Many people are deficient in vitamins and minerals and don't know it. Sometimes even your doctor doesn't know it when looking at your blood tests. If you take the case of magnesium, then whether the cells and tissues of your body have enough magnesium or not, your blood test will show normal levels of magnesium. The reason is simply that the body needs to regulate blood magnesium levels between very strict limits. If magnesium drops too low, you are likely to have a heart attack!

What's happening inside your body is that when the magnesium starts to drop, reactions take place to release the magnesium from your bones (up to 50% of magnesium is stored in your bones). The magnesium in your bones helps to strengthen and harden the bones, so this depletion can have a serious effect on bone strength. Therefore as magnesium levels in your blood drop, it's taken out of the bones to increase the levels in your blood to within acceptable limits.

The fact is that you can have absolutely normal magnesium levels in the blood while your cells, tissues and organs are fully depleted.

It just so happens that the vast majority of us are deficient in magnesium with some estimates into the 90% range. It's not just magnesium though. We face an uphill battle to get enough of the other essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need in our diet. One of the reasons for this is the reduction in levels of vitamins and minerals in the fresh fruit and vegetables that we buy.

In her book "How to know if you are magnesium deficient: 75% of Americans are", Liz Lipski, Ph.D. cites research showing that in the 1930s the average carrot contained 20 mg of zinc. In the 1980s that value was down to 10 mg, and today it may be as low as 2 to 5 mg.

A lot of the problems with these low nutrient levels are caused by the way the plants are farmed. The soils are becoming increasingly depleted of minerals and other nutrients that the plants need to grow properly. If the plants don’t have enough of the nutrients they won’t grow properly or pass on high levels to us.

We are hearing over and over on the television, radio, Internet and any other media outlet, that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables – maybe 6 to 8 a day. But is that enough?

Someone in the 1930s eating a carrot would have received 20 mg of zinc from that carrot. A person today would have to eat 8 to 10 carrots to receive the same level of zinc. Imagine if those numbers were similar across all fruit and vegetables? It would mean eating impossibly high numbers of fresh produce every day just to get the vitamins and minerals that we need for a healthy body. Those 6 to 8 pieces of fruit and vegetable a day doesn't really look enough now, does it? The solution I have turned to is juicing.

When you juice fruit and veg, you're extracting out a large proportion of the vitamins and minerals from the fresh produce in a liquid form. The volume of liquid will be much smaller than the equivalent volume would be if you had to eat all of those fruit and vegetables. You can also consume a wider range of fresh produce - I like to pay attention to the colors and try to get in several colors per day in my juices. Think of the colors of fruit and vegetables as the colors of health, with each color making up part of the whole.

By juicing daily, you get more of the nutrients your body is craving. You’ll also have better health, less sickness and feel so much younger.

Just a word of warning. The main component that is removed when juicing is fiber (fiber makes up the cell walls of the plant). Fiber is also an essential part of a healthy diet so I am not recommending you drink all of your fruit and vegetables through juicing. Fresh salads with plenty of green vegetables are superb sources of nutrients as are fruit. However, I would certainly recommend you drink freshly made juice every day as it can help boost your nutrient intake with a rich concentrated cocktail of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Andy Williams is a health nut with a fascination for nutrition. His website JuicingtheRainbow.com discusses the benefits of Juicing for Health and includes detailed information on the nutritional makeup of your juices.

Learn about the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, and also which fruit and vegetables are rich in these nutrients. Follow Andy Williams on Google+