“What supplements should I take?” is a question I get several times a week. There are so many supplements available these days and so many people are taking them, it can seem like a necessity to have them.
And to be honest, the answer depends on who you talk to. Some people are adamant about supplement, citing a variety of different reasons. Some people say you should never supplement because nature provides all you need.
As a holistic health counselor, my first focus is always improving the diet. Getting as many whole foods as possible into your daily life. Many of the vitamins and minerals that you need can be attained through a healthy, varied diet. And in nature, these vitamins and minerals are bonded in ways that make it possible for the body to digest them (rather than produced and taken separately which can be taxing on the body or indigestible for the body).
But there are times in your life when you might become deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral. Perhaps you get a new job and don’t spend as much time out in the sun so your vitamin D lowers. Or you are pregnant and need extra folic acid. Or you take up a body building routine and you need more amino acids in easily digested forms. At these times, aren’t we lucky that we have supplements accessible?
Before you supplement, first make changes to the diet – ask yourself, “what foods or drinks could provide me with more of the vitamin/mineral that I am missing?” Once you have made dietary changes, then look to supplements for an added boost. Then once, your levels come back into balance, wean off of the supplement and see how your levels react.
Think of supplements as a tool to boost your health. There are there when you need them; but you don’t need to take them just because they are there.
It is always a good idea to check with a doctor
before adding or removing a supplement in your diet.