill in the gaps that might be left from a diet that is low on nutrient density and diversity. This is why they are called nutritional supplements and not nutritional replacements – they are only intended to add an extra boost to the food you are eating or fill in nutritional gaps.
Pinnaclife nutritional supplements were designed as an easily accessible and affordable way to boost the nutritional value of your meals and promote optimum health. The Pinnaclife supplements contain a full spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that are essential for every cell in your body. Using a regimen like the Pinnaclife Essential Health Bundle can help you consistently provide your body the tools it needs for optimum health. The addition of various Support Supplements can provide you with even more targeted nutritional support for specific health concerns to help you on your journey to better health and a happier life.
Kyle Hilsabeck, PharmD., is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Affairs at McCord Holdings and licensed by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. He completed bachelors degrees in biology and biochemistry at Wartburg College before earning his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he completed a community pharmacy practice residency through the University of Iowa where he focused primarily on nutritional aspects of care including the use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. He has taught courses for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements and given many presentations on the subject as well. He has a passion for improving patient care specifically with regards to the safety and quality of the nutritional supplements and health information people use.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. These products are dietary supplements and are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The decision to use these products should be discussed with a trusted healthcare provider. The authors and the publisher of this work have made every effort to use sources believed to be reliable to provide information that is accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The authors and the publisher shall not be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting, in whole or in part, from the readers’ use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this article. The publisher has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third party Internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.