Nutrients On The Decline In Our Foods

by : News Canada

(NC)—The amount of nutrients in our food is steadily declining, according to recent research. A recent survey found some fruits and vegetables we buy today contain far fewer nutrients than they did 50 years ago. This is especially noticeable in foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, bananas and apples. Specifically, the potato has lost 100 per cent of its vitamin A, 57 per cent of its vitamin C and iron, and 28 per cent of its calcium.

The study looked at 25 fruits and vegetables, and found that 80 per cent showed drops in calcium and iron, 75 per cent in vitamin A, 50 per cent lost vitamin C and riboflavin, 30 per cent lost thiamine and 12 per cent lost niacin.

Data from the US Department of Agriculture also documents a similar trend in vegetables, from the start to the end of the 20th century. The average mineral content of vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach has declined from 400 mg to less than 50 mg.

The decline in nutritional content is likely due to changes in farming methods that tend to focus heavily on a food's appearance and ability to be transported and stored effectively. Rather than focusing on vitamin content, food producers are more concerned with high yields, visually appealing product and disease resistance. How foods are cooked and processed may also play a role in diminishing nutrient content.

So, today, the diet may not necessarily provide all the vitamins and minerals you need at optimal levels. This has the potential to negatively affect your health, since a number of common diseases are thought to be related to nutritional deficiencies. In order to get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis, you may want to consider taking a daily multivitamin, like Centrum?, for nutritional insurance. For more information on vitamin and mineral supplementation, visit

- News Canada