If you've been following me for awhile, you know that my major focus is on eating simple whole foods to stay well or to get well. I'm not a big fan of relying on supplements to do the job that quality food can do. Supplements are isolated vitamins or minerals and these nutrients are best taken within the context of other phytonutrients and the fiber that surrounds them.
The mighty apple
The apple is an example. In all it contains about 1100 phytonutrients, all elegantly blended together with the water and fiber that makes it filling and delicious. A single vitamin tablet cannot compare with the benefit of eating an organic apple.
Are there times to supplement?
Absolutely. But the first thing you should do is get your food right.
Make your food choices nutrient dense by eating fresh foods that you prepare at home. Then, if things aren't totally perfect with your health, you might consider supplements.
Which supplements do I need?
Much depends on your health needs, but in general, there are two that I most frequently recommend to my clients: Vitamin D and fish oil. Why? Both provide multiple benefits to health and both are somewhat difficult to access through even a good diet. It's best to get your D levels tested through a simple blood test before deciding how much to supplement. With fish oil, I have seen an increase in HDL with some clients, and a reduction in joint swelling in other clients with rheumatoid arthritis.
How to choose a good supplement?
As with all supplements, you should work with your health care provider in making a decision on using supplements and at the very least inform him/her what you are taking to avoid any conflicts with medications, health issues, etc.
Choosing the right company for your supplements is very important. Often when you buy supplements in your corner discount pharmacy, they have not been evaluated in rigorous testing for being shelf-stable or free of heavy metals. You don't want to be consuming a supplement that may have little benefit while also harming you with a toxic load.
When taking a fish oil or Vitamin D supplement I recommend the Metagenics company. This is a long-established, highly reputable company that routinely conducts outside independent testing of its products to ensure quality and purity. In testing their fish oil ranks below detectable mercury and PCB levels, which is not the case for many neighborhood drug store and wholesale outlet brands.
Metagenics unconditionally guarantees the quality and purity of their concentrated EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) fish oil formulas. Each formula contains only the highest quality, Purity-Certified omega-3 fatty acidsEPA and DHAthat meet or exceed label claim (milligram, not just area percent). These formulas are enhanced with antioxidants to increase product stability.
The exceptional manufacturing and purification technology exceeds the highest quality standards—including the rigorous standards of the International Pharmacopoeia—and by far exceeds the quality criteria for the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s Omega-3 Monograph.
Should you decide with your health practitioner to order a Metagenics product, you can do so through my portal. . It is the only company I endorse and did so after careful research.
And of course, always consult your health care practitioner before taking any new supplement to avoid any interaction with food, herbs or medications you might be taking.