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Why Supplement?

WhySuppBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

With all the confusing and conflicting information about vitamin supplements in the news these days, it’s no wonder that so many of us are baffled. 

Science does tell us that we need vitamins minerals and phytonutrients for growth, development, and health, and that it is difficult, though not impossible, to get all of our vitamins and minerals from a healthy, nutritious diet.  Common sense and numerous studies also tell us that we don’t eat enough vegetables or fruits, we don’t eat enough oily fish and healthy fats, we don’t eat enough whole grains and whole foods.  Nope, we eat fried foods, processed foods, prepared foods, fast foods, junk foods and non-foods such as preservatives, chemicals, artificial colors and flavors, and way too much refined sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. 

Does that sound like a diet filled with all the vitamins, minerals, fiber and vital nutrients we need for optimal health to you?  Not to me either. 

Fortunately, many of us are becoming increasingly aware that the foods we choose to eat affect our health and risk of chronic disease either in a positive or negative way.  Just as we can’t avoid exercise and expect to be physically fit, we can’t make up for a diet severely devoid of nutrients by taking a pill.  What we can do is choose to eat healthy, whole foods and then supplement with high grade products designed to fill nutritional voids, support specific health concerns or keep our systems functioning optimally, leading to greater overall health and wellness and a better chance of avoiding obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only a quarter of Americans eat the recommended amount of vegetables daily and only a third consume enough fruit.  As a result of the lack of these and other nutrient-rich foods in our diets, 92% of Americans are deficient in one or more essential vitamins and minerals.  More than half of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D, vitamins B-6, B-12 and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.  Research continues to mount in support of omega-3 supplementation for cardiovascular health, yet most Americans are deficient in omega-3’s

In the U.S., diet-related chronic disease is the single largest cause of morbidity and mortality.  Evidence gleaned over the past 3 decades identifies multifactorial dietary elements, genetic susceptibility and environmental agents as the underlying causes of chronic disease.  The excessive consumption of industrial era refined foods such as cereals, sugars and oils universally underlies virtually all chronic disease prevalent today.  These foods have far reaching effects on our health and wellbeing. 

With the war against GMO foods, trans fats, and refined sugar and the growing demand for organic produce and grass-fed or free range animal products, Americans are beginning to change their own thought processes regarding their diets in relation to their health.  In the meantime, even as food manufacturers continue to refine all the goodness out of our foods, the healthiest among us will endeavor to eat well and take our vitamins and minerals to support our wellness and longevity and increase our chances of avoiding chronic disease. 

Barlean’s Greens by Barlean’s Organic Oils –  This great tasting premium superfood is formulated with vitalizing plant-based ingredients that are guaranteed to be of the highest quality and purity.  Contains proprietary blends of greens, pre- and probiotics, antioxidants, fiber and herbs in a 95% organic, gluten-free and non-GMO formula. 

LifeCore Complete by Ortho Molecular –  Hypoallergenic pure non-GMO plant proteins including rice, pea and potato in the preferred ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat.  No gluten, soy, dairy or fructose.  With 20 grams of protein per serving this product is easily digestible and is available in natural chocolate and vanilla flavors. 

Multivite by Douglas Laboratories –  This natural food supplement provides high potency natural vitamins and organic minerals in a wheat, soy, corn and dairy free formula.  No artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives. 

B-Complex by Innate Response Formulas This vegetarian formula, derived from 100% whole food, contains a balanced ratio of all the essential B vitamins and their inherent co-factors in their most bioavailable forms.  Gluten, dairy and soy free.