Let me say this up front, there are no silver bullets for health.
There is no 6 minute abs, 3 exercises to fat loss… etc… etc. When it comes to health, there are no shortcuts and no quick fixes. However, your body has an amazing ability to heal and recover, sometimes far quicker than we might expect.
Health is a result of meeting the vital requirements of the human body. Take a flower as an example, a flower needs sunlight, water and nutritious soil, and if you have a plant with yellow leaves the most obvious solution would be to meet the requirement that is lacking, and not just paint the leaves green (ie. give the plant better light). In a similar way, every human being has certain vital requirements that are essential for health to occur. We need movement, nutrient dense foods, structural integrity and a healthy functioning nervous system, to name a few.
Meeting the nutritional requirements of the body can be hard, there are always contradicting information out there, and of course a lot of information can often be a “sales piece”.
A couple of the biggest questions is often:
- Which Supplements are essential and which are a waste of time and money?
- When is it appropriate to supplement?
When it comes to nutrition it can be boiled down to a simple fact; you need to supply your body’s nutrient requirement in the most efficient way with the least amount of toxicity.
The problem that has developed during the agricultural revolution (10,000 years ago) and the industrial revolution (200 years ago) has been:
- An increased reliance on grains and grain products
- A decrease in the diversity of plant species consumed
- A decline in soil quality (as well as subsequent decline in the nutrient density of foods)
- Increase in exposure of food and environmental toxins
- Reduction in animal fat consumption
These are the common statistics given when trying to make a case for taking certain or multiple supplements. In this paper we will make a case for what I think is both logical and practical, and will ultimately help save you money and make you healthier.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that study participants taking relatively higher doses of supplemental iodine — 400 micrograms a day and more – paradoxically began developing subclinical hypothyroidism (when the thyroid is not functioning optimally, but thyroid hormone levels look normal).
These are the findings from a recent study that shows how even if there is a nutrient or mineral deficiency, taking a supplement does not necessarily correct that deficiency, and in the case of Iodine can actually affect you negatively (as shown in this study).
Because of this fact, the best first step is to always ensure you make healthier lifestyle changes. Eat more vegetables in particular; they are dense in all kinds of vitamins and minerals, so eating IMMENSE amounts of vegetables should make up the foundation of meeting the nutritional requirements of your body.
There is no doubt however, that there have been significant disruptions in our food supply and its nutrient profile. For this reason, we recommend ‘2 Essential Supplements’ to make sure your body is getting everything it needs.
They are essential, because the best available evidence says pretty much every one of us are deficient in these two things.
IMPORTANT… it is possible to get enough of these nutrients from eating good quality real food and lifestyle habits, but it is very difficult at best.
ALSO IMPORTANT… the supplement industry is massive and very under-regulated, so doing your due diligence is important, or rely on a source you can trust.
The 2 Supplements You Almost Certainly Need To Be Healthy…
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
We originally used to get our essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) from many different sources such as wild game, seafood, grubs and insects. All of these fatty acids are essential, but they are expected within a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio with your body of Omega 3 to Omega 6. Most western cultures are expected to have a ratio of 1:10 even up to 1:50 and is a big driver of inflammation within the body.
Supplementing with a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil has been proven to be the best way to re-balance this ratio. As well as making the lifestyle change of decreasing the intake of Omega 6 (omitting whole grain breads, most vegetable oils, cereal, nuts etc.).
How much do you need?
This largely depends on the supplement that you are taking, but typically 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA per day. (Ask your preferred health provider for the best recommendation, as well as for alternatives if you are vegetarian).
We recommend BePure Three and Metagenics EPA/DHA.
2. Vitamin D
A lack of Vitamin D in the body can happen for many different reasons, some more obvious than others:
- Lack of exposure to the sun
- The use of sunscreen
- Aging (as you age your capacity to produce Vitamin D is reduced)
- Darker skin tone
- Excess body fat
To get your daily dose of Vitamin D, it takes about half the time taken to get sun burnt. What we absorb in summer has to support our Vitamin D levels throughout winter.
Professor Rebecca Mason (President of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society) says “research suggests that among the general population, around one in three of us will be Vitamin D deficient by the end of winter.”
Because of this, we often need to supplement our Vitamin D in winter.
We recommend BePure Three (also has Vitamin D, talk about two birds one stone :-)) and Metagenics Vitamin D.
Some people would ask: What about a Multivitamin?
If you have a set budget, which most of us do, I would suggest a hierarchy of importance.
1. Eat real food first - Establish food quality as the most important criteria
2. Omega-3 Supplementation
3. Vitamin D Supplementation during Winter.
THEN….AND ONLY THEN…
4. A good quality Multivitamin, HOWEVER I might even rank a probiotic as more important.
I would guess that for most, with the price of food nowadays, having a family and having hobbies and other places where we like to put our money, Multivitamins probably won’t make it onto the shopping list (which if you properly followed through on step number 1, might not be needed anyway).
What about all the other ones?
Most likely, they aren’t needed. If your diet has been less than optimal for some time you may require further therapeutic supplementation (speak to your healthcare professional to determine what would be the best for you).
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