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Nutritional Supplements - what are they, how do they work and how do you choose them?

Nutritional supplements are without a doubt one of the most easily accessible and also one of the most confusing aspects of natural health.

Manufacturers of nutritional supplements often blind us with science and scientific (or pseudo-scientific) names. Here we summarise the different types of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutritional supplements, so that you can both understand what they do and why they are necessary for healthy living.

Why do we need nutritional supplements or food supplements?
Since the 1920s, Western Governments have known that the majority of our food crops have been grown on mineral-depleted soils, which makes them not only more susceptible to plant diseases and insect attack, but also nutritionally fairly worthless.

In addition to this, animal feeds have changed from the natural foods they eat in the wild to highly processed, chemical laden concoctions that are designed to maximise growth rate, muscle mass and therefore value whilst minimising cost and the time it takes to turn them into a healthy profit. The result is meat that is dangerously high in chemicals and totally lacking in the natural nutritional elements that have kept us healthy for so long (until the 20th century!).

If this weren't bad enough, the modern reliance on pharmaceutical medicine to remove all symptoms of disease instantly has led us away from the traditional cures that sought to replace what was missing in the body. Indeed, many modern drugs, such as diuretics actually make us lose the very minerals we require for health at an increased rate.

As a consequence, virtually everyone in the Western World (many "primitive cultures" are much better nourished than we are) needs to supplement their diet to a greater or lesser extent. the most commonl types of nutritional supplements fall into the following categories:-

Types of Nutritional Supplements

Essential fatty acids
Plant extracts
Trace elements

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