What Vitamins & Supplements Do You Really Need?
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As a registered dietician, every time I begin a talk or a client session with "better nutrition is actually simple" I get looks that range from incredulous, to hopeful, to (frankly) pissed off. Read
There are so many vitamins, supplements, herbs, pills, and concoctions advertised today that it’s hard to know what you really need, and more importantly, what you DON’T need. Let’s consider whether you need daily multivitamins, supplements, something else, or nothing.
You need at 12 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily in order to ingest the amount of nutrients needed by the body to function properly and protect against disease. You need fruits and vegetables of all colors from deep green to purple, red, yellow and orange. That's nearly impossible to do for some people!
To compound the problem, today’s farming methods use a good deal of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and result in over-farmed soil. When the land is overused and improperly farmed, your produce has much less vitamin and mineral content than intended, not to mention the unwanted chemicals added.
So how do we make sure we get enough produce and minimal chemicals? It would be great if we had access to all-organic produce all year round. But chances are you have limited access to organic produce full time, and it may not be affordable.
The short answer is YES – you do need the right kind of supplementation! But were we meant to take inorganic, fake vitamins and supplements? Cheap, inorganic vitamins are being manufactured quickly and are made available for mass consumption. However, many studies suggest that there's no benefit to taking multivitamins, and that many are not even digested in the intestines because of the fillers and materials used to manufacture them.
In order to supplement your diet in the correct way, you need a whole-food, plant-based concentrated supplement made strictly from fruits and vegetables that are non-GMO and processed at low-heat so the original nutrients are preserved. Look for a gluten-free, dairy-free one. There are also great plant-based shakes and powders that you can use. Make sure your vitamins and minerals don’t have fillers, chemicals, or coloring in them. Otherwise you're defeating your purpose.
Be careful and research what you buy. There are several quality affordable products you can find easily. Skip the synthetic pills and go for the most unprocessed, least chemically fortified version you can find.
And so, my recommendation is to eat plenty of fresh, whole, organic foods in nature’s package – plenty of fruits and vegetables, with as many colors as you can. Try to have two fruits and two vegetables with every meal! Then supplement on top of that with whole-food, plant-based, pure, organic, non-GMO products. If you have any questions feel free to contact me!
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