They say you’re supposed to derive all of your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. How many times have I heard that. Well, I can’t say that I know anyone who meets their ideal daily nutritional value through food alone. The purpose of a dietary supplement is to make up for the nutrients one lacks in a healthy diet. Yesterday, I saw a construction worker eating a bag of chips for breakfast. While someone with his eating habits would benefit from supplements, vitamins and minerals should be paired with a healthy diet for maximum effect. For more on eating well read “An Introduction to Whole30” and “What I Eat on Whole30.”
Although my body thrives on Paleo-compliant foods, I realize that some non-compliant foods may prove beneficial for some people. For example, high-calorie-burning athletes may benefit from whole grains. Similar to one’s diet, supplements should be tailored to the needs of each individual. If you haven’t considered supplements before, the best piece of advice I can give is to read the labels in full. The same goes for those of you who already take vitamins and minerals in supplement form and haven’t read the nutrition facts. Taking a multivitamin may be better than opting out of supplements altogether, but I find that one capsule doesn’t contain all of the nutrients I need.
Identifying the purest vitamins and nutrients on the market is an ongoing goal of mine. I’ve read a lot of labels and compared quite a few products across various brands. Thanks to my mom, I grew up with Shaklee products. Over the years, she’s shared invaluable knowledge that has helped me to build a list of companies that I trust. All vitamins and minerals are not created equal. For example, when I discovered that the zinc supplement I’d been taking contained rice flour, I upgrade to another product with ingredients that met my standards.
Here are some basic vitamins and minerals for your consideration:
- Vitamin C / An antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, vitamin C is water soluble, which means the body expels the excess. You don’t have to be versed in chemistry to know that vitamin C is essential to maintaining a sound immune system.
- Zinc / Like vitamin C, zinc also combats oxidative stress.
- Calcium / An essential mineral for building strong bones, calcium is absorbed most effectively by the body with the help of magnesium.
- Vitamin D / Especially indispensable during sun-less times of year, vitamin D is a mood booster.
- Vitamin E / Promotes healthy skin and a strong immune system.
- Potassium / A preventative for the dreaded charley horse.
As I previously mentioned, you’ll have to tailor your daily supplements to your needs. Beware of the conflicting attitudes between traditional medicine and holistic medicine. I favor the holistic approach but find traditional medicine to be a viable solution for ailments that can’t be addressed by natural means.