Let's talk about a widely misunderstood topic, and that is supplementing with vitamins and minerals. Should we do it and what kind should we use?
I used to be under the impression that if I ate my fruits and vegetables, got enough rest, drank enough water and exercised regularly that I shouldn’t really need to take a supplemental form of vitamins and minerals.
The more I learned though, the more I came to understand that there are a few powerful reasons why most of us need to take dietary supplements if we want to be healthy and strong and able to fight off sickness and disease, regardless of how healthy our lifestyle may be.
Let me begin by saying that relying on supplements alone cannot replace a bad diet. Let me repeat that, relying on supplements alone cannot replace a bad diet. What supplements can do though is fill in the gaps in your diet. Most of us, myself included, have gaps in our diet that need to be filled in, and not all of this is our fault.
I believe in using food for nutrition first and foremost. That should be our primary source of nutrients.
Food, in its whole form, untreated and unprocessed contains all of the cofactors needed to process and assimilate that piece of food.
It makes sense then that when food becomes processed, those necessary co-factors are often removed or altered and because of that, our bodies aren’t able to assimilate food in the same way as we could in its whole form, meaning we’re not getting the necessary nutrients.
Realistically, most of us aren’t cooking from scratch 100% of the time. I know I’m not.
Commercial harvesting, shipping processes, long term food storage, processing, and the addition of preservatives degrades the nutrient content of food. Therefore, unless you're eating a very fresh plant, it is a far different species at the time you’re eating it than it was when initially harvested.
Also, unnatural additives to our food during many of these processes like MSG, aspartame, splenda, colorings and flavors will increase your body's need for nutrients so that your body can deal with these synthetic derivatives that are damaging to our bodies.
Additionally, our soil just isn’t the same as it used to be. Our soil has become so depleted that we we’re not getting the same nutrients in our foods as we would have 40 years ago.
The plants aren’t getting the nutrients from the soil that they need, and if it’s not in the plant then you're not going to get it from eating the plant!
Unless we’re growing our own foods or buying organic all the time, we’re also receiving a good dose of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals from our food supply and those, combined with environmental chemicals in water and the air pollution and our health and beauty products that we put on our body form free radicals in our body and attack our metabolism and immune system.
All of these elements together vastly increase our need for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to fight against the formation of free radicals and the attack upon our metabolism and immune system.
With all of these factors combined, it’s not hard to see why good health does not just happen. It’s something a person has to be intentional about with our day to day choices. All is not lost. We can begin making small changes every day to improve our diet and our home environment. Little by little, these small changes add up to big change in the health and strength of our bodies.
As a bare minimum, along with improving your nutrition, I recommend a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and vitamin D.
Since the majority of supplements sold in the grocery store and pharmacy are of poor quality (see my article here on this topic), I’ve teamed up with a company called Fullscript, who allows me to provide access to practitioner-grade supplements to those of you in my healthy community, along with special pricing by using my link.
I’ll include the link HERE.
If you have any questions, just send me a message HERE.
Until next time.
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.