Why Do We Need Supplements?

natural supplementsIt happened again recently when I met a new client coming in with lots of health problems…

One of the biggest misconceptions people have when visiting a Natural Health Practitioner is that they will only get one or two “medicines.” Their other mistaken belief: They might only need these “medicines” for a month or two to get over whatever serious symptoms that brought them to me.

Those are the misconceptions. Here are the facts.

By the time new patients talk with me for the first time, they have allowed their bodies to get to such a state they are now experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Generally, it’s taken years for their bodies to reach this breaking point. It’s also important to understand that it’s going to take many months, if not years, to help them out of it.

Natural and herbal supplements can help to restore the body to a place of balance. But, it’s probably going to take more than one thing, or even two. In fact, it might take between 5-10 supplements to restore your health. If there is a “serious” health issue on the table, it will take much more time and effort than that.

But for this article, I want to discuss why we need to take supplements at all. Most people who aren’t in a health crisis wonder why they need to take a supplement. “I feel fine. Why would I need to take anything?”

Here are the top reasons why it is important for everyone to take natural, whole food supplements:

1. Depleted Soils. Even if you eat a healthy, predominantly plant-based diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, chances are good (unless you’re consuming everything organic) the food comes from soils that have insufficient mineral content. When foods are grown over and over again in the same soils, the mineral content of that soil becomes depleted over time. This is ANOTHER reason why it is so vitally important to consume organic foods as much as possible. Organic farming practices include “crop rotating” so that soil depletion does not occur. Unfortunately, even buying organic doesn’t always mean you’re going to get superior foods. Although organic soil can get depleted, buying organic remains the better, healthier choice for you and the planet!

2. Long Transit Time for Delivery. Have you noticed an increasing amount of produce finding its way to your grocery store comes from other countries? If you think your favorite mango or pineapple (from Hawaii or the Philippines) was just cut at its peak ripeness, then immediately boxed, rushed to the airport and shipped overnight to your favorite grocery store, you’re sadly mistaken.  Sometimes, foods are picked weeks and even MONTHS before we see it on our shelves. So much for obtaining the maximum amount of nutrition! I always suggest that my clients buy as much of their food as possible from local growers to reduce transit time and improve the nutritional value of the food they’re eating.

3. Overcooking Our Foods. Americans have a bad habit of cooking our food “to death,” resulting in a massive loss of nutritional value, meaning far fewer vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes to go around. What’s more, eating these depleted foods over time creates its own set of health problems. Cooking does “kill” the food, resulting in lost nutrition. As far as fruits and vegetables, consuming them in as close to a raw (uncooked) state as possible is always the best way.

4. Not Eating Regular Meals. So many people skip meals. Grabbing a bagel or doughnut while slamming down some coffee and rushing to work does NOT constitute a meal. Making up for it later in the day at an “all-you-can-eat” buffet is not in the best interest of our bodies either, as it puts much undue stress on the digestive system and will eventually cause a lot of uncomfortable symptoms.

5.  Normal Aging = Digestion Issues. As we age, our bodies produce fewer enzymes, including all the important ones needed to properly digest and assimilate the foods we eat. Eventually, this results in “common” stomach complaints, like reflux, heartburn, upset stomach and chronic constipation.

6. Stress + Stress, + Stress = Compromised Immune System. No question, we all lead busy lives and some of us are busier than others! Between commitments to your family, school, work, community, faith and other obligations, our lives are stressed to the max! All of this stress takes a toll on your body and weakens your immune system. Taking supplements can help to bridge that gap and give your body some of the nutrition it needs to function optimally.

Of course, nothing will take the place of eating a good and healthy diet. But taking quality, whole food-based natural supplements can go along way towards helping you maintain a better level of health. Besides, if you’re still working through some bad habits (skipping meals and not eating organic foods), you need them even more! For more information, read my other articles on whole food supplements vs. synthetic supplements and Can natural remedies help me with…?