What's Up with the Supps?
Throughout my adult life, I’ve broken up and gotten back together with supplements too many times to count. You could call me a serial supplementalist.
Without any wisdom or research on my part, it has been my habit to either
a) arbitrarily purchase a multi-vitamin when, happening upon the supplement aisle, I think “sure, why not!,” or
b) notice an abundance of important-looking supplements in the cabinet of a crunchy, glowing, make-up-free friend, realize she must be so much healthier than I am, run out to the store the next day and get exactly what she has.
And I wait for something to happen (tick tock).
And then I give up on those cold, slippery pills (sniff), the break-up so hard to swallow.
So now that I’ve finally taken responsibility for what I put into this one and only body of mine, I’ve been digging into the mysterious world of extracted-encapsulated nutrients, minerals and vitamins, to see if there’s a real love story out there.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED:
This is a wee blog and there’s so much information on this topic that I could write a veritable book on supplementation. But through my many weeks of inquiry, I have discovered two stars in the supplement cosmos that are recommended unilaterally by every doctor, nutritionist and dietitian I researched.
Recent studies have shown that Vitamin D is important in decreasing your chances of getting the flu, heart disease, depression, diabetes, even multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D improves bone health, controls blood sugar and boosts immune system function. Check out this sweet SLIDE SHOW on all things D.
What’s cool about this unique vitamin is that it can be synthesized simply by sitting in the sun! Just 15 minutes of UVB exposure is often enough to satisfy your daily needs. Download this free DMINDER APP, type in your location and skin tone and find the perfect time to catch some rays to get your daily dose of D:
Unfortunately, because many of us live in the northern climes, and because all of us (and rightly so) slather on sheets of sunscreen in the summer months, up to 80% of our population is Vitamin D deficient. A simple blood test at the doc’s will reveal if you need to drive to the local supplement store – look for a product touting D3, and even though there are some differences of opinion, it is generally recommended you get between 600-1000 IU’s/day. If you’ve got kids, keep them healthy with 400-800 IU’s/day, year round.
Arguably ALL chronic disease has a common root of silent inflammation - inflammation of organs and internal soft tissues - and this chronic condition encourages vulnerability to allergies, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, cancer and many other age-related diseases.
Our Standard American Diet (SAD), with its emphasis on meat, sugar and processed food, is highly inflammatory and creates an internal environment ripe for cultivating disease (sorry folks, SAD but true). However, certain foods, like those high in omega-3 fatty acids, can greatly reduce silent inflammation and thereby protect tissues and organs from inflammatory damage.
Enter Fish Oil, a potent and effective soldier in the battle against silent inflammation. Fish oil is rich in EPA and DHA, the long-chain fatty acid components of omega-3 and the most important in terms of reducing inflammation. Unless you’re eating boatloads of THESE FISH, a fish oil supplement of 1g/day is recommended.
Be sure you purchase a brand that undergoes a stringent purification process (I buy NORDIC NATURALS), as there are no fish left in the sea free from mercury toxicity and other industrial by-products. Go to the INTERNATIONAL FISH OIL PROGRAM to find the best brand for you.
A FINAL THOUGHT:
Supplements aside, let’s face it: the best way to get the goods for optimum health, abundant energy and super immunity is THROUGH YOUR FOOD.
Food is the most potent pharmaceutical on the market today – real, whole food provides everything you need to fuel the miraculous machinations of your body. Food is cancer-fighting, cell-regenerating, immunity-boosting, brain-developing, anti-aging, weight-losing, mood-lifting… but there’s one catch.
YOU HAVE TO EAT THE RIGHT STUFF.
Food in a box? No. Food shaped like a square, a rectangle or some other startlingly symmetrical shape? No. Food whose label has an ingredient list more chemically prodigious than Walter White’s Blue Sky? No No No.
Check out this list of the 50 HEALTHIEST FOODS foods on the planet and eat these!
Eat real, be well. And perhaps I’ll see you romancing the supplement aisle soon…
Xoxoxo - Lara