Supplemental Insurance

At every health venue I go to, whether stores or websites, supplements are everywhere.  They are a huge part of the health industry, and I have mixed feelings about it.  First of all, we are designed to get our nutrition from our food.  Unfortunately, we don’t all get the right nutrition for our body’s needs (either by choice or we don’t have the opportunity to).  Second of all, how are we to know what is a moneymaker, and what is legit?  I don’t feel adequate to talk about this topic, so here is what Sarah Glunz, MS, CNS, LDN, had to say when I asked her about supplements:

Supplements are just that – a way to supplement what we can’t get from our diet. So the question becomes how do we know if we are getting what we need from our diet?  One way to find out is through medical testing – a doctor can test levels of vitamins such as B12 and D.  Another way is through symptoms or signs of a deficiency. For example, if someone has low bone density, they may supplement calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D. If someone has high cholesterol then they may consider a fish oil supplement.  We can also argue that a simple multi-vitamin can help prevent some health conditions before they become an issue.

Sarah recommends this website if you want to read further into this topic.  I will share just a few thoughts and hope to get some input from you as well.

  • I like to call taking daily vitamins your supplemental insurance:  taking some pills just to make sure you cover your bases since the PRIMARY insurance comes from what you eat.  If you eat well: proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies, then you likely don’t NEED to take something every day.  
  • There are many times when supplements can do a lot for you and even be a great alternative to drugs that can be potentially harmful.  This was the case for me when I dealt with some health issues a few years back.  However, it is wise to work with someone who knows what they are talking about, since supplements can have the same effect as drugs.  (For the locals, here is the link to the Naturopathic Doctor that I used and highly recommend.)
  • When you need a boost to fight minor sicknesses, taking things like Echinacea, Zinc, Vitamin C, etc. can’t hurt.  I like to keep these on hand for when I feel something coming on, and I also will make a green smoothie to help my immune system fight.  
This topic came to mind because I am dealing with a picky toddler and I want to make sure he is getting all he needs.  My next post will deal more with this topic.  For now, with colds floating around our house, I will go take my supplements to help insure that my body can fight the germs.

One comment

  1. jamie · September 9, 2013

    Great conversation topic here! I take a few vitamin supplements daily because I know that my body is deficient in them (D, B-12, Fish Oil & Magnesium). I also have read that many of our food sources become nutrient deficient in several ways – how they are grown (soil, chemicals, ect.), when they are picked and how long it takes to ship and get to the consumer, and then last but no least, how we cook with them. The other sad side of the story is that several supplement companies out there are just trying to make a buck so you really have to do your research before investing in those vitamins.
    Looking forward to reading what you do with your kiddos as we're in a picky phase lately too!


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