Today's question comes from Larry. He says:
"I'm curious what your thoughts are on multivitamins and supplements.”
Americans spend $30 billion* yearly on vitamins and supplements; globally, $68 billion*. That’s a lot of dough! And yet our health is still poor. No pun intended.
Most of these supplements and vitamins aren’t doing a body good because the body best utilizes minerals and vitamins from real food.
Many people think they can eat a crappy diet, take a multivitamin and their health will be fine. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Taking a multivitamin doesn’t cover the sins of the weekend. Also, most people pee out the vitamins they do take. Again, the body absorbs vitamins, minerals, nutrients from real food.
In addition, most vitamins and supplements contain some pretty harmful ingredients. Silicon dioxide, methyl paraben (a known cancer-causing agent), titanium dioxide (color), corn starch (GMO), triethyl citrate (a plasticizer), talcum powder (rarely listed on ingredient list, possible carcinogen) are a few of these.
Very few vitamins and supplements met my criteria. See the ones I recommend at the end of this article.
Because people are not eating nutrient-dense food, many are vitamin and mineral deficient. The first one is Vitamin D. People slather on sunscreen and forget that Vitamin D comes from the sun. Mushrooms are the only plant-based source of Vitamin D. Fortified products aren’t a pure and true source of Vitamin D. This is one vitamin I would recommend.
The next one is magnesium. A deficiency in this mineral can cause insomnia, emotional stress, constipation, low energy, headaches, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability. L-Lysine, L-glutamine are two other vitamins/minerals that people lack. Probiotics is not technically a vitamin or mineral, but most people do not get probiotics from real food in their daily diet and probiotics are the number one thing for a healthy immune system. Any fermented living, raw food like Kombucha (I drink Green Chia weekly), refrigerated sauerkraut (my favorite one) or dairy-free Kefir (great for traveling or for kids).
Takeaway: eat real, nutrient-dense food for multivitamins, take vitamins that most people are deficient in (Vitamin D, magnesium).
Note: if you get sick a lot, frequent cold sores (take L-Lysine), congestion (usually related to consuming dairy), GI issues (take L-Glutamine daily to heal gut), constant runny nose (stop consuming dairy). The body is very smart and will tell you what it is lacking in. Instead of reaching for over the counter drugs, look at your diet (as in what you are eating) first. Chances are you probably aren’t supporting yourself nutritionally.