Nutritional supplements: The rational versus the irrational

Using nutrient-dense foods in your diet can dramatically increase your nutrient concentration.

by Mark Force — 

Before you think about supplements, you need to consider your diet — specifically, the foods you eat. You need only two rules to make your diet nearly perfect:

  • Eat foods in their natural, unrefined state.
  • Eat 50 to 75 percent of your diet raw.

People using these traditional diets typically have less obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. You are better off eating like a traditional Italian, Greek, Spaniard, Japanese or Thai, than like an American. It also is helpful to avoid fad diets.

We are physiologically omnivores. We need a wide variety of foods in our diet, including animal protein of some kind. The broader our diet, the better nourished we are.

You can typically meet your needs for supplemental nutrition with a relatively simple regimen. Most people can get the supplements they need by taking a multiple vitamin/mineral formula and omega-3 oil.

Why the multiple? If the formula is well thought out and well structured, that strategy is less expensive, simpler and more effective than taking individual vitamins and minerals. Make sure any multiple you use is high in the trace minerals, as these are what you will typically need the most.

Why the omega-3 oils? Our bodies need them, but traditional peoples get about six times more omega-3 oils in their diets than we do. Grass-fed meat is higher in omega-3 oils than corn-fed meat; also, milk from grass-fed cows is higher in omega-3 oils, as is wild fish versus farmed fish.

Flax and/or fish oils are naturally high in omega-3 oils and are excellent ways to get more of them into your diet; however, do not overlook the dietary sources of these oils mentioned above.

Once you know which nutrient you need more of, you can often fix the deficiency by eating more of the foods with high concentrations of that nutrient. For example, it is very common to be deficient in sulfur, an essential mineral, which is found in larger concentrations in garlic, onions and egg yolks.

Food-concentrate, food-form and food-source supplements are vastly superior to the crystalline-pure or synthetic, forms of nutrients in most cases because:

  • They contain nutrients in the form naturally found in food.
  • They act in your body like food.
  • They tend to work more efficiently and completely, since they contain all the naturally occurring synergists.
  • They tend to support body function, as a whole.
  • They have a gentler, more balanced action in your body.

Using nutrient-dense foods in your diet can dramatically increase your nutrient concentration. Some examples of this strategy are: wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, whey powder, fish oil, nut or grain oils, bee pollen, “green” drinks, yogurt and sea vegetables.

In summary, eat a broad and omnivorous diet of high-quality food, take a few supplements and incorporate some nutrient-dense foods into your regimen. This approach is rational and supported by research.

 

Mark Force, D.C., is a chiropractic physician at The Elements of Health in north Scottsdale, Ariz. He practices functional and natural healthcare and is the author of Choosing Health: Dr. Force’s Functional Selfcare Workbook. 480-563-4256 or theelementsofhealth.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 5, October/November 2007.

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