The ‘nutritional gap’ is a phrase bandied about in the health and wellness industry.
But what does it actually relate to?
The ‘Nutritional gap’ is the difference between the levels of nutrients the average western world is getting on a daily basis and the nutrient levels identified by research as being needed for optimal health in the population.
It results in the vast majority of people not getting the level of essential nutrients needed for optimum health on a daily basis. This deficit has an effect on both immediate and long-term health.
The way in which our food is grown and processed has changed, along with our lifestyle and food choices over the last 70 plus years. While these have been changing, so has our nutritional gap. Furthermore, while all these elements have been growing, so have our waistline. 60% of children in the western world are now predicted to be obese by adulthood!
Industry insight into the fruit and vegetable import-export industry can reveal huge insight into potentially why we have the nutritional gap. As an example, it has come to light that products like apples can sometimes be held in a cold store for up to 12 months before being released to a supermarket.
The difference in the nutritional quality of something in storage for 12 months over something grown locally? Staggering.
Now before it seems that we are all doomed to eat nutrient-poor supermarket produce, there is a huge move to eat more locally grown food, which is being increasingly easier to source from local farms who will often provide a free delivery service.
We cannot function at optimum health with our demanding modern lifestyles. Our basic diet, no matter how well we eat and how balanced it is, no longer provides us with the level of nutrients that we require. 80% of GP consultations in the UK are now stress-related. These chemicals along with lower nutritional intake lead us to need additional nutritional support to be at our optimum health, avoiding the nutritional gap.
As well as a more nutritious diet, regular exercise and living an emotionally healthy lifestyle, a high-quality supplement will go a long way to bridge this ‘nutritional gap’.
One of the biggest factors in the ‘nutritional gap’ is the food choices that most of us make. The shift in foods we eat now when compared to 70 years ago. In those days our diets now we are mainly meat based, 70 years prior, we were primarily vegetable-based. A meat-based diet is high in cholesterol, saturated fat and low in the nutrients needed for optimum health. Whereas a plant-based diet is high in antioxidants and nourishment. Which is best for us?
It’s suggested each fruit and vegetable portion eaten, gives 20% of our daily needs of antioxidant and protective nutrients. In the 1800’s, the Victorians had an average of 10 portions of locally grown fruit and vegetables per day. They also had virtually zero prevalence of any chronic diseases.
Supplementation has provided us with an alternative method of getting extra nutrients. But it is important to choose the correct supplement with optimal rates of absorption and utilisation. Be sure all the nutrients in the supplements are gentle and effective. Not all supplements are equal and it is absolutely best to research what to buy before choosing.