Nutrients matter:
a note on nutrient density of food and the use of supplements

It’s not all about carbs, proteins and fats. Without adequate nutrients to ‘process’ these, your metabolism cannot work efficiently. Low carb, keto, low calorie, methionine restriction can all assist you to lose weight, and improve health, as long as nutrient density is maximised. 

Nutrient density is the amount of nutrients per gram of food. For the body to work properly all systems need many nutrients to perform each function. So you need to know where the nutrients are, in foods, in order to eat and make use of them.

For example:

The mitochondria need all the individual components to complete energy metabolism – i.e. converting fat or glucose and oxygen into cellular energy – ATP, FADH or NADH. This process requires a myriad of nutrients to function properly. If you are low in just a single one the system loses efficiency. That’s why adding in single supplements seems to ‘work’ for a while, then it feels like you are back to baseline as another nutrient now becomes deficient in the balance and ‘blocks’ the process.

Here is a list of common mineral deficiencies in Australia. Some of these are due to low concentrations in the soil, at other times chemical fertilisers are known to bind them in the soil – making them unavailable to the plants / animals that we eat, so unavailable to our metabolism. Some examples include:

    • Iodine

    • Magnesium

    • Zinc

    • Selenium

    • Copper (needed for energy, iron absorption, collagen production, antioxidant functions, maintain natural hair colour – melanin synthesis)

    • Boron (low in soil, bound by chemical fertilisers and made unavailable to plants)

    • Manganese (bound by chemical fertilisers, making them unavailable to plants)

I design diets to maximise nutrient density, and fill the gaps with supplements.  I rarely prescribe a single vitamin or mineral – as you need them all in correct balance. 

The importance of reviewing supplements:

You may already be taking supplements, and many supplements may have similar nutrients – i.e. your cold and flu may contain zinc, you multivitamin may contain zinc, and your magnesium may contain zinc, then you may also be taking zinc alone as a supplement and this can create an imbalance of nutrient absorption. For example taking too much zinc, can inhibit copper absorption, leading to copper deficiency and problems with energy metabolism, connective tissue and skin integrity, immune regulation and neurotransmitter production (e.g. dopamine) and iron absorption.

I would be happy to assist you review your food and supplements to help you maximise your balance of nutrients.

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