“You can get all the nourishment you need from a well balanced diet”
The assumption that you would get all the nourishment (essential nutrients) you
need from such a diet is flawed, since each individual will have unique requirements
for essential nutrients from their diet and those requirements will vary during the
different stages and conditions of their life.
In addition this statement does not take into account the knowledge that the Earth’s
soils are now considerably depleted in nutritional minerals and that commercial farming,
food storage and processing methods interfere with the nutrient content of foods and
the availability of the essential nutrients in them. Consequently it is not possible to
accurately determine the mineral and vitamin content of vegetables, fruits and animal
products purchased at any given time from any given source.
These factors indicate that, in order to be healthy, individuals need to assess their
probable requirements for essential nutrients at any given stage or condition in their
life (based on the research evidence currently available) and the likely essential
nutrient content of their dietary preferences. Then they must assess whether these
preferences are likely to meet their probable physiological requirements.
It is now well established that life stages, events, different environments and
different physiological conditions place varying demands on the diet for the provision
of adequate essential nutrients. These include, but are not limited to, foetal
development; neonatal development; infancy; puberty; gender; pregnancy; breast
feeding; genetic variation; advancing age; occupation; toxin exposure; physical
activity level; illness; chronic disease; medical interventions; digestive efficiency and
Therefore, the popularly held belief that “you will get all the nourishment you need from
a well balanced diet” should not be relied upon as a hypothesis for securing individual
health and wellbeing in the 21st century.
There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and scientific data now available to
support an understanding of what constitutes “individually appropriate nourishment”.
This can be implemented to establish the need for and provision of essential
nutrients to help achieve optimum function in any individual at any stage or condition
in their life.
Many schools of complementary therapies incorporate these ideas into their teachings
and practices, including, but not limited to, Nutritional Therapy, Naturopathy,
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. Some medical doctors continue
to develop the orthomolecular medicine hypothesis and use nutritional and other
environmental techniques within the context of their medical practice.
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