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do you need vitamins or just food

Vitamins: Do I Need Them, and Which Ones to Take

nutrition vitamins

Getting all the nutrition your body needs is difficult to do with food alone. 

I used to think that I could get by without supplements.  My mind changed when I was pregnant and found myself sobbing uncontrollably at one of my prenatal exams.  Not because anything was making me depressed, and it wasn’t the usual pregnancy emotional rollercoaster, either.  It felt more acute than that. 

I told my midwife, “I don’t know why I’m feeling so emotional!  Nothing’s wrong, per se, in my life.”  She asked if I was taking the prenatal vitamins she recommended. 

I wasn’t. 

She said, matter-of-factly, which one does after 30 years of delivering babies, “You’re anemic.  Start taking iron.” 

One sign of anemia is feeling overly emotional.  As soon as I started the food-based iron supplement, I felt like myself again.  

Why is it so hard to get everything we need from our food?  There’s a few reasons. 

Farmland soil is declining in essential minerals and vitamins. 

Modern farming focuses more on profits than the health of the environment.  Why rotate crops when corn and soy (also some of the most highly allergic foods) are way more profitable?  Why spend time and energy (or paid humans) to tend the fields when you can spray them with carcinogens that kill everything in one fell swoop?  

The foods we ate thousands of years ago, like organ meat and seaweed, we rarely eat any more.  

Even if you’re very careful with your diet, getting a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, raw dairy, good quality oils, and organic animal proteins (from “tip to tail”), it’s challenging!  We get busy, eat take-out, or indulge in poor quality food from time to time. 

Stress and our ever-busy lifestyle make our need for minerals and vitamins much stronger. 

Many medications either interfere with absorption of vital nutrients, or increase your metabolism of certain vitamins, making you easily deficient.  

Certain life situations call for a more intense nutritional intake. 

Health issues like a weakened immune system, either through acute infection or chronic illness, require more usable Vitamins A, C, D, Zinc, and Calcium.  

Prenancy and other times of hormonal fluctuation (post-natal care, puberty, and menopause for starters) require enhanced nutrition as well. 

Most health imbalances indicate something may be “off,” nutritionally.  

Mental disorders –

Everything from chronic, low-grade stress to things like anxiety, depression, insomnia, bi-polar disorder, or schizophrenia ~

Almost always, you could benefit from upping Vitamin BMagnesium, and other trace minerals.  

Hemp oil is beneficial as well.  

Painful, stiff, crackling, or swollen joints - 

Repairing from injuries requires a good, quality calcium supplement, plus the ability to transport and absorb calcium, which could be aided with an Omega 3 or 6 oil.  

Manganese helps rebuilding and repairing connective tissue.  

Glucosamine occurs naturally in animal shells.  It's a good source of vitamin A for connective tissue repair. 

Bone spurs and other bone abnormalities can benefit from additional Phosphorus.  

Muscular pain and cramping could be a sign of a Vitamin E deficiency, especially when occurring with skin or hormone concerns.  Tight muscles require more minerals that encourage relaxation such as MagnesiumCalcium, and other trace minerals

If you’re unusually sore after workouts, try adding some extra Vitamin C into your daily routine to see if it helps. 

Nervy pain could benefit from additional B-vitamins.  

Digestive irregularities - 

Everything from diarrhea to constipation, bloating, and gas (lower Gastro-Intestinal), or acid reflux and heartburn (upper GI) disorders ~

If you haven’t cleansed in a while, have an unhealthy diet, or need digestive support, you could try a Chlorophyll supplement to see if that helps.  Chlorophyll helps heal the gut lining.  Also, it's a full-spectrum vegan/vegetarian multi-vitamin!  It's fat-soluble, so take it with coconut or olive oil or butter.  

Almost always, I recommend a digestive aid that contains hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes.  This will help you absorb everything better. 

Fixing the gut is a priority before optimizing the nutritional load.  We need to ensure things are absorbing before adding more things into the mix. 

Almost everyone could benefit from taking these 3 things –

Multivitamin –

A good supplement is based on real food, and not made in a laboratory. 

This image shows the entire complex of Vitamin E.  It includes Vitamin F (essential for thyroid and hormone health), an array of tocopherols, E2, E3, and selenium.  What most "Vitamin E" capsules on the market contain is the E3 which is a teeny-tiny portion of the full Vitamin E spectrum.  

I like Standard Process supplements and vitamins.  I take them as does my whole family.  I’ve visited their lab and the field where they grow their produce in Wisconsin (photo above). 

Let me tell you – their soil is amazing!  Rich, moist, and black, compared to the conventional ("Monsanto") field next door with grey, dry soil.  The difference is night and day. 

With food-based supplements, your body absorbs it.  Also, it’s unlikely to do damage.  The “RDA” amounts are much lower than conventional vitamins, but the absorbability is much higher.  Think of it like a very condensed, healthy meal.  

For people who don’t like taking pills – “Take it or eat it.”  If you can’t swallow pills, you can chew them, or try to get those ingredients in your regular diet as often as possible.  

There’s a chewable multi for kids or a general multi for adults.  I recommend specific multis for specific health conditions too – one for joint problems; for stress disorders and chronic fatigue; for lung problems; gluten-free options; for cardiac health; for allergies; for diabetics; and for eye problems.  

Trace minerals –

There’s one that has a little bit of everythingiron for anemia or pregnancy; relaxation minerals for stress or tension; zinc for digestive or immune system health; and calcium for bone density issues and hormonal fluctuations. 

Protein-bound iodine, in a small dose to start, is essential for thyroid disorders.  

Omega 3 or 6 oil - 

There’s a chewable one for kids; a good general omega for pregnancy; Cod oil for skin problems or Vitamin D deficiency; a DHA/EPA for reducing inflammation; and some that are more Essential Fatty Acids for hormone, skin, and muscular health. 

Vegetarian options could include wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, or hemp oil.  



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