"Take your supplements" ~ UnSexy Advice
Unless your diet is utterly perfect and you live in a pristine forest and grow your own food, you probably need to be taking a couple supplements if you are looking to have consistently good health, or, are looking to overcome health related issues. My goal with my patients is to help them achieve such a high level of nutrition through food (especially animal products- red meat is truly natures multivitamin!) that they need very few supplements. I also firmly believe that many people are OVER supplemented, especially by well intentioned health coaches and functional/holistic medicine practitioners.
In this article I will let you know some important things to understand about supplements as well as what to look out for in a supplement. I will also share what I take on a (nearly) daily basis.
Not all supplements are created equal.
When considering a supplement it is best to look for non-synthetic ingredients. Synthetic ingredients are more taxing on the liver and blood. Also, many vitamin supplements contain dyes which are shown to cause harm. Considering you are taking them long term and (hopefully) daily, if not twice daily, It's a good idea to avoid supplements with dyes and fillers.
Here is a link to a list of fillers, binders and other agents to avoid.
Many natural "complete" supplements contain inflammatory ingredients.
In trying to compete in the marketplace, many natural whole (meaning non-synthetic) supplement manufacturers throw everything but the kitchen sink into their products to stay "cutting edge". However, some of these ingredients may have unwanted effects for people with inflammatory and auto-immune issues. Some of these ingredients are wheatgrass, alfalfa, barley, and possibly spirulina and blue-green algae (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to speak ill of the "superfoods" but...)
Read the back of the box.
Marketers are the new lawyers. It is criminal what companies will write on the front of their product to win the sale. Do not be taken in by the simple claims on your supplement box. Turn it around and read the actual ingredient list. This will save you every time.
Supplements I have used:
Vitamin Code by Garden of Life (Multi for Women or Men)
Elderberry Syrup by 365 (Whole Foods brand)
The links in this list are not to where I buy from (except the cod liver oil link), they are just links to show you the product visually. Most I order from Amazon or pick up at Whole Foods.
You may have noticed I do not have calcium listed as an individual supplement. There is calcium in the multi vitamin by Vitamin Code, but other than that I am not convinced our body does well with supplemented calcium. Calcium should come from vegetables, long cooked (with vinegar added!) bone broth, and muscle building (working out with weights and resistance) or impactful exercise (impact = with the ground such as jump rope, box jumps). Stressing the muscles stresses our bones which encourages more bone growth.
I am very convinced the combination of magnesium and zinc is magical and is a major factor in my not having been sick in over 6 years, despite extreme prolonged stress, direct and sustained exposure to people with colds and flu, and 30+ flights.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole and really geek out about magnesium, you can read this article. Rest assured though, I have every confidence in the type I take, and the article supports it.
One last point...
While taking supplements is important, regardless if your diet is on point or not, if you aren't eating nutritious food, simply adding supplements on top of a poor diet will not get you over the compromised health condition you may be dealing with. While it is better to at least be getting in nutrition via quality supplements, continuing to consume a poor diet is just constantly throwing gasoline on the fire.
As always, please feel free to email me from the email box on the home page with any questions!