Why Vegetarians Should Consider Nutritional Supplements

For decades, scientists have been discussing the impact upon the food chain of growing crops in soil that has been significantly depleted of its minerals and other nutrients. In fact, this has been a concern for more than 70 years, and particular affects vegetarians - who may want to consider nutritional supplements for this reason.

In 1936, writer Rex Beach wrote on this topic for Cosmopolitan, in an article that went on to become Document No. 264 during the 74th Congress, Second Session, after making an impression on the members of Congress. It was later ordered to be printed by the United States Government Printing Office of Washington:

"Many States show a marked reduction in the productive capacity of the soil in many districts amounting to a 25 to 50 percent reduction in the last 50 years. Some areas show a tenfold variation in calcium. Some show a sixty fold variation in phosphorus. Authorities see soil depletion, barren livestock, increased human death rate due to heart disease, deformities, arthritis, increased dental caries, all due to lack of essential minerals in plant food," wrote Beach.

A white paper published by the Nutrition Security Institute in 2006 points out that this problem is not restricted to certain regions in the world, but rather it is one found throughout. As such, the nutritional content of vegetables, fruits, and grains grown in, say, the soil of Peru will not contain the exact same proportion of nutrients as those grown in the northeastern corner of the United States.

Existing farming practices make a huge contribution to the problem of soil depletion. This applies to both huge corporate-owned farms - using chemicals and methods designed to maximize profits - and small subsistence farmers unable to utilize even such low-tech techniques as rotating crops or leaving a field fallow to rest and restore. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the essential qualities of the food that comes from our land, the amounts of nutrients that it contains, have decreased significantly over time.

Soils in some parts of the world, such as Africa and China, have suffered a higher rate of mineral and other nutrient depletion than have other regions. In today’s world, the global marketplace has resulted in a huge portion of foods being transported all over the world. That and soil depletion and other factors that influence the nutrient content and quality of crops means that it is very difficult to know if you are getting what you need from the foods you consume - even if you feel you are eating a "healthy" diet.

Adding nutritional supplements to your regular diet can helps enure getting the nutrients needed to maintain the health of the body and the mind. For vegetarians in particular, taking nutritional supplements as a complement to a healthy diet may be the smartest move to ensure health and well-being. When foods cannot be counted upon to provide a reliable amount of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to the performance of the body and mind, as well as the maintenance of health, it is important to take steps to ensure that daily needs are met. It is, however, advisable to discuss supplement types and dosages with a health care professional before making significant changes to the diet.