How Your Food Becomes Depleted of Vital Nutrients

© Serghei Velusceac - Fotolia.com

Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a number of roles in your body. But beware, because you might already be suffering from zinc deficiency right now. There is startling evidence in a number of carefully controlled studies that serious nutrient content – by the time food reaches your table – could already be depleted.

Read on to find out how this happens – and what you can do to spot zinc deficiency symptoms early on.

The Effects of Conventional Farming and Overcooking
Certain estimates report that nutrient value lost could be as high as 50 percent. There are a number of factors at play, but the primary one would probably be conventional farming methods, which rely heavily on chemical pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals deplete the soil of nutrients that must be absorbed by plants in order to be transferred to your body.

Another potential reason is cooking – or how you prepare your food. In the case of most foods, cooking seriously impairs nutrient value. Overcooking is especially dangerous, and many people do it unwittingly to their supposed “nourishment.”

Note that you may steam, poach, or boil your food and still do not lose much of the important vitamins and minerals present in it. But there are specific cooking techniques – including frying, microwaving, and charbroiling – that may deplete these nutrients and put your health at risk of various deficiencies.

Compounding the problem is that you may not be consuming the right amount of nutrients after all. The standard Western diet of processed food makes it easy for valuable nutrients to be destroyed, making supplementation a rather sound and practical step to take.

When Is It Time to Take a Zinc Supplement?
There are common signs of low zinc levels to beware of, including lack of appetite, occasional moodiness, and less keen sense of taste or smell. There are certain groups prone to being deficient, too, like vegetarians – zinc is available mostly in animal products.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, it is only prudent to contact your physician for you to be evaluated.

There are a variety of zinc deficiency tests available, but not all of them offer accurate results. Some examples of tests usually taken are:

  1. Oral taste test – A quick 10-second test that can be accomplished at home or in the office of your healthcare provider.
  2. Hair test – More often used by doctors of natural medicine.
  3. Serum test – The simplest way of determining deficiency, but affected by factors that can cause inaccuracies.
  4. Plasma test– Main lab test performed to determine zinc status, and can be insensitive
    to marginal deficiencies.
  5. Tolerance test – Measures the change in plasma zinc after taking zinc orally.

There is truly a multitude of tests available out there to determine your zinc status. Some are more accurate than others, so it is only best to talk to your healthcare provider to get the right test for you.

Guided Supplementation
No less than a high-quality zinc supplement should be your protection if you cannot get enough zinc from your food. Be on the lookout for potential pitfalls regarding not only zinc but also other nutritional supplements on the market today.

First, make sure that the zinc supplement is backed by a reputable manufacturer. There are solid examples of top-quality assurance safeguards and independent, objective lab testing that you can look for.

Second, investigate on the efficacy and stability of the zinc formula, not just what is stated on the label. Good supplements, for instance, should be free of artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Lastly, stick to a dosage of less than 40 milligrams per day, which is the recommended adult upper limit. Remember that there is the potential for adverse side effects present at higher dosages. If you must take higher dosages, consult your doctor.

Margie Oasis is a health blogger who advocates a diet of whole, raw, unprocessed foods. She also educates her readers about certain nutritional deficiency – most recently, how to spot zinc deficiency symptoms.

Australian Carob Company

At the Australian Carob Co we have been working hard for the past 12 years growing and nurturing 6,000 carob trees. We have planted naturally sweet tasting varieties which have proven a real hit when it comes to taste, the natural sweetness and delicious flavour of our carob products are very obvious in the whole product range: Raw Carob Powder, Roasted Carob Powder, Raw Carob Kibble, Raw Carob Pods, Carob Syrup and Carob Buttons.
Normally Carob is planted for the seed which is processed to make emulsifier and the outer pod is not important but we have worked at trying to achieve a great tasting natural carob product by selecting varieties of carob trees based on taste.

Product uses include: Raw carob powder being used in drinks, an added flavour in raw foods, on breakfast cereals, in yoghurt, in cooking and really anything you can imagine.
Roasted carob powder is great in cooking, as a cocoa substitute and also like the raw carob powder can be used in anything you can imagine.
Carob kibble is a great natural healthy snack and enjoyed in it’s natural form.
Carob pods are a great healthy snack and the seeds can be used to plant your own trees.
Carob syrup is an exceptional product which the uses are absolutely endless. Perfect for replacing sugar on breakfast cereals and with the added benefit of adding flavour, great for use as a topping on deserts or pancakes etc, add to cakes and biscuits to create a delightful taste, perfect for glazing meats and anything you could ever imagine our carob syrup will compliment and impress.
Carob buttons taste just like chocolate but are much healthier because there is no caffiene or preservatives and no added sugar. Great to enjoy a naturally sweet tasting product without the guilt, you and your whole family can now enjoy a treat and feel great.

Raw carob powder is achieved by putting the carob pods through a machine called a carob kibbler and this machine simply breaks the carob pod and removes the seeds, then the carob kibble is allowed to naturally dry with no added heat to the correct moisture content ready for milling, once milled it is bagged to maintain freshness.

Roasted carob powder is achieved  by putting the carob pods through a machine called a carob kibbler and this machine simply breaks the carob pod and removes the seeds, then the carob kibble is slowly roasted and then milled and bagged to maintain freshness.

Carob kibble is achieved by putting the carob pods through a machine called a carob kibbler and this machine simply breaks the carob pod and removes the seeds, then the carob kibble is bagged to maintain freshness.

Carob pods are simply in their natural form.

Carob syrup is made by adding water to the carob kibble and allowing it to slowly absorb the water, then it’s simply heated to around 70*C and pressed and filtered.

Carob buttons are made using roasted carob powder, ingredients used are: Low fat milk solids, palm kernel oil, emulsifier (soy lecithin) and 10% roasted carob powder.
There are so many health benefits with eating carob and now having a quality taste it is sure to impress.
Now everybody can enjoy the new delicious taste from The Australian Carob Co.

Health Benefits of Carob;

  • Gluten free
  • Improves digestion (can help obesity).
  • Lowers cholesterol level in the blood.
  •  Acts as an antioxidant.
  • Can be used to treat diarrhoea in children and adults.
  • Contains an active substance that is effective against asthma. Carob is also used for asthma problems caused by allergies.
  • It is a good expectorant.
  • Does not contain caffeine.
  • Can help to prevent lung cancer, if used regularly.
  • Contains vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D and is used for the treatment of cough, flu, amemia and osteoclasis.
  • Carob tannins contain gallic acid. Gallic acid is an analgesic, can be used as an anti allergic and is antibacterial. It is also an antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic.
  • It is also high in potassium and magnesium and contains iron, manganese, barium, copper and nickel.
  • It is used for the treatment of polio in children, as the gallic acid in carob tannins helps to prevent polio.
  •  It is rich in phosphorus and  calcium. For this reason, it is used in the fight against osteoporosis.
  • Helps with IBS.
  • Helps soothe a sore throat and coughs.