Archive for the ‘Supplements’ Category

As a holistic nutritionist, I always like to turn to food first for healing. However, sometimes there is a need to turn to supplements. For one thing, our soil is seriously depleted in nutrients, and sometimes it requires a lot of planning to ensure we’re receiving all the required vitamins and minerals. And sometimes for therapeutic purposes, large doses of specific vitamins are needed. In the end, nothing beats whole foods, eating them the way nature intended. But for those times we do turn to supplements, it is critical to ensure they are of good quality.

There are so many problems with cheap supplements. It is never a good idea to skimp out on supplements. In fact, it is even better to not take them at all than to take cheap, synthetic vitamins and minerals. It is extremely hard for our bodies to even recognize synthetic vitamins and minerals, let alone know what to do with them. For example, Calcium Carbonate – the most widely used supplemental form of Calcium, has an absorption rate of no more than 10%. But what happens with the other 90%? It can get stuck to our arteries or contribute to kidney stones. Vitamin C – one of the most popular supplements – is another one that most people should be wary of. In nature, fruit and vegetables that contain vitamin C also contain bioflavonoids, which aid in its absorption. That is why it is important to look for a Vitamin C supplement with Bioflavonoids.

Another problem with cheap supplements is that they are filled with cheap fillers. So many supplements are now filled with corn, soy and gluten – the top most allergenic foods. But they are cheap. So those seemingly innocent supplements you only paid $8 for at the drug store are not that innocent at all. Irritating your digestive tract is just the start.

So please, read labels very carefully. Make sure your supplement specifies that it is free of the top most allergenic foods.

A good example of this is supplemental fibre. There is a popular fibre on the market now – you may know the one, maybe you’ve seen a commercial for it – it dissolves clear in water, has no odor, no taste, but provides you with all the fibre you need, and is fairly cheap. It can be found at most drug stores and grocery stores. There is also another fibre supplement that is mainly found at health food stores – this one made by Renew Life and has the exact same claims and benefits as the cheaper brand – but costs significantly more. So why not save some bucks and go for the cheaper brand? Because the cheaper brand is made of wheat dextrin – that’s right, wheat! Wheat is so cheap, so this brand can sell their supplemental fibre at a fraction of the cost. Renew Life uses 100% organic Acacia Fibre (made from the Acacia Tree). And the label on it specifies that it “Does Not Contain: GMO, yeast, wheat, corn, rye, soy, gluten, salt, sugar, dairy, animal products, binders, fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients”. It is definitely worth paying more for it. I still strongly believe ground flax seeds are the best source of fibre, but that’s a whole other article! Bottom line, don’t cheap out on supplements, and always read the labels!


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