Should You Take Supplements?

Supplements were originally intended to provide additional nutritional support for vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Now, there seems to be a supplement made for every condition from depression and low energy to anti-aging, falling hair, and weight loss. For almost every physical condition there is a supplement that touts a remedy.

Are these claims really true?

Supplements were never meant to replace eating healthy, wholesome foods. Before adding supplements to your diet, the first step is to focus on maximizing the nutrition in your meals. Eat whole foods, organic when possible. Fill your plate with leafy greens, grains, and lean proteins. Then add some super foods as a snack or blended in a smoothie. Nature has created phytochemicals in food that man has yet to identify much less understand. There are nutritional components created in plants that cannot be replicated in a pill. Never skimp on food quality thinking you can make it up with supplements.

There are times when taking supplements are necessary. Most common reasons to add supplements to your daily diet are:

  1. Nutritional deficiencies that can develop from a poor diet.
  2. Sometimes it is necessary to take supplements because the soil has become so depleted that it is affecting the quality of food being grown.
  3. And then there are the GMO’s that have long term consequences no one yet fully knows.
  4. Supplements are needed at times after an infection or illness when the body has become weakened and used up its reserves. Supplements are necessary and vital to providing the extra nutrients needed in the body’s healing process.
  5. Pregnancy and nursing mothers need extra nutritional support.

Main reasons you would not randomly take supplements:

  1. If constipation is an issue, taking supplements could exacerbate the condition. Proper elimination is important.
  2. A strong, balanced digestive system is required to properly assimilate supplements. If you suffer from digestive issues, supplements can aggravate your digestion further.
  3. Another contra-indication for taking supplements would be a toxic liver. If the liver is already burdened with toxins, taking supplements would only add more stress to the liver.
  4. If you suffer from food allergies, taking supplements can exacerbate your symptoms.

To get the most out of the supplements you want or need to take, it is important to first get your digestion in shape. This can easily be done with some simple steps.

  1. Drink lots of water, perhaps adding lemon juice to it.
  2. Increase your intake of fiber rich foods to improve elimination.
  3. Get plenty of exercise to improve metabolism.
  4. You can also do a cleanse with herbal tonics, detox teas, green smoothies, or a customized detox program that is designed for your specific health needs.
  5. Eliminate junk food from your diet.
  6. Avoid known food allergens.

After your digestion is in shape, supplements can be added for a period of time. It is best to take a supplement for three to six months and then take a break from it. If the body becomes dependent on a supplement taken over a long period of time, it may upset the balance where the body normally produces bio-chemicals. Whole food and superfood supplements are the best to ingest when possible because they are more bio-available than chemically manufactured supplements. Nature produces food substances in perfect balance with all the vital nutrients and phytochemicals, minus the fillers and added components that cannot be replicated in a lab.

If you feel you need to take supplements, seek out someone with a nutritional background so you only take what you need and learn how to get the rest from food. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”

The final and most important step to take before loading up with supplements……..You may want to take a personal inventory of your life and look to see where you are depriving yourself nourishment or not feeling fulfilled. The manifestation of nutritional deficiencies can be the result of some deeper deficits that are needed to fill your heart with love and life with joy. The body has a way of keeping us honest. We just need to take time to listen and understand the message in the reflection.