As health-conscious individuals, we strive to achieve optimal health for ourselves and our loved ones. We often wonder if it is possible to attain perfect health without the use of supplements.
Our ancestors lived without supplements for thousands of years, consuming fewer foods and smaller portions. Unfortunately for us, modern farming practices and overfishing have drastically reduced the nutritional value of our 'nutritional' foods.
Even a well-balanced diet with a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables may not provide all the nutrients we need to thrive. This is where supplements come in.
Supplements come in by helping to bridge the gap between the nutrients we get from our diet and what our bodies need to function at their best.
To understand which nutrients we may be lacking, we need to consider our biological requirements based on factors such as genetics, environment, and daily food intake. Even cooking methods can impact the nutritional value of our food.
High heat can render essentials like enzymes and vitamin C useless.
And if you consume a lot of convenience foods, you're more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies as highly processed foods lose many essential nutrients in the processing.
But be wary of packaged convenience foods that claim to be healthy. Many of these foods contain synthetic vitamins that can do more harm than good. Avoid 'fortified' foods or foods that focus specifically on calories as their 'health' claim. These synthetic nutrients can often rob your body of essential nutrients.
Whole foods are better options for nutrient sources. Foods with ingredients you can pronounce are also better options.
When choosing a supplement to support your diet, it's crucial to read labels and understand the benefits of the supplements you choose, along with their daily recommended intake, source, and absorption rate. Look for those with ingredients you can pronounce, discuss with your doctor if the formula will conflict with any medications, and aim for something that isn't just a fad.
This is key.
What works for one person may not work for you.
Search for the gaps in your diet that need your attention.
Do you work all day indoors or live in a cloudy climate? You might do well to supplement with a good source of Vitamin D3.
Do you struggle with gut imbalances? You may do well with a pre/probiotic formula that both feeds and repopulates your gut bacteria.
And learn to listen to your body when it speaks up.
Feeling crunchy and stiff?
You may just be dehydrated or in need of some yoga.
Remember, supplements are meant to supplement, not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. As our resident Holistic Health Coach, Alida, would say "Start by adjusting your diet first. Then you'll know what you're lacking in."