Eating nutrient-dense, or nutrient-rich, foods is a cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle. What does nutrient dense mean? Foods that are nutrient dense are high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Think of them as “nutrient powerhouses.” Examples of nutrient-dense foods are kale, blueberries, almonds, broccoli and salmon, just to name a few.
The healthy eating equation is pretty simple in theory: include as many nutrient dense foods into your daily diet as possible, while eliminating unhealthy food options. Of course, this is easier said than done for most of us. As we know, “life happens,” and it’s a rare day when we’re able to eat perfectly.
Food isn’t what it used to be
While real, whole food is always best for nourishing your body and keeping you healthy, there is some evidence that the nature of food has changed over the years. Essentially, we’re not eating the same nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that our grandparents did.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at changes in food composition for 43 garden crops from 1950 to 1999. As a group, the 43 foods studied showed declines in six areas: protein, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. One of the reasons for the decline in nutrient value is degradation of fertile soil.
Again, nutrient-dense foods are always the “go-to” and still hold great nutritional value, but we must keep in mind that nutrient composition of food has changed over time.
The value of a multivitamin
When you combine the declining nutrient value of food with our less-than-perfect diets, there are compelling reasons to include a gender- and age-specific multivitamin into your supplement routine. Real evidence exists that most people have gaps in their diet, and a multivitamin can play an important role in filling those gaps. Data reported in July 2015 by the Center for Disease Control show Americans do not consume enough of the right foods to get all the essential nutrients we need to maintain good health. In fact, there are millions of people who may not be getting enough essential vitamins such as D, B12, B6, and even vitamin C!
The INNATE Response doctor-formulated multivitamin collection was formulated by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an internationally recognized expert on dietary supplements, herbal medicine, women’s health and integrative medicine, with a career spanning 35 years.
Her expertise helped Innate update their line of vitamins with methylated forms of FoodState® B12 & Folate and active forms of B2 and B6. This line also contains choline, an integral member of the B vitamin family that is often missing in the diet and from most multivitamins.
While food should always come first, a comprehensive daily multivitamin packed with a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals is vital for filling nutritional gaps. Look for gender- and age-specific formulations to meet your individual needs. And consider a multivitamin crafted with whole foods, which are gentler on the body even when taken on an empty stomach.
 1 Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999. Davis et al. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Vol. 23, No. 6, 669–682 (2004)
 The CDC Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Article contributed by Erin Stokes, N.D., Medical Director at INNATE Response. Dr. Stokes received her naturopathic doctor degree from Bastyr University in 2001. Shortly afterwards she began to pursue her passion for educating others by teaching Western Pathology and Psychology of Healing at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colo. She combines her experience as a naturopathic doctor with an extensive background in the natural retail industry, most recently providing naturopathic consultations at an integrative pharmacy for over six years. Her personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives, and she is a frequent radio show and podcast guest. Dr. Stokes is a registered Naturopathic Doctor in Colorado, and lives with her family in Boulder, Colo.