The food that we eat today is not what it used to be. Our soils are depleted of necessary minerals, our fruits and vegetables are "ripened" on a truck - or worse - injected with dye to look "ripe"! Produce takes days to arrive at the store and then sits out for days; losing it's nutritional value. The food industry is relying on cheap, synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals to be added back into food that should have been left in it's natural state in the first place. The vitamin D that is added to milk comes from sheep's wool, for goodness sake! The animals that we eat are fed unnatural things - last year farmers were bidding on expired candy and cookies to feed their cattle. I am not making this stuff up.
If we all had our own family farm and were growing glorious fruits and veggies.....raising cattle......taking care of chickens....then I would not feel the need to talk about supplements. There wouldn't even be a supplement industry! But there is and it is rather confusing.
The recommendations below are for general health. They do not address specific health issues, but I consider them to be important additions to your life. I have also given the food sources for these guys and would like to point out that in a perfect world we would have access to local, organic food all year round :)
1. Good quality multi-vitamin
Consider this a good, supportive base for your body. All vitamins and minerals work together and need each other to work efficiently. A good multi will give you a better chance at absorbing nutrients from your food and allow your body to use them effectively.
My favourite brand is Progressive. I would not buy generic brands, Jamieson and Swiss.
AVOID THE FOLLOWING:
- any that use “oxide” form (citrate and glycinate are better)
- dl- alpha for vitamin E (as opposed to d- alpha)
- too many “other ingredients”
- One a Day
-tablet, gummy or liquid
2. Vitamin C with bioflavanoids
Humans (along with guineas pigs, a type of bat and a type of bird) are the only animal that does not produce it's own Vitamin C. During times of stress, animals produce more - up to 600 times more!
This vitamin is probably the best known and the most taken for granted.
Buy a brand that includes bioflavanoids as this will enhance the effectiveness. Buy 250 -500 mg. capsules (not 1000 mg) because it needs to be taken throughout the day. We burn through it quickly and it needs to be replenished. You will know how much you need by 'bowel tolerance'. In other words, you take it until you have loose bowels and then cut back by one capsule! If you smoke, you need 250 mg for each cigarette. Yikes, I know.
SISU invented EsterC, a type of Vitamin C that is easier on the stomach. They then sold the patent to other companies. I recommend: Progressive, Health First, SISU, Natural Factors, New Roots.
- an incredibly powerful antioxidant used to fight free radicals and bacteria throughout body (this is why crows can eat road kill or dogs can eat garbage and not die! They produce Vitamin C to kill bacteria and stop free radical damage)
- critical for the production of white blood cells, collagen (protein used for creation of blood vessels, body tissues and muscle), bile and hormones
- utilized by every body system we have.
Food: Peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, kiwi, peas, melons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, tomatoes.
3. Essential Fatty Acids
- EVERY cell needs this to ensure proper communication in the body
- Our balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is way off.
The ratio of Omega 3:Omega 6 should be 1(or 2):1
We are typically at 1:26+ !
This has a lot to do with the animals we eat being fed grain instead of grazing on grass as it should do. Grass fed beef has the right ratio of Omegas.
- brain is fattiest organ and needs the right fats for us to be smart and happy J
- The body converts EFAs into PROSTAGLANDINS which do the following:
**All oils should be refrigerated.
**If taking blood thinners, check with your doctor before taking EFAs.
I recommend 1,000 to 2,000 mg for health maintenance.
Good companies: New Chapter, Renew Life, Health First, Udo's Choice, Natural Factors.
- crowds out the bad guys!
- helps digest food
- produces B vitamins and Vitamin K within our body
- promotes mineral absorption
-gross, but increases fecal bulking
- help repair any damage to digestive tract
- ensure a happier state of mind (95% of serotonin production occurs in gut)
- ensures a healthy immune system (over 60% of our immune cells are in gut)
Food: fermented stuff like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, buttermilk
Look for it in the fridge and look for at least 5 billion cultures. There should be strands of acidophilus and bifidus in the blend.
If you are coming off of a round of antibiotics, you will need 25-30 billion.
** need to be refrigerated
Good sources: Renew Life, Progressive, BioK
- overflow with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs, enzymes, phytochemicals
-detoxify the body
- alkaline the body
- reduce inflammation
- increase energy
- great source of magnesium and B vitamins in particular
- abundant source of chorophyll, salts, phytonutrients, and enzymes, that help to boost energy and cellular health
- is a source of gamma linolenic acid [GLA], an EFA necessary for the health of the nervous system
·- boosts immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies
Food: kale, swiss chard, spinach, escarole, arugula, dandelion leaves, collard greens, dark green lettuce, turnip greens, mustard greens
Greens in a powder form is a taste that takes time to get used to! They do come in capsule form if you just can't stomach it :)
I know that these things are pricey. If I were to pick one out of all of these, it would be the greens. You will get the most bang for your buck.