Once of the latest trends in the health and fitness world today are supplements. Supplements come in various forms, from extra vitamin E in a liquid gel casing, to powdered fiber mixed in liquid. Are taking all these supplements really necessary for our bodies?
Keep in mind we all have different bodies with different needs. A proper diet rich in fresh, organic local fruits and vegetables as well as sustainable local meats and fish is going to probably make your need for supplements less.
If your diet is missing a certain plant, you are likely to be deficient in some nutrient. Studies show that diets rich in dark, green leafy vegetables are going to aid your nutritional needs. Dark, green leafy vegetables are common as spinach, kale and chard among others are good candidates to fulfill this need. However, these vegetables alone are not sufficient for your health; You also need good fats and for that, we turn to fish.
Sustainable fish means that the fish/seafood was caught or farmed in ways that consider the well-being of the fish/seafood and the oceans it lives in. Fish that are from sustainable farms means also are likely to have higher nutrient values than fish conventionally farmed. This is because conventionally farmed fish are not just fed various sea plants as would be in the fish’s natural diet, but chicken byproducts, hormones, and some grains. Alternatively, if you are a vegetarian you can go to the main source of what the fish eat and get higher values of essential nutrients from kombu/kelp, wakame and arame. These sea vegetables are extremely rich in nutrients such as Vitamin K (like dark green leafy veggies) calcium, chlorophyll and iron. However, Vitamin K-2 is found exclusively in grass-fed beef, which is where taking it as a supplement may benefit you if you are a vegetarian.
Many doctors recommend staying away from beef if you are overweight and have high cholesterol. However, grass-fed beef is far different from grain-fed beef and it’s important to understand the differences. If your diet consists of mostly corn-fed beef , you are likely to be deficient in most vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats, but full of bad cholesterol and toxins. Grain-fed cows usually come from meat factories where they are fed a mix of corn, soy, hormones, and antibiotics. When they are processed for human consumption, the meat is treated with ammonia to kill any bacteria that may have occurred during their filthy confines. If you were to change to grass-fed local beef, you would see not only an immediate increase in your Vitamin’s A, E , Omega-3’s and antioxidants, you also get the Vitamin K-2 which you can only get from a cow that eats grass! There are many reasons to have Vitamin K-2 in your diet including its ability to help calcium move to the proper areas in your body.
The goal remains that you should do your best to get all your nutrients from your foods. If that is not possible, as would be the case for vegetarians/vegans, supplements can be beneficial. Supplements in liquid form are always preferable because they are processed easier by your body. In any event, your supplements should be from organic whole foods to retain the integrity of the nutrients. It is always best to determine what you are lacking in your diet – a nutritionist or lifestyle coach can help you with that. You may find that just increasing the amount of some mineral or vitamin increases your energy and helps your digestion. Whether increasing that amount comes from the foods themselves or in a pill or liquid form supplement is entirely your choice.