5 Minutes read
By Momentous — 08.06.2021
Eating seasonal produce is an easy way to increase the range of your diet.
Sourcing local fruit and vegetables can increase nutrient density.
Supplementation can help fill gaps in your diet, particularly vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
A multivitamin allows you to obtain health-promoting nutrients that are missing from modern diets.
There are lots of different approaches to nutrition. But devotees of just about every diet would agree that eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods will provide the kind of nutrient density needed to support optimal health, performance, and recovery. Yet even if you eat well most of the time, you might still be missing key micronutrients that are hard to find in modern food. In this article, we’ll explore some strategies for making your diet more diverse and suggest when supplementing with a multivitamin might be a useful complement.
When Deep Nutrition author Dr. Cate Shanahan joined Kelly and Juliet Starrett for The Ready State Podcast, she said, “I agree with dieticians when they recommend eating a rainbow of vegetables. Each different color has a different nutritional profile, and they have different vitamins and antioxidants.” She went on to say that this pursuit of variety shouldn’t end with vegetables but should also extend to fish, meat, fruit, dairy products, and other food groups. However, a lot of people simply find a few foods and meals that they like and stick with them. Such a reductionist approach limits your access to a wide variety of nutrients contained in foods that are outside your go-to range.
Expanding Your Nutritional Repertoire
One way that you can follow Shanahan’s advice and get more diversity into your diet is to do what your ancestors did and buy food that is seasonally abundant. Sure, it’s convenient to find apples, oranges, and kale year-round at just about every grocery store, but there’s a drawback to this 24/7, 365 convenience. When produce is available out of its natural post-harvesting period, this probably means it’s either been kept for a long period in cold storage or transported from a far-flung climate zone that could be halfway around the world. Unless produce is flash frozen at harvest time, such a delay can lead to a decline in nutrient density.
Whereas when you’re buying fruit and vegetables that are in season, you’re more likely to be getting truly fresh items that retain most of their micronutrients. Not sure what’s fresh now? Your grocery store might have charts in the grocery aisle or, failing that, you could consult an app or website that identifies when fruit and vegetables are freshest in your state. If you want to go even further in your quest for fresh, seasonal, and diverse produce, opt for locally grown products whenever possible. Whether it’s a roadside stall selling peaches in Georgia, a farmer’s market peddling berries in Michigan, or a grocery store offering apples from a nearby orchard in Washington, buying local will ensure you’re putting the freshest and most nutritious fruit and vegetables on your plate (not to mention supporting your neighbors’ small businesses).
Eating a wide range of produce and getting it locally isn’t always possible for everyone, however. If you live somewhere that doesn’t offer a lot of local wares or are in the middle of a big city without access to fresh produce, you might have to stick with the same old staples for most of the year. Or it could be that you’re trying to target a certain micronutrient to boost your immune system, help you buffer stress, or address a deficiency that’s shown up in a blood test. In which case, you might not be able to get what you need from diet alone, even if you live in a prime growing region.
This is where supplementing with a multivitamin like Momentous Essential Multi can be beneficial. The best options have formulas that mimic a diverse diet and source each ingredient from natural, plant-derived extracts, rather than creating synthetic ones in a lab. Some products even contain nutrients in forms that were once abundant to early humans but are now difficult to find due to exclusionary monoculture farming, soil depletion, and other agricultural changes. Some nutrients that have been shown to provide a lot of health benefits are hard to obtain in your daily diet, even if you have a good one. For example, plants that naturally grow in remote regions that you’d never see in even upscale stores in their complete forms.
Another use case for taking a multivitamin is when you’re traveling or in the middle of a hectic time with work and/or family commitments. Sure, it’d be ideal to have access to five plus servings of fruit and vegetables when you’re on the road or in the air, but that moldy banana at the airport coffee shop or blotchy apple at a gas station isn’t going to cut it. Or when you’re running kids here and there to music lessons and sports practices, toiling late to finish pressing projects, or caring for a sick relative, you hardly have time to pause for thought, let alone prepare diverse, nutritious meals.
In either scenario, a multivitamin can act like a nutritional insurance policy. Rather than making your schedule even more hectic with trips to the store and meal prep, you can do your best with main meals and snacks and then take a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re filling any gaps before they grow to the point of becoming detrimental to your health or performance.
To this end, the Momentous Essential Multi combines a wide range of phytonutrients sourced from the kind of natural ingredients that were abundant in the Paleolithic era but are now harder to obtain from diet alone. Examples include muscadine grapes and wild blueberries that are much higher in antioxidants than cultivated varieties, broccoli seeds and sprouts that supply disease-fighting MYR and sulforaphane glucosinolate, and acerola, which is a rich source of immunity-boosting carotenoids, phenolics, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. The unique formula also includes citrus bioflavonoids that can help you tame chronic inflammation, keep cholesterol in a healthy range, and regulate insulin sensitivity according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The goal of any supplement should be what the term implies: to complement the nutrients you’re getting from food and help you fill any holes in your nutritional approach. That’s exactly what Momentous Essential Multi does. It’s not designed to be a replacement for fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables, or other whole foods, but rather to help you extend the diversity of your diet so you’re getting the full range of nutrients your body needs to thrive in sports, work, and life. As the authors of a Japanese study put it, “longer healthy life is enjoyed by populations of countries with greater dietary diversity.” So if you’re looking to upgrade your eating, adding more variety is a solid place to start.
1. “Dr. Cate Shanahan,” The Ready State Podcast Season 1, Episode 8, available online at https://thereadystate.com/mwod_podcast/s1ep8-dr-cate-shanahan/.
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3. Hae Won Jang, Joon-Kwan Moon, and Takayuki Shibamoto, “Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Extracts from Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) Sprouts,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015, available online at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf504929m.
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6. Keiko Miyamoto et al, “Dietary Diversity and Healthy Life Expectancy – An International Comparative Study,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2019, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30104730/.