The Power of Vitamins

By: SAMANTHA TRUEHEART

Edited by: ERINN BOON

Located within the crowded aisles of a convenient store are the various quick and easy foods that many young adults are adding to their diets. These foods often contain enhancing chemicals to ensure their appetizing look while remaining cheap, weeks after it enters the store. Many processed foods do not contain enough vitamins and minerals that are needed for a healthy body and immune system.

Vitamins are crucial for optimum health. From young to old, certain vitamins and minerals help the body to fight off the various illnesses, stresses and pains that people find themselves suffering from on a regular basis. Even still, large portions of Americans do not realize that vitamins actually help enhance overall health.

The documentary film, Food Matters, created by James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch explores how vitamins and other nutrients within food have the ability to affect our current nation’s health issues.  This film exposes pharmaceutical companies and their interest in the investment, rather than the wellbeing of their consumers. Dr. Andrew W Saul, states within the film, “good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.” The film argues that if our nation does not recognize the corresponding relation between processed foods and lack of vitamins in a diet to an increase in obesity, heart disease and other chronic illnesses, we will slowly watch our bodies wither into a state of chronic health problems and, ultimately, a shortened life.
In order to ensure one is receiving a balanced amount of vitamins, he or she should consult with their doctor to find an appropriate regimen that matches their daily lifestyle. Many Americans feel comfortable taking a daily multivitamin in order to provide a sufficient amount of nutrients needed to remain healthy but taking a multivitamin does not excuse poor nutritional choices made throughout the rest of the day. As Daphne Oz explains in her book, “The Dorm Room Diet”, “Supplements are called that because they fill in for deficiencies in your day-to-day diet. They are in no way meant to replace a healthy eating regimen”.

Many young adults emerging into the working and college world might not have the extra cash or time that is often needed to live a healthy lifestyle. One way to make your body is receiving the necessary nutrients it needs most is through super foods.  Webmd.com explains that there are ten super foods: plain yogurt, eggs, nuts, kiwis, quinoa, beans, salmon, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and berries. If a person incorporates those foods into their diet, they will see great improvements in health and weight loss while also keeping the financial damage as low as possible.          Another diet trend that has become popular recently is the raw food diet. This diet requires that participants eat many of the super foods and other vitamin-rich foods in their natural state. Free from pesticides or herbicides, raw food should not be cooked, microwaved, or genetically engineered. Those who practice the raw food diet believe that cooking foods above 115 degrees Fahrenheit takes away almost all of the nutrients needed to remain healthy.

The smartphone application, Fooducate, can serve those to those looking to improve their diet. It allows users to scan the barcodes on a product and assigns a grade, instantly, based on the nutrients it contains. It also explains what is in the food and why the food is unhealthy, such as high fructose corn syrup or the other addictives. The application also includes healthier alternatives to foods that receive a lower grade.  Fooducate can be very useful in grocery stores, where tricky labels often lack bluntness and can seem like they were written in a foreign language.

In order to make the changes to become healthier, you need to commit completely to the lifestyle. Although it can appear tough in comparison to the easy living packed with drive-throughs and french fries, you will be thankful years to come when you remain active and healthy. Remind yourself that most of the effort put into buying organic foods and vitamins are an investment that will pay off in the future.

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