Nearly everyone takes some kind of vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement. Why? Did we “hear” they are good to take? Did our doctor or health professional recommend a supplement? Did we get tested and the results show a need for these specific things? What makes us choose one brand over another? (They aren’t all created equal.)
Most of us do supplement in some way for a variety of reasons. We get busy and we add in and eat too much of the non-helpful processed foods and leave out the helpful foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Nearly ALL of us don’t add in a colorful variety of 7-13 fruits and vegetables consistently every day. Plus, we know that even when we do eat “healthy” our food doesn’t have the nutrients it did when our grandparents and great grandparents were farming or getting food from more local sources. Food is harvested well before ripeness and it doesn’t get to us sometimes for weeks, even months if we are talking about out of season carrots or apples that we can miraculously get all year long, losing nutrients all along the way.
The saying, “We are what we eat eats” also holds value for those who consume animal products. What the animals eat has also changed over the years. For example, commercial cows raised for beef are packed together on barren land, eating corn to fatten them up but also making them sick which then requires antibiotics, and also making the meat low in Omega 3 and high in Omega 6 throwing off the ideal ratio of 2:1. Contrast this to how cattle was raised 60 years ago or on a “modern” grass fed farm; joyously roaming and grazing on grasses their bodies are designed to eat, making their meat naturally higher in Omega 3’s which produces a more helpful ratio of Omegas 3 to 6. Chris Kesser, one of my favorite functional medicine educators and practitioners, shares more on this topic if you want to go deeper into this and specifically the consumption of grass fed vs grain fed meat. Chris Kesser
So, supplementing not only makes sense but can become an important part of getting and maintaining optimal health and prevention of disease. But where to start? There are SO many options. Many companies don’t even make their own products but rather are “distributors.” This means one of a few factories make the majority of your supplements and are then rebranded as their own. This is called private label. There is nothing wrong with private label as long as you really know what you are paying for and putting into your body.
Here are some essentials to consider when choosing a supplement so your body and mind has energy, gets the ultimate nutrition, you don’t waste your money and you look and feel your best.
5 Must Haves to Check Off When Looking for a Vitamin Supplement
If you aren’t 100% thrilled with what your supplements are doing for you or you’ve been looking for supplements that actually DO SOMETHING, and pass all 5 of the above with flying colors, check this out. I have taken the Juice Plus Trio and Omega complex for over the past 6 years and feel better now that I did in my 40’s and 30’s and much of my 20’s. I didn’t realize how much more I needed to supplement my already healthy diet and had no idea that all I needed was supplements from WHOLE FOOD that were proven to do good things in my body.
Dr. Bill Sears, “America’s Pediatrician” shares more here. Science and Supplements