Supplements cannot make up for a poor diet day in and day out. However, I feel that good, high quality vitamins and supplements can definitely give your body a boost if you are under a lot of stress or if you’re feeling tired. After I went through my last breast cancer diagnosis, my holistic medical doctor recommended that I add several supplements to help my body maintain a strong immune system. I eat a variety of whole foods and then add in the supplements to help my body even more.
Supplements are no substitute for eating nutritious foods and a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that make the body functionally strong and able to ward off disease. Here’s a quick rundown of key nutrients that are readily available in delicious, everyday foods:
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining a strong immune system, and it is especially helpful in the prevention of conditions such as lupus, arthritis, cancer, and coronary heart disease. Believe it or not, the best source of vitamin D is direct sunlight – good reason to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. A variety of foods are high in vitamin D, too, including fish like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel, fortified milk, orange juice and cereal, and egg yolks
Being deficient in the mineral iron can cause anemia, leaving you fatigued and vulnerable to disease and infections. There are two types of iron: Heme iron from animal sources and non-heme iron from plant sources; you need both types. Organ meats like liver and giblets are among the best sources of heme iron, and so are animal proteins like egg yolks and red meat. Spinach and all kinds of beans are a great source of non-heme iron, which is more easily absorbed by the body when eaten with vitamin C-rich vegetables like bell pepper, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Do you use vitamins? Or do you feel it’s better to get all your nutrients from whole foods?