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Not All Supplements Are Created Equal ~ Part 2

Much of this article is common sense and you've probably heard many of these recommendations before.  I believe it's important to continue to give this information because there is no magic bullet!  People need to be reminded of that and once you commit to your health and start living a better lifestyle you will realize that practicing the basics are the simplest and best way to live!

The Basics:

Eat your fruit and vegetables.  Eliminate processed foods, refined sugars, and soda.  Eliminate any foods with hydrogenated oils.  NEVER put artificial sweeteners in your body!!  They only make you sicker! Choose only lean meats and fish.  Drink plenty of water.  The rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day.  Add more if you exercise.  Eat something healthy every 2 to 3 hours to keep your blood sugar balanced.  You will have more energy and won't crash in the middle of the day.

Keep in mind thereis always something more you can do to improve your health.  Even if you start by eliminating soda consumption or just drinking more water.  Perhaps even just starting to eat breakfast every morning. Optimal nutrition is essential for thehealthy functioning of our bodies. Without it, subtle functional changes may occur that impede our progresson the road to vibrant health.  Many people don't even know that their bodies are sick and many more live with symptoms daily and just ignore them.

What Does Your Body Need?

The nutrients required to sustainlife are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which supply energy and buildtissue. Vitamins and minerals are usedin the body in much smaller amounts but are important in the regulation of allyour body processes. And, then, ofcourse, we cannot survive without water.

By supplying our bodies withadequate amounts of these nutrients in the proper ratios, we help ensure optimalnutrition and solid foundation for health. We supplement because we don't receive all the nutrients we need fromthe foods we eat. According to recenthealth surveys, few of us consume the recommended five daily servings ofnutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and most of us don't even meet theRecommended Daily Intake (RDI). We eachhave our own unique needs as well so the RDI's will vary for each individualand, in many cases, are quite inadequate.

Keep in mind 75% of the Americanpopulation is deficient nutritionally and it takes 6 to 9 months to bring thebody to sufficient levels through healthy eating, lifestyle change, andnutritional supplementation. If we only supplementedwith the RDI's, we would have a difficult time reaching sufficient nutrientlevels in our bodies.

How Do You Know You ShouldSupplement?

All of the healthiest people Iknow supplement and never or rarely take drugs. They understand the human body is capable of optimal health if justgiven the right tools. If you health isless than optimal then it is even more important to improve your dietary habitsand include supplementation in your daily routine.

Some signs of optimal health are:

  • High energy
  • Ideal weight
  • Good muscle development
  • Smooth and clear skin
  • Glossy, healthy, hair
  • Clear eyes
  • Normal appetite, digestion, and elimination
  • Alert mental functions
  • Good sleep habits
  • A body that functions well in the absence of drugs (prescription and OTC).

Vitamins and minerals areessential for many bodily processes which include:

  • Energy metabolism
  • Growth and maintenance of skin, bones, and other tissues
  • Immune system function
  • Brain function
  • Hormone production and regulation
  • Detoxification

A single deficiency can interferewith many different body functions and impact your health. Obviously, your first line of defense is toeat a well-balanced diet of wholesome, nutritious foods. But due to our busy lifestyles this can bevery difficult at times.

Since there are no FDArequirements on any nutritional supplements they will range from very poorquality to excellent quality or pharmaceutical grade. A company who providesthird party assays of their products, performs double blind, placebo controlled,human clinical trials, and only uses the purest of ingredients holds themselvesto the highest standard of giving you a quality product that will enhance yourhealth.

So, short of calling each companyto ask for third party assays, how do you find supplements without toxicingredients? I agree it can bedifficult. For starters, take thisarticle (along with part 1) with you next time you are at the store. You will need to start reading labels and youmay have to begin seeking out more reputable sources for purchasing yourproducts. Professional and/orpharmaceutical grade supplements are typically available through doctors andother health care providers, certified nutrition consultants, and reputablehealth food stores. Pick and choosewisely if you are at a chain vitamin store. Don't take the word of the salesperson. Ask if they have a trained professional on staff. (You may want to ask what their training isin also). It may be necessary to seekthe advice of a professional in order to receive supplements that are specificfor your own health needs.

In the meantime, if any of yourcurrent products contain any toxic ingredients they are probably doing nothingfor you and in many cases causing you more harm. You have to take much more of a poorly madeproduct to have even a slight impact on your health. Of course this means ingesting more of itstoxic additives. You may pay more moneyin the end for a better product but you will know your money is well spent on ahealthier you!

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