A very common question that comes up a lot is - "Do I need to take supplements?" Why can't I just get all my nutrients from foods?"  

 

I am a big proponent of obtaining the majority of our nutrients from foods, because they contain a synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals - which generally enhance the absorption and utilization by the body. But there are a number of reasons that we might not be getting all of the nutrients that we need on a daily basis - leading to nutrient deficiencies.

 

10 Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies: 

 

  1. Highly Processed Diet. One reason for nutrient deficiencies is simply that we simply might not be eating enough nutritious foods.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) tends to be too high in packaged, processed and fast foods which is likely to be lacking in key nutrients.  And to make things worse - processed foods also tend to deplete nutrients within the body, because the body uses them up trying to metabolize foods that are high in sugar, trans fats, chemicals and preservatives!  Also - processed foods are generally made with poor quality fats that lead to inflammation.  So they are a triple-whammy!

  2. Poor soil quality. Even if you get the most stellar diet full of plant-based foods; because soils are increasingly becoming depleted of minerals, much of our food is becoming more depleted as well. Buying organic certainly helps, as organic food tends to be grown in better soil, and your body won't have to deal with all the pesticides either.

  3. Low stomach acid or digestive issues.  Stomach acid is needed to properly break down our food so the nutrients can be absorbed.  If you have low stomach acid, you might not be effectively breaking down and absorbing the nutrients you take in.  Low stomach acid can occur from taking antacids and PPIs, and also generally becomes even more prevalent as we age.  Other digestive issues like food intolerances, bacterial overgrowth, infection, or another gut issues can inhibit the proper absorption and utilization of nutrients.

  4. Anti-Nutrients.  Some compounds in foods prevent the body from absorbing nutrients, these are called anti-nutrients. For examp