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Written by Wally Richards. 10th  March 2007
Written by Wally Richards.

We are all aware that our bodies need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, nature has over thousands of years evolved our bodies to take the vitamins and goodness our of the fruit and vegetables that we eat.
When we eat a fresh bit of fruit or a vegetable we take into our bodies a number of vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are in balance and readily absorbed by our metabolism.
It is also known that a number of minerals and vitamins need to have complementary  enzymes and minerals for absorption. If these are lacking then our bodies will likely pass the valuable vitamins out with our toilets.
The more I read and understand about our food chain and the assimilation of healthy, nutritional dense food the more intriguing it becomes.
For instance there maybe a herb that you can take to assist with a health problem. Scientists discover that the constitute of the herb, that assists the condition, is a particular substance so they then synthetically make the substance.   The man made substance often is not as affective as the original herb and may even cause adverse reactions in some people. The reason is simple, the herb contained many properties other than the particular substance that assisted with the health condition. When the man made substance is produced we lose all the other properties which enhance the action or absorption in our metabolism.
This point was raised in a recent article I read in the Dominion Post entitled, ‘Vitamins’ value debunked’ The article came from The Times in Britain  and was originally published in ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ The article read, ‘Vitamin pills, commonly taken by millions of people, are doing them more harm than good, an analysis of the evidence has concluded.
Three supplements- vitamins A and E and beta carotene- appear to increase the death rate of those taking them. Vitamins C and selenium have no effect. The research was carried out by a team led by Goran Bjelakovic of Copenhagen University Hospital and colleagues, using methods developed by the Cochrane Collaboration, the leading international group specialising in the analysis of what works in medicine.
Supporters of vitamin supplements believe these man made vitamins act as anti-oxidants, preventing highly active oxygen radicals in the body damaging molecules such as cholesterol, to cause heart disease. The theory seemed plausible, and some initial trial results appeared to lend it support. But as better trials were done different results emerged. The Copenhagen team found that supplements as a whole increased the death rate by 5 per cent. When supplements were taken separately, beta carotene
increased death rates by 7 per cent. (For those that do not know, Beta-carotene is the molecule that gives carrots their orange colour.  It is part of a family of chemicals called the carotenoids, which are found in many fruit and vegetables, as well as some animal products such as egg yolks.  Carotenoids were first isolated in the early 19th century, and have been synthesised for use as food colorings since the 1950s. Biologically, beta-carotene is most important as the precursor of vitamin A.  It also has anti-oxidant properties and may help in preventing cancer and other diseases.)
Vitamin A increased death rates by 16 per cent and vitamin E by 4 per cent. The team said it examined only the use of synthetic vitamins.’
I have believed for many years that man made vitamins were a waste of money and the only effect of them was that they changed the colour of your pee.  
Instead of wasting your money on vitamin supplements do what the British Heart Foundation says,
‘People should not take supplements, but should concentrate instead on eating a healthy diet.’
Which leads us back to our gardens where you can simply grow very healthy fruit and vegetables at little cost and enjoy the vast complexity of vitamins and minerals they richly provide.
For instance one cup of raw spinach contains .86 grams of protein and .81 grams of fiber. Plus Potassium - 167.4 mg, Phosphorus - 14.7 mg, Magnesium - 23.7 mg,
Calcium - 29.7 mg, Sodium - 23.7 mg, Iron - .81 mg, Selenium - .3 mg, - Vitamin K - 145 mcg, 
Also contains small amounts of manganese, copper and zinc. Plus  Vitamin A - 2014.5 mg,
Vitamin C - 8.43 mg, Folate - 58.2 mcg and contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
Spinach is so easy to grow as well.
One medium size tomato contains 1.05 grams of protein and 1.35 grams of fiber,  Potassium - 396.7 mg, Phosphorus - 62.7 mg, Magnesium - 22.8 mg, Calcium - 31.9 mg, Sodium - 11.4 mg, Iron - .51 mg, 
Selenium - .8 mg, Also contains small amounts of manganese, copper and zinc. Plus  Vitamin A - 2364 IU, Vitamin C - 25 mg, Folate (important during pregnancy) - 46 mcg, Niacin - .94 mg,
Vitamin B6 - .1 mg and don't the ones you grow taste so much better than purchased ones?
There is another rule in nature, in that you only get out what you put in, so when it comes to growing any fruit and vegetables you need to supply into the growing medium a vast range of minerals and this can be simply done these days with applications of Magic Botanic Liquid which we wrote about last week, the minerals from the ocean, ‘Ocean Solids’ and the minerals from rocks, ‘Simalith’. Add these to your soil with ample amounts of compost, animal manures and any other natural products.
If you have limited room you can grow a few vegetables in containers or polystrene trays using a mix of compost and a bit of soil.
One really great thing you can grow is wheat grass in trays and then juice it through a manual juicer to drink about 30 mils a day on an empty stomach. Grown with all the minerals supplied by the products mentioned above, that 30 mils is the equivalent of 1 kg of fresh vegetables in regards to the vitamins, mineral and enzymes.
I have been growing and juicing wheat grass daily, for over a year now and I cant remember a time,  other than my youth, when I have felt so fit and healthy as I do now. I don't even catch colds anymore, I can feel a cold coming on and next day its gone. For more information see my web site at  or give me a call on 0800 466464
Most of us cannot grow all the fruit and vegetables that we need in our daily diets but what we are able to grow can obtain a good percentage of our bodies daily needs of vitamins and minerals.
Grow your own and be healthy, don't waste your money on supplements.

Problems ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmerston North 3570606)
Web site www.gardenews.co.nz

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