Is supplements and multivitamins when dieting a crucial part of a good nutrition program?

I am often asked about the value of supplements and multivitamins when dieting from my clients? Which ones should I take if any? What is good for me to support total heath? What protein support powder should I use in my smoothies?

I like to have this important conversation with each of my clients since one of the most crucial things you can do is make sure that you are obtaining the needed amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients on a daily basis to support superb health. Most people don’t make a conscious effort to obtain their daily intake of necessary vitamins and minerals, which is one of many reasons it is necessary to supplement whole foods. A large body of research indicates that most people derive valuable health benefits from supplementing their diet with whole food vitamins, minerals, other important nutrients.

Reasons why you should take supplements:

  • The rise of industrial agriculture. The impact of modern farming techniques has lowered the nutritional value of many common foods and stripped the majority of valuable micro-nutrients from our daily diet.
  • Non-Stop busy lifestyles. Even the most conscientious among us finds mindful, healthful eating at every meal can be challenging. Vitamins in the form of whole foods, minerals and other supplements can help to fill the gaps caused by those less-than-optimal meals.
  • Environmental Toxins. Toxicity levels surround us in our daily lives and are extremely high, slowly breaking down our immune and hormonal systems causing many additional problems. Our bodies today, need some help in bringing back their ability to recover themselves. Antioxidants and probiotics help to detoxify our body and support it to strength and repair itself.
  • Aging. As we grow older, poor digestion due to insufficient stomach acid or low populations of beneficial micro-organisms in our digestive tracts, results in poor assimilation of nutrients from our diet.
  • Dieting. Frequent dieting and to restrict caloric intake to lose weight also means restricting nutrient intake.

Like most professionals, I am very particular about how supplements are regulated and what quality ingredients are used. For example, drug store brands may seem complete, but when you take a closer look at the labels, they are far from that. In addition, many of those brands contain additives and fillers that are not good for your health. I always encourage my clients to read all the ingredients carefully and pay attention to not just the active, but also the inactive ingredients. You will be shocked to find that many of the popular drug store brands can actually contain many artificial colorings, trans-fats and even aluminum. Lastly, many clients have inquired about the recent media frenzy about potential negative effects of vitamins and one of the reason for some of these reports are just this, bad ingredients that are harmful to your health in poor quality vitamins.

So, yes, supplementation is an important part of any solid nutrition program but make sure you are working with a nutritionist or other professional that is well educated and informed to ensure that you are getting what you need.

By: Meryl Brandwein