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Nutrition Attrition

Many nutritionists say that taking supplemental vitamins and minerals is a waste of time if you eat enough of the right foods, like fruits and vegetables. What they don’t realize is that a lot of our produce has been losing its nutritional punch.

According to the July ’10 issue of Prevention, in 1950 an average serving of broccoli had 130 milligrams of calcium; today it has only 48 milligrams. The lower nutrient levels in fruits and veggies these days is the result of “the farming industry’s desire to grow bigger vegetables faster. The very things that speed growth—selective breeding and synthetic fertilizers—decrease produce’s ability to synthesize nutrients or absorb them from the soil.”

There’s also evidence that planting too often in the same soil can gradually deplete its nutrient content. Trying to squeeze more production out of farmland can reduce the nutrient value of the food grown on it.

Bottom line: Keep taking supplemental vitamins and minerals.

—Becky Holman

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