Can you get all the nutrients you need from eating a well-balanced diet? In a perfect world, with ideal health and wellness, the answer would be a simple “yes”. But things are never simple it seems, we don’t live in a perfect world and we are not always in an ideal state of health and wellness.
Eating a well balancing, varied diet with clean, whole foods is priority number one, and no amount or combination of supplements can replace that. However, the reality is that the foods we eat are not as nutrient dense as they should be due to a variety of reasons – nutrient depleted soils, nutrient loss after harvesting and with exposure to light, air, heat, sterilization and processing. Additionally, our bodies frequently have increased needs for selected nutrients depending on where we are in our lifecycle, health conditions we are dealing with or even as a result of medications we use.
A few things to keep in mind when considering nutritional supplementation-
- Nutritional supplementation is not one size fits all. Identifying which supplements are appropriate for you, in what quantities and how often requires knowledge not only of nutrition biochemistry, but also should include assessment of your unique nutrition and health status.
- Beware the thinking that “if less is good, then more is better”. This can be very dangerous as even beneficial nutrients can be toxic or have negative effects if consumed in too large a dosage, or if contraindicated for a given health condition or with a given medication.
- Nutritional supplements are not all created equal. Many supplements contain artificial colorings, fillers or unfamiliar ingredients which may pose sensitivity issues for some individuals. Additionally, quality standards for manufacturing and processing facilities vary. Look for pharmaceutical grade manufacturing facilities which ensure supplements are free of toxins, contaminants and common allergens. Don’t use a supplement formula if you cannot identify or don’t understand what any of the listed ingredients are.
Nutritional supplementation is a very valuable and beneficial part of your health and wellness protocol, but it does not replace the foundation of a balanced, varied, clean diet.