“ I eat a healthy diet, I don’t understand why supplements would be helpful for me”? That is a very fair question. And in fact, we are all different and our nutritional needs may differ.
However, there are some strong arguments in favor of using supplements, in general. The overall argument is that the Demand-Supply equation really asks for it!:
High Nutritional Demand: genetics, lifestyle, toxicity
Low Nutritional Supply: poor digestion, poor absorption, poor cellular metabolism, nutrient-poor food, food preference/access/affordability.
Surviving vs. Thriving. Perhaps “Fine” vs. Fantastic
Let’s look at some of these concepts in detail:
1. We are becoming obese, yet also malnourished (1). As an example, it is estimated that 2/3 of Americans are truly deficient in Magnesium; many more have insufficiency (2).
2. Our foods are hybridized, genetically-modified, sprayed, processed, refined, irradiated, oxidized, homogenized, stripped, bleached, charred, and served with fries.
3. Compared to 1975 our food has much LESS nutrition (3)!
4. Nutrition Drain:
a. A Global topsoil erosion crisis-Less mineral-density available to plants
b. Modern high-intensity farming practices with no natural cycling-No opportunity to put minerals back into the soil
c. Fertilizer “dilution” effect-A bigger piece of fruit means the same amount of nutrients have to be spread over more servings.
d. Hybridization-Emphasizes vegetables that “look good” or are more convenient to grow but not necessarily as nutritious as their predecessors.
5. Toxic burden/overload is common. We are exposed to thousands of toxins throughout our life! And the liver needs to detoxify those. Huge burden for the liver detoxification pathways, which also require some key nutrients to work properly.
6. Stress affects nutrients digestion, and absorption.
7. As Dr. Mark Hyman says: “In a perfect world, no one would need supplements. But given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply, and the high load of toxins on our brains and bodies, most of us need a basic daily supply of the key, raw materials for all our enzymes and biochemistry to run as designed.”
Food vs. Supplements? It is not even a competition! Think AND, not OR.
1. They are NOT the same. But supplements can be helpful as:
-A targeted solution – to address a known gap or insufficiency
-An insurance policy – to ensure the body gets sufficient daily support
2. Density: A typical multivitamin has at most ~30 vitamins and minerals. A typical stalk of broccoli has over 500 nutrients.
3. Combinations: Foods often present combinations of nutrients that support the absorption of one another.
4. Bio-availability: Be savvy. Many supplements are made from inexpensive nutrient forms that we cannot absorb well. Ask your coach or doctor for the best options.
5. Isolated nutrients: Supplements often feature only one form of a nutrient vs. the rich combination found in food (e.g. Vitamin E).
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If you have any questions about how you could benefit from health coaching, please schedule an initial consultation with me. During this session we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals.