One of the topics we always get asked about is dietary supplementation. Over the years, many people have asked us a variation of the same question: “Do I need to take supplements? If so, why? And what supplements should I take?”
A hundred years ago, if you ate a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, you would not need to take supplements. The soil was rich with minerals, and you could get all the nutrients you needed from the foods you ate. Unfortunately, modern farming methods have so depleted the soil that foods no longer contain enough nutrients for your body to maintain a state of optimal health, even if you do eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The only possible exception to this is if ALL your food intake is organic, from fields that have been farmed that way for thirty, forty, fifty years or longer, such as Filsinger’s farms in Ontario.
So that’s the bad news. The good news is that you don’t need to spend hundred of dollars a month in supplements just to stay healthy, but they are an essential part of your daily health regime. But remember, supplements are not a replacement for eating a balanced, healthy diet – plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, a whole grain cereal with milk, and fish and/or chicken daily. As the name suggests, they are intended to “supplement” your diet, not “replace” it. If you have any illnesses or special conditions – e.g. if you are pregnant, or have diabetes or osteoporosis -- go so your doctor or a good nutritionist before undertaking any changes to either your diet or supplementation regime.
So what supplements should you be taking? We asked on of our favorite nutrition consultants, Dr. Marina Zelenovic, and she recommended the following:
If your goal is simply to maintain your health, we recommend you take a high quality organic multi-vitamin and multi-mineral, essential fatty acids, and a high quality greens drink. Stay away from any artificial vitamins or supplements, or those that contain preservatives or coatings.
A good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral will ensure that you take in all the nutrients you need. Take one with your meal at breakfast, and one at lunch. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are fats that cannot be produced within the body, but rather must come from the diet. They are implicated in numerous bodily functions, including raising the metabolic rate, which assists with weight loss. The best sources of omega 3 include flax and cold water fish such as salmon, so if you eat 3-4 servings of salmon, and drizzle flax seeds on your oatmeal every morning, you may not need to take a supplement. But if you don’t, defintely take 1 a day at lunch and 1 at dinner.
Greens drinks are a great way to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a daily basis. They are high in numerous vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and algaes, which are great for nourishing the body at a cellular level, reducing cravings and appetite, and balancing blood sugar. Have 2 a day, ideally between meals, one in the morning, and one in mid-afternoon.
If you have any questions about dietary supplemntation, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.