Do you need to take supplements?
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
If you are convinced of the need for a high nutrient intake, you may be wondering if it is possible to obtain this from food, or whether you should take supplements?
In our previous post, we discussed whether supplements could play a role in optimising health outcomes. We compared recommended nutrient intakes with supplements, and whether this is enough. If you are convinced of the need for a high nutrient intake, or desire the benefits that this can bring, you will be wondering if it is possible to obtain this from your food, or whether you should actually take supplements.
Orthodox health professionals, such as GP's, will often say you don’t need supplements if you have a good diet. Who are they kidding? Have they ever stopped to think how many of their ‘customers’ do actually have a “good diet?” How many of their clients truly eat 2 pieces of fruit, 5 serves of fresh vegetables, a handful of nuts and seeds, quality lean protein, 2 litres of water per day, and no alcohol, no refined sugars, no fried food….? Doctors wouldn’t be so busy in the first place if more of their clients ate properly.
Supposing you really do have a varied balanced healthy diet. Is it organic? Or are you consuming your fair share of genetically modified crops that have been sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides?
And supposing your diet is all organic. Was it grown in the ideal environment, or has the soil been depleted of essential minerals? And how long has it been since your food was harvested until it reached your table?
Are you also not being exposed to chemicals and pollutants in your environment, from motor vehicles, other air-borne pollutants, electro-magnetic radiation, moulds, cleaning products…?
Furthermore, how are your stress levels? Did you get a great night’s sleep last night, and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world?
The fact is, even with a fantastic diet, there are still plenty of stressors on our bodies. Even if you live the life of a monk on a mountain somewhere, there’s no escaping that simply being alive means your metabolic processes are causing damage somewhere in your body.
The chances are you have a diet that does not tick all of the boxes above. This in itself is a persuasive argument for supplementation. As discussed in our previous post, there is a difference between consuming just enough nutrients to stay alive, and having a nutrient intake that allows you to be at your best.
Are there any drawbacks to supplements? Of course! You are consuming nutrients that typically don’t come in the ‘full package’ as they would in food. They may be missing synergists, and they probably don’t contain any fibre. They may also contain a range of ‘excipients’. These are the ‘non-active ingredients’ you are consuming. Your tablet or capsule may contain gelatin, binders, dessicants, a coating, etc.
Is it possible to attain ‘optimum health’ through food, and without relying on supplements? We would like to think so, but this post highlights the challenges involved. You will have to decide for yourself whether you are happy with your diet, happy with your lifestyle, and happy with your health. If you’re not, start with your diet and lifestyle. Then weigh up the merits of taking a supplement.
Switch on Health does not make or sell any products and we have no vested interest in sales of vitamins or other products. We simply present information that allows you to consider the path you wish to take, and the recommendations you may make to each of your clients based on their individual situation.
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