The human body is a magnificent creation of systems, including musculoskeletal (movement); nervous (central computing); cardio-respiratory (regulating); digestive (processing); integumentary (hair, skin and nails protection and cushioning); endocrine (hormonal); and lymphatic (tissue-to-tissue and tissue-to-blood transport). Each system has its own unique function that are driven by chemical, electrical and mechanical processes that must be kept in balance to assure the maximum longevity and quality of life.
Whether due to hereditary, environmental factors or poor nutritional habits, the body’s systems constantly are in need of balancing. Failure to address the imbalance will result in discomfort, disease and a host of health problems.
Simply exercising an ounce of prevention by adapting a healthier lifestyle is the key to achieving balance. This healthy lifestyle should include eating whole foods, which should be made up of 80 percent alkaline and 20 percent acidic, regular exercise, adequate water consumption and maintaining an alkaline level of 7.3-8.3 and periodic internal cleansing known as detoxification.
Because it is unrealistic that we will receive all of the required nutrients through our diet, nutritional supplementation is also necessary.
Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs and oils. They basically boost the nutritional content of your diet, provide immune system support, reduce the risks of illness and age-related conditions and improve physical performance and mental activities.
If you eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, lean meats and fish, it’s likely that you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need, or your recommended daily allowance.
Problems arise, however, due to our lack of healthy food consumption and major issues with the nutritional potency in our foods, which is a result of our society’s poor farming and food production practices.
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Oils
Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that make the body work properly. Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble.
The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins, C and the B-complex, need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them and cannot be stored by the body.
Vitamins are organic substances, which means they are made by plants or animals, and minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals.
Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium and zinc are called trace minerals, because you only need very small amounts of them each day.
Vitamins and minerals feed the body on the cellular level and fill the gap in our basic nutritional makeup and chemical balance. Vitamins may be reduced when food is overcooked, processed or improperly stored.
Herbal supplements are added to the diet for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. Herbs have been used for centuries in many traditional medicine systems and as sources of phytochemicals, or substances found in plants that have notable effects on the body. Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine from India are two of the world’s oldest healing systems and are utilized in the making of hundreds of herbal remedies.
Essential fatty acid, or EFA, oils play a vital role in keeping the body’s systems balanced, too. All EFAs are recognized by the body as nutrients. In fact, they are required for optimal functioning of cellular membrane and hormones production. They can be enjoyed, as much as 50 grams per day, as part of a balanced nutritional plan without fear of excess weight gain. EFA oils include fresh produce, such as avocado, dark leafy vegetables, grains (flaxseed), nuts and seeds (sunflower, hazelnut, walnut), and herbs (evening primrose, borage).