Do we REALLY Need Nutritional Supplements?
By Olivia Hart, B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics
When it comes to supplements, we are bombarded with media telling us to take the next best thing and the next thing you know you feel like you are eating pills for meals! Let me help to debunk some of the supplement myths and tell you what you really need.
Before we get into it, there are two things we need to remember.
We are all biochemically unique. This means I will most likely require a different supplement regime then the next person. Our bodies all operate differently, have different imbalance or “stuff” going on and therefore should be treated differently.
Supplementation is meant to be added to a healthy diet to ensure we are getting what we need or to help our bodies find it’s balance. Supplementation is not magic and will not supplement a healthy diet. In other terms you can’t pop pills to make up for the fact that you don’t eat a single vegetable ever!
So, as mentioned in point number 1 every individual will require different specific supplements for what is going on with them, BUT I can definitely say that these would be my top 4 for EVERY BODY! These supplements will only help, never harm.
A multi-vitamin will cover your bases if you get a good quality one. Multi-vitamins become increasingly important for aging populations and extremely active individuals. As we age, it’s important to take measures to ensure our body is well nourished in order to keep living a vibrant life and as an athlete you automatically increase your needs of vitamins and minerals due to the increased amount of stress you are putting on your body. If you are an athlete who can down 20 servings (1/2 cups) of fruits and vegetables a day, that is absolutely incredible! BUT, if not let’s give our bodies a little extra help and supplement! Additionally, studies show that our soils mineral profile has declined greatly, which results in less minerals in our foods! POP THIS PILL! (and don’t be alarmed if your urine becomes neon- it’s just excess B vitamins)
Living where we live (in Canada), we don’t get as much sunlight exposure as our bodies require in order to have a consistent storage of active vitamin D (D3). Ever heard of seasonal depression? Did you know that it’s linked to low vitamin D, which helps our brain make happy chemicals? I ALWAYS recommend clients take vitamin D liquid drops from the months of September to March in order to help build up your storage and in the sunnier months just get outside and soak up the sun!
We hear a lot about these in commercials promoted by women belly dancing because probiotics help to keep the GOOD gut bacteria happy and healthy. This means less stinky gas, better digestion which leads to better absorption of vitamins and minerals, less bloating and good bowel movements. That’s enough to make me want to belly dance! BUT if you need more convincing, what if I told you your mental health relies greatly on the health of your gut? WELL IT DOES! There are certain chemicals in the brain that 90% of them are made in the gut. Happy gut, happy body, happy mind, happy life, am I right?
There are some other honorable mentions such as: protein powders (see previous blog), fish oil pills (contraindicated in individuals on blood thinners), and herbal remedies but I will save that for an entirely different blog post of its own!
If you’d like a specific supplement regime for yourself, book a free consult with me by calling the clinic (905)339-2333 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org