More and more people are learning the importance of topping up our diets with extra nutrients and the health benefits associated.
I would like to cover a few common questions and concerns about nutritional supplementation.
Why do we even need to supplement and what do they do?
Many people believe that we can obtain all of our needed micronutrients from the food that we consume. A good whole diet and eating 6+ fruit and veggie a day is a good start, but the levels of nutrients still far short of the optimal levels requires in today’s world. Our bodies require many vitamins and minerals that provide the building blocks for our body’s cells and provide them with protection from invaders.
Much of the food that we get today has a poor nutritional content. With today’s style of farming, our soils are becoming depleted and in turn our fruit and veggies.
Large cycled crops, fertilizers, sprays and chemicals and early picking has contributed to this.
The 1992 Earth summit has reported that tomatoes contain 90% less copper than they did 30 years ago and that total minerals in the soils have plummeted, some up to 80% in the past 50 year.
With soil depletion, processing of foods, poor food choices, storage and cooking, we are getting far fewer nutrients than we did 50 years ago. This is combined with the massive increase in the amounts of nutrients needed to live in the fast passed, stressful and more polluted world of today. There is also a strong link between poor nutrition and degenerative disease. This is why it is so important to top up a good diet with a high quality supplement.
Oxygen is essential for life, but it also has a ‘dark side’, this is known as oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is responsible for rusting metal or causing an apple segment to go brown.
The billions of cells that make up our bodies are under the same attack. This oxidative stress causes our bodies to age and degenerate.
When oxygen is utilized by our cells there is a byproduct or ‘exhaust fume’ called a free radical. Free radicals are increased by many things such as stress, smoke, radiation, fumes, fatty food, exercise and sunlight. Unless the free radicals are readily neutralized, they can go on to damage cells in any part of the body causing degeneration. Concentrated damage to one area will lead to degenerative disease such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer.
Research has now shown that antioxidants (vitamins) are the main line of defense to protect our cells against the continuous attack from free radicals. This is an on going war within our bodies.
|Goji berries, one of the most antioxidant packed foods|
Due to this we desperately need to supplement with a quality anti oxidant product. The more free radicals there are the more antioxidants are needed to match.
What type off supplement should I take?
There are a large number of supplements in the market place today. Many available fall far short of meeting the nutritional needs of the body’s cells.
A high quality supplement should be a twice a day formula, be easily absorbed (bioavailability), and contain the correct amounts of the many nutrients required.
Taking a large range of supplements can cause an overlap or may even cause you to miss out important minerals and vitamins. I recommend people take a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral rather than an assortment.
In Australia and New Zealand the soils are very low in selenium so this needs to be in the multi. There is a large amounts of supplements on the market with a diverse range of quality. Possibly the best independent nutritional supplement review is by scientist Lyle McWilliam, (Comparative guide to nutritional supplements) where he compares all aspects of quality between 100 Australian and NZ products.
As well as taking a high quality multi, I also recommend that people should take an Omega3 fish oil supplement. Fish oils seem to have large amounts of positive effects on the body. It is shown that they improving a baby’s brain in the womb, to helping nerves, brain function, hormones and skin health. Studies also show that they reduce heart disease, but the most impressive effect is that regularly taking a fish oil supplement can reduce the chances of sudden death by 81%!
|Krill oil, low in mercury and |
the most concentrated in Omega3
When choosing a fish oil supplement it is important to get some that is ‘mercury free’ as high doses of mercury is poisonous. This is the reason it is better to supplement this rather than eat an oily fish meal every day. The vegetarian option for fish oils is flax seed oils.
|Flax sedes oil|
Other supplements can be used to optimize health or help with specific issues.
A glucosamine supplement can be taken to rebuild cartilage, and reduce pain where there joint problems such as arthritis.
A good calcium/magnesium supplement can help increase bone density, and relax smooth muscle. This will prevent or reduce cramping and even help to lower blood pressure.
Vitamin C can be taken to help with immune function and fight infection. A high dose of vitamin C taken during the early stages of a virus can over power and stop the virus from reproducing any further.
I firmly believe that every person should be on a high quality multi vitamin/mineral and fish oil supplement. The RDA (recommended daily intake) was set many years ago to prevent infectious diseases and fall far short of meeting the optimal amounts needed to prevent degenerative disease. It is virtually impossible to achieve these levels from food alone so we must top up through supplementation. For example- for us to obtain optimum levels of vitamin E for one day we would have to consume 15kg of spinach or 1 kg of almonds.
Nutrients build, repair and protect our cells, keep our bodies functioning correctly, and will reduce degeneration thus slowing the ageing process.
Your health is worth the investment.
Outer beauty is a direct reflection of your inner health.