To Take, Or Not To Take: That Is The Question
I am often asked whether dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids or probiotics are really necessary. This is a complex question that depends on your lifestyle and your level of health.
You probably don’t need supplements if:
– you have no current health concerns and feel energetic,
– have a healthy digestive system for optimal nutrient absorption (no discomfort and daily bathroom visits),
– experience minimal stress (and have good stress management habits),
– get enough sleep (wake feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed).
– don’t take medications (short or long-term),
– aren’t predisposed to any serious health conditions (no family history of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, thyroid conditions, high cholesterol, mental health disorders), and
– eat 3 home-made meals that are loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit, and balanced with healthy protein.
You might need supplements if a few of the items from the list above are true for you and you probably need supplements if none of the items on the list are true for you.
Other reasons for using vitamin supplements:
• They work well in the short term to address your health concerns while you are working on improving your diet (which often requires more learning, effort and commitment while new habits form).
• They work well when your lifestyle and work-style doesn’t allow for big dietary changes (i.e. travel)
• If you prefer a more natural approach to resolve your health concerns, it is often difficult to reach the therapeutic dosages of certain vitamins/ minerals/ probiotics/ fatty acids from diet alone.
• In the long run though, once you resolve your health concerns it is wiser to focus on eating well and use supplements occasionally on an as needed basis.
Not all supplements are made equal.
What’s your best choice?
1. Supplements in capsule form, instead of caplets and tablets.
2. Products that do not contain chemical binders, lubricants or fillers (i.e. magnesium stearate, lactose, colouring,
3. Products that contain the most absorbable and bio-available forms of vitamins and minerals. For example, choose minerals bound to citrate or malate instead of oxides or carbonates.
4. Probiotics with multiple strains of bacteria and a greater number of colony forming units (CFU) (e.g. 10 billion at least.)
5. Choose fish oils that are highly purified (3rd party certified) and are from sustainable fish sources.
If you need any guidance with what supplements might be bestsuited for you, I am here to help you achieve optimal health, naturally.