How do you know if you need supplements?

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.

supplementsHow do you know if you need supplements?

  1. You eat food.

    That’s right. If you eat food you need supplements. All of our food is either grown on depleted soil and/or held in storage for days (or more likely weeks). “Not mine!” you cry. That may be true if you grow all of your own produce, year-round, organically, and eat it as soon as you pick it. If you are like most people, you purchase the vast majority of your produce, and none of it is as nutrient dense as you’d like to believe.1

  2. supplements, vegetablesYou don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables …

    … regardless of the quality. A study done in the US indicated that the vast majority of Americans consume vegetables less than 1.8 times per day.2 It’s highly unlikely that those episodes total the 7–10 servings daily the Canada food guide suggests.3

  3. You have stress.

    In this day and age it is highly likely that you have an undue amount of stress. You have probably grown so accustomed to it that it is just a normal part of your life. That doesn’t change the fact that you do have stress. Consider all the sources – aging parents, your own children, finances, job security, difficulties at work, natural disasters, unexpected and unpleasant events that pop up out of nowhere – and the list goes on.

  4. supplements waterMunicipal water is loaded with harmful chemicals …

    … and when you filter it you remove the minerals. Rural and mountain rivers may be contaminated with agricultural chemicals (acid rain) that you really shouldn’t be drinking. Unless you have your own well and you’ve had it tested to make sure it’s not contaminated with the modern industrial and agricultural chemicals, your water should be filtered. If it is filtered, you may need to supplement the minerals you would have picked up from it had you not needed to filter it.

  5. You’re eating a calorie-reduced diet.

    Bravo for you for trying to work your way into the lean minority! But … eating less means you are getting fewer nutrients. A study published in 2010 found that it would take 25,575 calories PER DAY from the average North American diet to get all the micro minerals that are needed.4 That’s a problem! It would take running approximately 12 marathons per day to burn that off.

  6. You exercise.

    That’s right – you’re darned if you do and darned if you don’t. Exercise burns calories and nutrients. The harder you work physically, the more nutrients you need.

  7. You live in a polluted world.

    There’s no getting away from it. Industrial pollution (smog, chemicals in our drinking water), xenoestrogens, food that is saturated in chemicals to ‘help’ with growing, shipping, and shelf life – it all adds up. Your body was not designed to handle these man-made chemicals.

  8. If you are over 30 …

    … you’ve started the decline of aging. Your growth hormone levels are starting to slowly sag. With aging comes reduced ability to absorb nutrients and to heal.

  9. If you, like most North Americans, eat imported produce …

    … from South America and Latin America, be aware that human waste is still a major fertilizer there. This increases health risks for us, most notably parasites.5 There are several herbal supplements that combat parasites effectively.

  10. You want to save money while being healthy.

    If you think supplements are more expensive than food you are probably not quite right. It is probably less expensive and more cost-effective to take supplements than to try to get every nutrient from food. Sad but true. If you try to balance out your nutrient and caloric intake with your output you will find it is less expensive and easier to eat as healthfully as you can and take judiciously chosen supplements to meet the rest of your needs. It is highly unlikely that the one-a-day multivitamin/mineral is actually meeting many, if any of your nutrient needs with its ‘little bit here, little bit there,’ ‘shotgun pattern’ approach. It is far better to be selective with what supplements you take and why you take them.

How do you know which supplements to use and which brand is better? Your best option is to seek the advice of a professional who has studied this subject intensively.  This, sadly, is probably not your local medical doctor, pharmacist, or health food store employee. Seek out someone who has professional accreditation in nutrition, such as with the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants or the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.

If you’d like to improve your health but don’t know where to start, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.

I also invite you to Like us on Facebook (Cobblestone Health Ltd) and to visit my other websites:
WomensHolisticHealth.com
YourMenopauseCoach.com
CobblestoneHealth.com
GoodandNaturalRecipes.com
KidsNaturalHealth.info

Sources:

  1. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-17.pdf
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf
  3. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/fruit/need-besoin-eng.php
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20537171
  5. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/08/080821-human-waste.html, http://www.intracen.org/the-real-future-for-latin-america/

Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).

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