If we can learn anything from the past 3 years, it may include, many of us could do a better job of taking responsibility for and maintaining a base line of good health. It was famously said ‘Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food’ but in our society food is too often entertainment and comfort rather than practical and beneficial.
It’s hard work to maintain a healthy balanced diet and there are mixed messages as to what that really means. We are all different and have varied relationships with food. Often folks want to do better but have no idea where to start (or where to shop!). A health food store full of earthy labels and supplements can be a very intimidating place for those in the dark about health. Many folks might say “I need a multi vitamin” to somehow even the playing field of the SAD and optimum health. Supplements are important for many reasons these days however, supplements are not replacements. A healthy diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables is naturally the best but what supplements should one take when eating right isn’t the norm?
As a Whole Foods Market supplement buyer, I attended countless trainings and was given endless samples of all the ‘best’ supplements in the natural products industry. I learned a lot about biology, nutrients, supplements, quality, sourcing, loop holes, the FDA, drugs and diet.
So, with years of experience behind me, here is my Top 5 List of Supplements one needs from a health food store to help the body maintain health. Again, this is just my list, limited to 5 things and for simple maintenance.
1.Probiotics. Every culture around the world had fermented foods because it was one of the few ways to preserve food long before preservatives, pasteurization and refrigerators. Fermented foods actually played a vital role on our microbiome. The importance of a healthy gut is its own blog! Today we have so many factors that throw off healthy gut flora and we don’t even know it! We always think of bacteria as BAD but there are good, bad and neutral bacteria and a healthy balance of all three are required for us to maintain a happy, healthy, functioning microbiome. In fact, are way more bacteria than we are ‘us’. Here is a list of reasons because probiotics are a big deal.
Soil! Many of us don’t even touch the soil anymore, as grandma used to say “Eat 1lb o dirt by
the time you’re 12 and be healthy for life”. Loaded with good bacteria we need contact with
Sugar is nearly impossible to avoid and contributes to poor gut health, celiac, chrone’s disease, IBS and more.
Antibiotics literally wipe out both good and bad bacteria leaving us very vulnerable. Also, it’s interesting to note that our immune system is directly tied to our gut health and builds on experience. Therefore, when we ‘wipe the board clean’ of our immune systems experience and knowledge of healing with antibiotics, we pay for it in other ways.
Antibacterial cleaners, sanitizers and toxins also harm our healthy gut flora.
Putting food in a refrigerator and the use of chemical preservatives is a recent addition to our evolution. All civilizations around the globe had different local fermented foods for preservation and these ferments were a critical part of our development. In Europe they fermented cabbage into sauerkraut, in the East goat milk was fermented to yogurt, in Asia soybeans were fermented into miso etc. Today we hardly know the difference between a pickle and a ferment. It’s a big diff! Get to know some fermented foods and supplement for a healthy microbiome!
2. Green Powder. Adding a green powder blend is way better than a multi vitamin and offers a lot of nutrients when eating right isn’t happening. This is just a great addition to any diet and although there are good and great ones, I think in this case any is better than none. My favorites include Vitamineral Green, Vibrant Health, Paradise Herbs and Sun Warrior.
3. A Multi Mineral supplement! What is the difference between a vitamin and a mineral? Vitamins are nutrients, minerals direct functions in the body. I like to think of a powerful quartz clear crystal communicating magically with all things around it! We should be getting our minerals from our diet but the soils are so depleted the mineral content is often low. There are also specific minerals that do many things so there are lots of options and rotating between different options is a fine plan. Some of my favorites are magnesium, fulvic/humic liquid mineral and a bio12 tissue salt. ‘Minerals’ is a huge category.
4. Adrenal Support. This is a new addition to my list. I believe many of us need some sort of support with stress. Adrenals can burn out so adaptogenic herbs to help us manage the fight or flight response. In my mind, if you’re not a little depressed, you’re not paying attention.
5. Enzymes. Enzymes are amazing. Raw food is loaded with them and so do more than digest food, they also digest disease. The best way to boost your enzyme intake is to eat more raw food. When you can’t take enzymes. So, if you’re new to natural self-care, I hope this list give folks a good place to start. If you want to up your game, I hope this reminds you of some elementary points. Just remember, they work better whenyou take them!