"Why do I need supplements? I eat pretty well—can't I just get all the nutrients I need from my food."
This is a great question we see popping up fairly often. You might have asked this question yourself.
So, is it possible to get all the nutrients we need from food alone?
It depends. There are several key factors that come into play.
1. The difference between avoiding disease and striving for optimal health.
2. Whether the foods we're eating contain adequate levels of nutrients.
3. The demand on our nutrient stores from our unique genetic needs and lifestyle.
1. The Difference Between Avoiding Disease and Striving for Optimal Health
Health exists on a spectrum. Recommended daily allowances (RDA) of nutrients are based on the minimum levels required to avoid disease—essentially the absolute bare minimum you can get away with.
We're not interested in just narrowly avoiding illness. The BePure Philosophy is centred around nurturing our own relative state of optimal wellbeing. We want to live long, healthful lives abundant in energy, good sleep, strong immunity, happy and healthy minds.
To reach this place of better health, we are going to need higher levels of nutrients to fuel all of the biochemical processes that allow us to experience vitality.
We're not here to tell you that you must prioritise your health, but if you're here, we imagine you have some interest in enjoying the plentiful benefits that cultivating good health yields! It's entirely up to you what level of health you'd like to pursue.
2. Nutrients in our Food
There's absolutely no doubt about it—whole foods should be our primary source of nutrition. You can't just supplement your way out of a diet full of processed and inflammatory foods. Nice try, though.
However, even whole and fresh foods don't necessarily have the levels of nutrients in them to support optimal health—the level of health we are interested in nurturing.
The soil in which our food is grown often isn't very nutrient dense. When nutrients aren't in the soil, they can't possibly be in our food. To get the range of nutrients we need in adequate levels, we'd have to buy a lot of food, and we'd have to eat a lot of food!
80% of the water-soluble nutrients are lost within four days of being harvested. If we're purchasing from the supermarket, there's a good chance our produce will have been more than four days since between being pulled from the ground and going on our plates. Local and seasonal produce is typically more nutrient-dense (and cost effective).
Modern-day convenience food is mostly 'energy rich and nutrient poor'.
So absolutely, whole food first—we're not just eating for micronutrients, but also macronutrients which you can't get from nutritional supplements.
3. Nutrient-Demanding Modern-Day Lifestyles
Another reason it’s hard to get to get meet our nutritional requirements from food alone is because the typical modern-day lifestyle is taxing on our bodies.
Seeing as nutrients support our biochemistry to fulfil all of our humanly functions, it’s certainly the case that extra work requires extra nutrients to make it all possible.
For ~90,000 years, our ancestors lived at a much slower place of life. We really aren't evolved to be living in the fast-paced way that we do. In the modern-day world, it's incredibly difficult to live in such a way that goes against our very own nature.
This lifestyle is full of stressors—work, relationships, family, finances, emotional stress, pressure, electromagnetic stress, inflammatory foods—all of these things put strain on our minds and bodies. Our bodies have an increased demand for nutrients in order to manage the biochemical consequences of this high work-load.
The prevalence of environmental toxins, coffee, and alcohol which all need to be processed through our liver. Nutrients are essential for supporting our liver in keeping on top of the high work load.
Eating a varied, mostly whole foods diet might be enough to have us feeling okay in our bodies on a daily basis. But to really experience energy, vitality, mental clarity, increased resilience, strong immunity, higher baseline, healthy hair, skin and nails, balanced hormones, and pursue a long, healthful life, additional nutritional support really are an essential ingredient in the recipe.
When we're nourished, feeling happy, healthy and at home in our body, it's much easier to feel like doing the lifestyle factors that also create wellness.
Okay so maybe you're eating well, but still feel stressed and fatigued? Nutritional support is your first port of call.
What BePure and Ben Warren Recommends
To meet our daily nutritional requirements to support optimal health, we recommend everyone creates a strong nutritional foundation from the BePure Everyday Health Pack which includes:
BePure One, a high-quality multivitamin with over 50 bioavailable ingredients to ensure you're covering all bases, and topping up what you're missing from your diet.
BePure Three, a high-quality, pure fish oil free from heavy metals, and high in EPA/DHA… which would have been in BePure One had that been logistically possible!
Beyond that, it really varies depending on who you are and what kind of lifestyle and health concerns you have. An athlete will have quite different nutritional requirements to someone with symptoms of IBS, or someone who experiences anxiety.