If your diet consists of a lot of processed foods, there’s a good chance you are deficient in many important vitamins and minerals. Nutritional supplements are a billion dollar industry and available everywhere. Here are three things to think about when deciding what’s right for you…
They Don’t Offset a Poor Diet: Recent studies by the CDC show that less than 10% of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables over the course of their day. Vitamins are not a replacement or a substitute for real whole foods. Nothing can replace the fiber, mineral, water and phytonutrient content that fruits and vegetables provide. Vitamin supplements can be used to fill in the gaps as part of your nutrition journey but should not be the foundation. Don’t fool yourself into thinking a daily multi-vitamin will offset the bagels, pizza, and ice cream.
Quality: The supplement world operates largely unregulated. Do your research and pick options from companies that base their supplements on real food from sustainable sources. Synthetic isolates are different from the vitamins derived from plant and animal sources and don’t absorb into our cells the same way. Read about the best options online and check ingredient lists. Look for phrases like “whole food based” or that list real foods as the ingredients. If there are chemicals listed you are unfamiliar with, look for a better option.
Fat Soluble and Water Soluble: A handful of our essential vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, are absorbed significantly better when consumed with fat. Vitamins B and C are water soluble and don’t require fats as a transporter for uptake into the cells. A diet that consists of a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and proteins will ensure that your cells and systems get everything they need to thrive. If you find you are deficient in certain vitamins and require supplementation, make sure to consider what you are taking them with (healthy fats or water).