I find that people often use supplements for the wrong reasons. And I am not just talking about adrenaline pumped muscle heads. I’m talking about the ‘normal’ people I work with. Seeking supplements can be an act of desperation. When “dieting” has failed (let’s face it: it typically does) or when new symptoms surface as we age. While there is no shortage of magic beans promising vitality, there is just no for substitute for quality nutrition and exercise. You can’t eat crap, pop a pill, (so-called ‘natural’ or otherwise) and expect a miracle. Which leads me to my soapbox: It all starts with food. In my opinion, there is no need to supplement if you are eating a variety of high quality vegetables and fruit unless you have an identified nutritional deficit. Now some would argue that our diet and lifestyle creates nutritional deficits for all of us in some regard. I don’t disagree. However, I still think it is important to consider WHY you feel you need supplements before taking them. In addition, how you supplement can make all the difference. Not all supplements are created equal. The quality of the original food source, manufacturing/processing practices, and shelf stability can all have an impact on efficacy. All of this should be discussed with your trusted health care professional.
Okay, so now that is out the way let me tell you what I really think. 😉
Not a big fan of multivitamins.
There, I said it.
First of all stop whining and eat your damn veggies. If you do have an issue consider first what is missing NUTRITIONALLY and identify what is needed to address that issue. Trying to cram your diverse needs into one pill doesn’t make sense to me. Shortcuts don’t work long term. Also, choose the source of your supplements very carefully. The way I see it, most supplement companies are right behind Big Pharma when it comes to preying on sick folk. I give anyone the side-eye that suggest I take something without discussing diet and activity. I also am not really crazy about the person who makes a recommendation to me making a profit on said recommendation. Muddies the waters a bit. This is also another reason why I don’t sell supplements. Now before you get all defensive of your Vitamin E, let me clearly state that I take supplements every single day. I have a chronic illness and I feel that they help me tremendously.
and I feel that they help me tremendously. BUT a lot of thought goes into what I take. Personal example of why/how I supplement: I have an identified problem with inflammation so I have increased my intake of oily fish, coconut and olive oil, nuts, beets, ginger and turmeric. I periodically take supplements because my health is compromised and it is widely believed that we are all lacking the oils needed in our diet. However, I do a great deal of research before I take anything. Did you know that not all Omega 3 Fatty acids are created equal? Tips on choosing a quality Omega 3 supplement: 1) Know the Source of your Omega 3. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you are going to want to avoid fish sources by looking for ELA (sourced from nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetable oils, etc..). Fish eaters should look for quality EPA (anti-inflammatory) or DHA (improves cognitive function) . Vegans/vegetarians can also source these supplements from algae. 2)Check the amount of the actual oils in the supplement. Many supplements have fillers that should not be considered when determining dosage. I take my oils straight. No chaser. 🙂 3)Check for purity. Companies who have high purity standards want you to know it and it you won’t have a hard time finding them on their label. Also check out consumerlab.com. For a small investment, you will have access to independent testing done on many supplement brands. They let you know if the product contains what it says it does. I really believe in shopping around. Getting your produce from the market, meat from the butcher, and bread from a bakery might be very inconvenient but it makes sense right? Same with supplements. I don’t recommend particular supplements because every body is different. My needs/lifestyle may call for a regiment that wouldn’t work for someone else. It is important for each person to get to learn their body and listen to its cues. A few other rules of thumb for me: I rotate my supplements. I take as many as 9 supplements but never on the same day. There are one or two that I take daily (namely my oils), The others I rotate. I think it is less disruptive to my gut this way. I also take most of my supplements at night. If I do burp salmon, I don’t notice and my husband hasn’t complained. Again, don’t implement anything on MY plan until discussing it with your healthcare professional. One more thing: EAT YOUR DAMN VEGGIES.