Getting your '5 a day' and healthy eating has long been considered your passport to staying fit and well. However, this advice assumes the produce you eat is densely packed with all the nutrients you need. But there is evidence that many fruits and veggies are up to 75% less nutritious than they were 70 years ago! One study showed carrots have lost 75% of the magnesium they used to contain. This means you’d need to eat four carrots today to get the same amount of magnesium found in one carrot in 1950! This research also showed spinach has 53% less potassium, and 60% of its iron, while broccoli has lost 75% of its calcium. It seems your '5 a day' may not be the multi vit powerhouse it once was.
So, what's causing this alarming dip in the good stuff? And what can you do to top up your nutrient levels, if your food isn't delivering the goods? It makes sense that you need to be eating way more than '5-a-day' to get enough vitamins and minerals. But research shows only 25% of people in the UK are hitting this target! Worrying, when you consider vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been linked with chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
How can a multi vit help you?
13 vitamins are considered to be 'essential' to good health: A, C, D, E, K, and the 8 B vitamins. Plus minerals including: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulphur. Aside from vitamin D and B3, your body can’t make these nutrients, and you’ll need to get them from food. Much harder now that some foods are less nutritious. Also, B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble. So they aren’t stored by your body and need to be replenished every day.
This is where a multi vit can come in handy. The Multivitamin Plus patch is one of the easiest ways to top up the nutrients you may not be getting enough of from what you eat. Just pop one on for instant peace of mind that you've plugged any nutrient gaps and boosted your levels of all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Even if you have access to the most nutritious foods going, it's still wise to take a multi vit, to ensure your body is getting a steady, regular amount of nutrients. Especially if you're vegan or vegetarian. This can make you more likely to run low on vitamins and minerals mainly found in animal products.
Plus, hot off-the-press research has shown that taking a daily multivitamin can significantly boost memory and slow cognitive aging in older adults. In the third major COSMOS trial on the effect of vitamins, researchers found that the 573 older adults taking a multivitamin that contained over 20 essential micronutrients showed a marked reduction in memory loss and cognitive aging compared to those on a placebo. Another reason to take your vitamins!
Why is a multi vit patch more effective than traditional oral supplements?
When you take a multi vit oral supplement, not all the nutrients will make it into your bloodstream to be used by your body. That's because all the ingredients have to make their way through your stomach and liver first. Resulting in lots of the good stuff getting lost along the way (either by being excreted by your gut, or broken down by your liver). One of the millions of people who suffer from leaky gut, or malabsorption issues? Even fewer of the nutrients from your oral supplement are likely to make it through.
Luckily, if you use a multi vit patch instead, all the nutrients are delivered more directly into your bloodstream via the skin. Vitamin patches also have the advantage of delivering their ingredients slowly, over an 8-hour period. This is way easier for the body to use than one large oral dose.
Using a patch, rather than taking a a tablet, gives you greater certainty that you're increasing your nutrient levels. Read our reviews and you'll see some of our customers have the blood test results to prove it too.
Why have the levels of nutrients in foods declined?
First up, don't panic! It's certainly not the case that your fruit and veggies have very little nutrition in them. You know snacking on a carrot or apple is always going to provide a lot more health benefits than a chocolate bar, or packet of crisps! However, fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were indeed a much richer source of multi vit than what’s available today. But why?
1: Soil depletion:
Worldwide studies like this one suggest modern farming practices are one of the main causes of reduced nutrient levels in fruits and vegetables. Greater demands on the number of crops farmers need to produce, means they use chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides to increase growth rate and pest resistance, which can affect soil quality.
Growing a larger number of crops also depletes the minerals in the soil faster than they can be replenished. Some farmers attempt to remedy this by replacing lost nutrients with fertiliser, but this can cause mineral imbalances. The pressure to produce high levels of crops every year also means fewer fields are being left fallow. So they don't ever recover fully and replenish the nutrients crops absorb from the soil.
2: Disruption to our fungi friends:
We're only just discovering how essential the millions of fungi that live underground are to all forms of life on the planet. The crops we eat are no exception. Fungi and microbes in the soil break down nutrients into a form that can be more easily absorbed by crops. But sadly, modern methods of irrigation, fertilisation, and harvesting can disrupt the relationship between plants and soil fungi. As a result, the absorption of nutrients from the soil can be significantly decreased. Another reason to think about taking a multi vit.
3. Less locally grown, seasonal produce:
Eating food that's been flown halfway across the world, isn't just bad for the planet. It's not as good for you either! If your fresh produce is coming from further afield, the time between it being harvested and you eating it increases. This can cause a further decline in nutrient levels. For example, broccoli can lose up to 60% of its antioxidant flavonoids over 10 days.
How else can you boost your nutrient intake, alongside taking a multi vit?
We've already bigged up the benefits of taking a daily multi vit, one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to boost your nutrient intake. But there are other things you can try too: for example, switching to organic fruit and veg. A 2014 study by the University of Newcastle showed organic crops were up to 60% higher in several key antioxidants. It's also worth going organic for your meat and milk too. Higher levels of nutrients in the organic grasses and grains the animals are fed on means more ends up in milk and meat products.
Eating locally sourced, seasonal fruit and veg is another way of ensuring you're getting the maximum amount of nutrients. How about a trip to your local organic 'pick your own' farm? And don't forget to freeze what you bring home ASAP. Freezing fruits and vegetables as soon as they are picked also helps preserve their nutrient content.