Progressive Malnutrition - Do You have Nutrient Deficiencies?
When we hear about malnutrition, most of us think about starvation in the third world, or poor diets in lower socio-economic groups. However there is a pervasive form of malnutrition arising much closer to home; perhaps in your own body.
What is 'progressive nutrition'?
Your body may have been craving specific minerals and vitamins for some time. Rather than 'starvation' in the traditional sense, this is a long-term deficiency in the complete spectrum of vital nutrients that support sustained good health. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies result in a host of symptoms and conditions.
This ‘Progressive malnutrition’ in the western world generally occurs by eating to much processed food, packed with tasty flavours but empty calories. Eating processed food can draw nutrients from the tissues of the body in order to digest it. White sugar requires a range of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to be metabolized into energy. If these are not readily available from whole food sources then they will be taken from the body.
Progressive malnutrition can also occur when certain minerals are lacking in the soil. For example selenium is a recognised deficiency in New Zealand soils and therefore people. New Zealand farmers feed their cows selenium, but many New Zealanders remain selenium deficient. This may result in, (among other things), heart muscle disease and general muscle weakness.
How to prevent progressive malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies
Choosing more wholefood, (wholemeal flour products, grains, vegies, fruit, nuts, and quality protein foods), is preventative medicine. High quality multivitamin supplements and superfoods like Vitamineral green and Barley Grass provide a broad spectrum back-up, to prevent cellular malnutrition.
Because it takes time to replace damaged cells, improved food input is not usually an instant fix. However many healing centres, (including the Hippocrates Institute and the Gawler Foundation), document the effectiveness of whole foods and fasting in assisting recovery from illness.
When the symptoms are chronic and the body is lacking one or more vital nutrients, administering larger doses of specific supplements can produce rapid results.
How do you know if you are deficient in a vitamin or mineral?
A naturopath, nutritionist, nutritionally trained doctor or kinesiologist, can usually recognise the signs of deficiencies, often in combination with blood-tests.