The supplement industry is booming. Over 29,000 supplements are currently in rotation, with approximately 1000 new supplements being added each year. Some claim to be the "cure-all", some just promise to deliver essential vitamins and minerals to your body. And while I do believe supplementing can be beneficial, and is sometimes necessary, an important fact remains:
We cannot supplement ourselves out of a poor diet.
The busy culture of the West gives rise to the demand for quick and convenient meals, often at the detriment of nutritional content. This leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which then results in chronic health issues. While I am grateful for the companies that provide a solution to our ever-increasing problem with food, supplementing will never give us the same benefits as eating clean.
Nutrient-dense food will always trump a pill made in a factory.
We can take all of the supplements and continually immerse ourselves in the next latest and greatest magic cream, pill, powder, or capsule, but if our diet is poor we will continue to be unhealthy. Good health starts with what we eat, and many of the benefits we are looking to achieve by popping a supplement can actually be achieved through diet, with a little bit of knowledge, intentionality and preparation.
Introducing the following foods into our diets and drastically limiting/eliminating processed foods high in refined carbs, sugar, and inflammatory oils will go a long way towards keeping us at our healthiest.
Homemade Bone Broth: Essential Amino Acids, Collagen, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Boron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, Iron, Selenium
Fatty Fish, Chia Seeds, Oysters, Flax Seed, Walnuts: DHA Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)
Green Leafy Vegetables: Vitamins A, C, B, E, K, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Folate
Berries: Vitamin C & K, Fiber, Manganese, Copper
Cruciferous Vegetables: Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Calcium, Selenium
Organ Meat: Vitamins A, D, E, K, B, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, Choline, Amino Acids, Copper
Eggs: Choline, Iron, Vitamin D, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Selenium
Redmond's Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt: 84 Trace Minerals
Seaweed: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Iodine
Garlic: Vitamins B & C, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Potassium
Shellfish: Vitamin B12, Zinc, Vitamin C
Potatoes (Skin-On): B Vitamins, Fiber, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper
Onions: Vitamins B & C, Folate, Quercetin, Fiber, Prebiotics
This is by no means an exhaustive list. When looking to increase the nutritional content of our diet, we need to think of it like this: Food made by God = good. Food made by man in a lab or factory= Not so good. It's not that we can never have processed foods, but our diet should lean much more heavily towards foods made by God, with the occasional treat.
It's also important to be aware of our food sources. Conventional farming practices are often heavy-laden with pesticide use, mineral-stripped soil, and inhumane treatment of animals. This all affects the quality of the food, which then affects our health. Buying food directly from the farm, farmers markets, or farm-to-table delivery services will ensure that we know where our food is coming from. We can choose farms that use regenerative soil practices that keep the soil healthy and nutrient-rich, forego pesticides, and treat and feed their animals right. Or we can become homesteaders ourselves, raising animals and growing our own food.
Several other factors also come into play when talking about mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Parasites, PH levels, caffeine consumption, the lymphatic system, gut-health: these all play a role in vitamin and mineral absorption. I'll share more on that later but in the meantime, I'm always available if you need help sorting out your health goals, or formulating a wellness plan that's right for you!
Stay Healthy Friends!