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It's All About Nutrition

nutrition facts

It is all about nutrition when it comes to the body’s approximately 73 trillion cells that require clean air, water, and essential nutrients. Cells are the foundation that make up all the tissues and organs of our body.

Each and every cell needs all six nutrient links to be healthy. This is referred to as The Chain of Life. This chain includes all the nutrients the body needs.

complete nutrition, chain of life A nutrient is not an isolated entity, rather, many nutritional links work harmoniously together to provide the proper cellular nutrition for the body.

There are six nutrient links, or groups, known as: Lipids and Sterols, Proteins, Minerals, Vitamins and Phytonutrients, Enzymes and last, but not least, Carbohydrates.

Good and quality food supplements provide the required nutrient diversity and density which are vitally important for good health and cellular nutrition. The body’s nutrient supply, provided by foods and/or supplements, must exceed demand, or deficiency symptoms result.

Our foods may vary in nutritional content depending on many factors. Here is the answer to the rhetorical question posted on our home page regarding the nutritional aspects of our food supply. After reading the answers ask yourself if it's about nutrition or about marketing and distribution that some of these factors exist!

Nutrition and health go hand in hand. The diet is our body’s only source for the raw materials it needs to perform its day-to-day functions. Cellular workings are complicated and continual. Fortunately, our cells perform their jobs automatically, without any forethought on our part. Our only responsibility to this intricate, dynamic system is to provide the high-quality nutrients the body needs to do a good job.

When we hear the word nutrition, we often think of healthy foods. Individual cells can only benefit from good nutrition if the foods in the diet are broken down into building blocks small enough to be absorbed. In order for our cells to absorb nutrients our bodies must have a healthy supply of all six nutrient groups.

It's about nutrition as a whole, or a balance that enables all "links" to be in abundance within the body. These nutritional building blocks must then be distributed throughout the body, absorbed by cells, and metabolized, with crucial nutrients assimilated into the cellular machinery and waste products eliminated.

There are six stages of nutrition. It is all about nutrition within each stage; diet, digestion, absorption, circulation, assimilation and elimination of waste. Diet is the first of the six stages. Diet is what we eat, but nutrition is what our cells and tissues actually receive.

Assimilation, the fifth stage, this involves nutrients going into our cells. Without this stage all the nutrients we consume would pass as waste. Wholesome foods and/or nutritional supplements need to support one or more of these vital stages to be of value to our bodies.

Biology 101

The pictures below are of an unhealthy cell and a healthy cell showing nutrient intake and waste excretion. The condition of the cellular walls dictate this function. The cell membrane needs lipids and sterols to work properly and stay healthy.

There are two variable conditions in which the cell membrane may be; hard and rigid, or soft and permeable. The status of our cellular plasma membranes determine our present day health.

a healthy cell, unhealthy cell

The plasma membrane evaluates and assesses what nutrients need to come and go. It mediates interactions between the cell and its surroundings. It also functions to isolate the cytoplasm. Cellular health is all about nutrition at the molecular level.

Here is a neat little animation of the workings of the human cell called Life's Little Secret. This video is courtesy of www.imgworld.com. The picture beside the animation is a cut away human cell diagram. This is to give you an overview of where all the cell organelles are located within the cellular body.

picture of a human cell,

Since we are on the subject of how and why the cell works, here is another animation. The video below was created for Harvard biology students. A summary of the video was also written by the authors.

It discusses the molecular mechanisms and how they relate to one another. More specifically, how white blood cells sense and respond to their surroundings and external stimuli. The Inner Life of a Cell is an eight-minute narrated animation. (Conception and Scientific Content by: Dr. Alain Viel, and Dr. Robert A. Lue. Animation by: John Liebler). The shorter animation is a musical cinematic version. Both are excellent.

*The Inner Life of a Cell - 3 minute musical version
*The Inner Life of a Cell - 8 minute narrated version

Every day of the year billions of cells are created, destroyed, and replaced within our bodies. Over the span of seven years, the majority of our cells, with the exception of brain cells and a few very specific glandular cells, are replaced. For example, red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout our body, have a life span of only four months before they’re removed from the bloodstream and destroyed.

The human body contains about 25 trillion red blood cells, so the demand for nutrients to constantly replace these cells is enormous! It is all about nutrition. Nutrients fuel all our biological systems. Some cells, such as those in the mouth or intestines, turn over even faster — every day, in fact!

wheat berry

Life itself has been processed out of the staff of life.

Life Staples - The Story of Wheat. According to the Discovery Channel, when the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt died, they were buried with everything they would need to sustain them in the afterlife. In uncovering some of these tombs, scientists found large earthenware jars full of wheat which would still sprout even though it was almost 4,000 years old!

Within each whole-wheat berry or kernel, nature has packed all of the elements necessary to reproduce life. As long as the wheat berry remains intact in its original form, it will keep indefinitely.

For thousands of years, however, humans have ground whole-wheat berries into flour for use in breads, pastas, noodles, cakes, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and other widely consumed foods, earning wheat the nickname “the staff of life”.

Wheat, a member of the grass family, provides more nourishment for more people worldwide than any other food. While rice is the most common grain in Asia, wheat is the dietary base in Africa, Europe, North and South America, Australia, and a large part of Asia.

In many developed nations, wheat provides 40-60% of the calories in the diet. If you don't eat enough whole grains and/or your food is nutritionally depleted you may need a phytonutrient supplement to fill in the gap.

"The greatest health challenge we face today is finding a way to
increase levels of nutrients in our diet and broaden the variety of
foods we eat each day — without increasing our calorie intake!,”
says Dr. Fred Hooper.

Are there any other staples within the food pyramid that would pack a nutritional punch similar to wheat? There are! Soybeans and Rice are very complete foods. Soybeans contain high-quality protein and essential amino acids. Brown rice has a significant amount of protein, fiber, lipids and sterols; all needed by the human body for optimal health. It is all about nutrition at the cellular level so that each and every cell may operate efficiently.

The Industrial Revolution forever changed the way we eat wheat. We have almost forgotten the basics; it's about nutrition as well as a good meal to fill our stomachs. As people began to move away from agricultural communities and into large cities, a serious problem developed: How could flour be made to last long enough to feed large masses of people? The quest for nutrition remained. However, the demand by the industrial revolution shifted the focus to mass distribution.

The grain processor solved the problem by taking out some of the things which made the flour spoil — notably, the nutrient-rich outer bran and germ layers of the wheat berry, which contains most of the plant's vital lipids, sterols, vitamins, and minerals.

harvest of wheat, field of wheat

The fact is, modern milling subjects whole-wheat berries to about two dozen processes before they’re transformed into refined flour. However, this modern solution creates new problems. It strips the grain of vital nutrients. The issue is about nutrition or the lack thereof.

After removing most of the nutrient-rich portions of wheat, the grain processor leaves unbleached flour, which still contains certain nutrients that attract insects. This flour is then treated with bleach, which oxidizes proteins and other nutrients in the flour and extends its shelf life. So, what about nutrition?

The industrial answer is then to synthetically “enrich” it by adding some of the same types of nutrients which were removed in the milling process, typically at lower levels than were present in the unmilled food. Ironically, “enrichment” usually replaces only three to six of the over 20 nutrients originally removed! The "enrichment" is not exactly about nutrition! It's more about marketing. Now manufacturers can put "enriched" on the label.

It's about shelf life and not
so much about nutrition.

loss of nutrients of processed wheat

Processing removes wheat’s bran, germ, and oil. Outer layers such as the bran (from the epidermis to the aleurone cell) *contain most of the vitamins and minerals, and are sold to ranchers for livestock feed. If it's about nutrition, cattle eat better than we do!

Wheat germ and wheat germ oil, rich sources of natural vitamin E and important lipids and sterols, are sold as foods and supplements. So what about nutrition in the foods that we eat? In refining whole wheat to make white flour, much of the wheat’s original nutrient value is lost. Removal of the oils (lipids and sterols) to avoid rancidity is only part of the story. As the chart on the right from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows, the majority of the remaining nutrients are lost to processing as well.

dissection of a wheat berry, epidermis, hypodermis, cross cells, tube cells, seed coat, nuclear tissue and aleurone cell

There are two ways to overcome depletion in our diet. Eat high quality whole grains like bread, rice, soybeans and pasta; or start taking supplements that may give us the needed nutrition our bodies require. Many people do both. Supplements are a convenient way to ensure the recommended daily allowances (RDA) are met or exceeded.

The idea is to consume nutrients at levels which a consensus of scientific studies have shown to promote optimal health and vitality. That level of intake is referred to as the Optimal Daily Intake (ODI). For many nutrients, the ODI is much greater than the RDA. In order to obtain ODI nutrient level equivalents there is a need for supplementation.

It's about nutrition the body needs and uses rather then minimum dietary intake to avoid illness. *Diet can fulfill these daily requirements, however, to obtain such levels requires a lot of food preparation and consumption.

Whether it comes from food or supplements really does not matter. Supplementation allows anyone to manage their nutrient intake. This is a simple and effective way to ensure long term outstanding health.

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