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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

For Optimal Health, Food May Not Be Enough

Feb 28, 2022 08:00PM ● By Chelsea Kazmierczak-Goethel

It is no secret that the consumption of adequate nutrients is essential to optimal health and well-being. Each vitamin and mineral plays a vital role in the functioning of the human body. Though overt deficiencies of micronutrients are less common in the United States than worldwide, it is an unfortunate reality that many Americans are consuming suboptimal levels of required nutrients.

Studies show insufficient consumption of vitamin D, vitamin E and magnesium in well over half of U.S. adults. Additionally, over 40 percent of the population does not meet the daily intake requirement for calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C. As the popularity of processed and convenience foods has risen, the consumption of crucial nutrients has decreased. The result is an overfed, undernourished society.

If suboptimal nutritional status is the norm for the majority of people, what does that mean for the conscientious eater? Is the consumer who focuses on eating a balanced, fresh, unprocessed diet receiving every vitamin, mineral, essential fatty acid and antioxidant required to thrive? Sadly, even the most well-rounded eating style may still lead to gaps in nutrient status.

There are a wide variety of factors that prevent people from achieving optimum nutrition through food alone. Industrial agriculture practices deplete the soil of key minerals. Long distance transportation and long term storage of produce created a shift away from local eating. These factors result in fruits and vegetables that are simply not as nutrient-dense as they once were.

The quality of the modern food supply is not the only concern. Chronic stress levels of modern life lead to higher nutrient needs. Changes in daily exposure to environmental stressors have created a toxic burden that may prevent utilization of ingested nutrients, and reduced exposure to sunlight impacts nutrient absorption.

This is where appropriate use of dietary supplements comes into play. It is easy to be overwhelmed by this option, given that the industry grew to be valued at over 55 billion dollars in 2020. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow to ensure optimal health. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow to ensure optimal health through diet and supplementation.

First, reach for food as the primary nutrient source. Aim to consume four to five cups of vegetables, one to two cups of fruit, plenty of healthy fats, and adequate protein from high-quality sources. Learn about local farmers and seasonally appropriate eating. Next, consider supplements in whole food form. To gain maximum benefit from supplemental nutrients, it’s important to avoid synthetic and isolate compounds. Look for nutrients in their naturally occurring form. Finally, seek out professional guidance to assess nutrient status and supplemental needs. 

MetroEast Natural Healing Center, in Oakdale, uses a targeted approach to assess states of malnutrition, toxicity and other causes of ill health. Their highly trained and experienced nutrition practitioners specialize in creating customized dietary and supplemental plans to improve the health of their patients. From minor symptoms to serious health concerns, the expertise of their holistic practitioners can make a major difference in reaching one's health goals.

Chelsea Kazmierczak-Goethel Courtesy of MetroEast Natural Healing Center

Chelsea Kazmierczak-Goethel, MSACN, is a holistic practitioner at MetroEast Natural Healing Center, Oakdale. She is advanced clinically trained in Nutrition Response Testing, holds a bachelor's degree in Human Physiology, and a master of science in Applied Clinical Nutrition. Her own health issues brought her into the natural health care world, but the return of joy and optimum health to her patients happily fuels her every day. She is grateful to have been a part of the healing journey of so many patients over the past five years. For more information, visit

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Read the full December 2022 Magazine