If you don’t have enough minerals, your body will conserve them for the most critical processes to keep you alive, but that means that other processes that keep you healthy or promote longevity will be sacrificed.
We have reached a crisis level of mineral deficiency, and we did it to ourselves with our modern agricultural practices. Even on organic farms, we face a nutrition problem because we keep growing the same plants in the same soil, and rivers don’t flood the soil to deposit mineral-containing silt the way they did in the days before large-scale irrigation and land engineering.
Farms that follow the principles of regenerative agriculture, treat the soil as an ecosystem that needs to be nurtured and sustained, use plant matter and animal manure to keep the soil mineralized. Food from regenerative farms is usually high in minerals, closer to the way it used to be.
Our founder, Dave Asprey has a small thirty-two-acre regenerative farm, their plants grow in soil that came from the bottom of an organic pond. Using this high-mineral soil on the crops enabled them to reach full productivity in two years instead of a typical four years, and they have impressive yields. More important, the food tastes amazing because the soil has adequate minerals for the plants to take up. But most people don’t have access to such farms or such nutrient-rich foods.
Soil depletion is only part of the reason why you need to take mineral supplements.
Changes in industrial food production over the last hundred years have created foods that literally suck minerals out of your bones and your body. Our ancestors knew about this problem. When they ate grains, they soaked them, they sprouted them, they processed them, sometimes for several days, or they fermented them. They didn’t do it for flavor; they did it to get rid of the plant toxins that steal your minerals, recognizing through trial and error that processing made the plants healthier to eat.
Big Agriculture and Big Food have abandoned traditional practices and inundated the public with phytic acid, the sinister anti-nutrient. You find it in the outer parts of grains such as the bran and the husk. Well-meaning but misguided health food pundits tell you to eat whole grains because they contain fiber and minerals. They don’t understand that the phytic acid present in that part of the grain not only prevents you from using the minerals in the grains but actively removes minerals from your body. Cultures with a long history of eating rice almost universally used white rice when they could afford it; they understood that it was the superior food.
The way we process grains today leaves behind high levels of phytic acid, so we get less of Mother Nature’s good stuff and more of the bad. There are more expensive ways of processing grain that remove the phytic acid, but Big Food has largely abandoned those practices. High-speed processing saves money. You are the one who pays the price, because industrial food contains mineral-robbing chemicals that require you to take supplements just to get back to baseline.