Your good health requires a constant intake of essential nutrients. So it’s no health secret that eating nutrient-rich, fresh foods is vital for staying healthy.
But did you realize that nutrients in your healthy foods can just… poof… disappear?
Certain things can strip the nutrients right out of your food. While others can deplete your body’s supply of any number of essential vitamins and minerals.
If your doing your best to eat a healthy nutritious diet–or if your shelling out cash for supplements to boost your health–you could be wasting your time and money.
The most susceptible nutrients to depletion are…
- and calcium.
The 9 WORST nutrient thieves
Since so many different things can effect how you absorb or use nutrients… and still others can steal the nutrition right out of your food… it would be impossible to include them all here. But the following nine “nutrient thieves” are some of the worst offenders.
1. Processed foods:
This one is the biggest source of lost nutrients. If you choose processed grains/white flour over whole grains, your body is being robbed of nutrients.
When technology entered the food industry, manufacturers made softer bread, pastries, and cakes that had longer shelf lives. When a grain is processed, its fiber and nutrition germ is removed to create a finely ground flour.
Choose products from your bread and cereals food group with careful scrutiny — aim for whole grains, all the time.
Simply put, diuretics are used to promote more urination. They have a direct impact on your potassium levels, and are classified either as “potassium- depleting” or “potassium-sparing,” depending on what they do.
You should pay close attention to this. Researchers have found that diuretics also lower your level of folate — dramatically. For this reason, they suggest if you take diuretics, you should at plenty of folate-rich foods and you may want to consider supplementing with folic acid as well.
Stress has a devastating impact on your body and this includes your ability to efficiently absorb and use vitamins and minerals.
Prolonged stress causes gastrointestinal problems and excessive stomach acid, disrupting chemical processes and enzyme activity. Try deep breathing, yoga and consider taking a stress reducing supplement.
Antibiotics are drugs used to kill bacteria. Using them over the long term, however, can deplete your body’s store of essential nutrients — notably vitamins B2, B9, B12, and K. Antibiotics may reduce vitamin K levels especially, and the body’s ability to absorb it.
It’s generally accepted now that we have been overusing these drugs for a long time, so only get a prescription if you truly need it. (Hint… viruses like the common cold are NOT killed off by antibiotics.)
Drinking too much alcohol can deplete your body of vitamins and minerals. Alcohol disrupts your absorption of nutrients from food, and the metabolism of nutrients in your cells. This is true for the majority of vitamins and minerals.
In some cases, alcohol actually stimulates your body into getting rid of nutrient — calcium and magnesium, most notably. Don’t drink within one hour of taking supplements. And know that when you drink, your body loses nutrients and has a harder time obtaining them from food and supplements so don’t overindulge.
Caffeine can act like a diuretic in your body, and as such can cause nutrient depletion.
Taking in too much caffeine can interfere with the absorption of several minerals and B vitamins, too. Most notably, it’s believed that caffeine intake can cause calcium loss in your bones if you don’t get enough of this vital mineral in food or supplements. You don’t need to swear off off coffee and tea, both of which may have some health benefits of your own. But be sure to watch and limit your intake and don’t drink a caffeinated beverage for at least an hour after taking your supplements. .
7. Mineral oil:
Mineral oil is sometimes uses as a laxative to soften stools in people who have constipation, thus making bowel movements easier. But unfortunately, mineral oil also has a major impact on the nutrients in your body.
Researchers have discovered that it interferes with the absorption of a slew of various minerals and vitamins, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins D, E and K.
It may be best to take this on an empty stomach to prevent a loss of absorption. A multivitamin/mineral supplement may be in order if you use mineral oil regularly.
8. Cooking methods:
The way you cook fruit, vegetables, rice, meat, and fish can lower the nutrient levels. Removing skins from fruits and veggies or overcooking them will deplete valuable vitamins and minerals (especially boiling them). Overcooking whole grain pasta will also lose nutrients.
Common over-the-counter antacids can deplete your body of several minerals and vitamins if used for too long as an acid reducer.
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is an editor at the popular Doctor's Health Press website.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
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