The Good and Bad of Supplements

Supplements are a billion dollar industry and we all buy into them, but why. I always talk about eating a variety of whole foods for optimal health, but sometimes it’s just hard to do. There are seasons in our lives that having nutrient holes in our nutrition profit is inevitable. How and when should we be combating that with supplements. Let’s sort through some of the benefits and drawbacks of supplementing our nutrition.

Why You Should Supplement

Let’s face it, as much as we try and eat a variety of whole foods sometimes life gets in the way and our nutrition can be more than a little lacking. Supplements are great for helping fill these temporary gaps in our less than perfect lifestyle moments. They shouldn’t, however, be a crutch keeping that keeps you for leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

For instance, when I get super busy and under a lot of pressure I know I’m going to need extra vitamin C and flavonoids to help repair my adrenal glands from the daily stress I’m under. During these periods, if I can’t make a point to eat extra foods that are high in these nutrients, I add a supplement. If I need to continue to take the supplement for more than a short period of time I know I need to make a lifestyle change or overall whole food nutrition change.

Another reason for taking supplements is if you’re low in a specific vitamin or nutrient but don’t know the cause. This can be found out by a visit to your healthcare provider. While you should be working to figure out the root cause of the deficiency, you also might need to supplement for a short period of time while you’re getting to the bottom of things.

Why You Shouldn’t Supplement

So you’ve been taking a supplement for vitamin K for the past 6 months. Why?! You should never just take a supplement for the sake of taking a supplement. You’re wasting money and if you actually have a vitamin K deficiency you should be working with your healthcare provider to find out the root cause of the issue.

You also shouldn’t be taking supplements to replace eating whole real foods. There are micro nutrients and minerals in each food you consume that allows your body to absorb nutrients and function at the high level you need it to. When you are surviving off supplements you’re missing out on the valuable minerals that keep your body healthy. Let me repeat, for those looking to lose weight; depriving yourself of real food and supplementing is not the path to health.

What to Look for In a Supplement

With so many different types and brands of supplements on the market it’s hard to know which one to choose. Let me be clear that all supplements are not created equal. There are certain vitamins and minerals that are only absorbed by your body when taken with other vitamins and minerals. With that in mind, when looking for a supplement the whole food source option is always the best. There are vitamin companies that specialize in this type of supplement.

Supplements are just that, a supplementation to our daily nutrient profile. You should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any supplements. Verify their safety and also ensure there isn’t an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

I’m always here as a listening ear and give you my honest opinion. If you want to chat more about this, feel free to contact me.



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