28 August 2009
Spoon your way to health! ...Yeah, right.
Vitamin supplements are a fantastic (albeit expensive) tool commonly used today to improve the amount of nutrients available to our body. Supplements are extremely beneficial to your health.
If Americans would eat a proper diet of foods with a high nutrient to calorie ratio and had these foods readily available to them in the first place, we would have no need for expensive supplements! Whole foods have been proven time and time again to be better sources of vitamins and minerals. Some recent studies have even shown negative effects associated with megadosing on certain vitamins.
So do I take vitamins? Certainly, but only a select few.
1. Fish oil - I've discussed very briefly in a previous article the necessary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3's are an amazing tool at lowering inflation in the body, but it it darn near impossible to maintain an ideal ratio unless you catch your own fatty cold water fish, raise chickens in your backyard, and eat 100% grass fed beef 100% of the time. A fish oil supplement provides a few extra grams of omega-3's that keep your body running efficiently.
I take two to three daily, but skip out on them on the days I eat salmon or tuna (which I try to do at least twice a week). Check out this video from Dr. Barry Sears (author of The Zone diet book) on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid.
2. Multi-Mineral - I've also discussed briefly the fact that large amounts of vitamin D and calcium aren't necessary when eating real whole food and restricting grain and legume products, but multi-mineral supplements do ensure that you are getting just enough. They also include things like manganese, iron, and copper. You are likely getting enough of these from your protein sources, but if your protein requirements are a little lower (older adult males and all females), the extra little bit certainly won't hurt. I take two each day.
In short, forget acai extract and goji extract and green tea extract and fiber this and fiber that and reservatrol and ultra super mega man sport pills. Eat real, whole, natural food to limit your need for vitamin supplements. The real thing is always better than the $50 pills at GNC.