Supplements are essentially additional nutrition taken to support an individual’s diet. They can take the form of vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, energy boosters and even detox formulations. Now many people will say that they don’t need to take supplements if they eat a well-balanced diet. In my opinion, everyone should take extra nutrition in accordance to how they are at that moment in time.
Our goal is to be a fit and healthy person with bundles of vitality, takes regular exercise, gets the right amount of rest and awakens refreshed. It can be a tall order with modern stressors testing us at any given moment of the day.
Eating the same diet from one month to the next, may affect the body in different ways as the surrounding environmental factors affecting the person, will also affect the way the nutrients from the food is absorbed.
It is often said that you are what you Eat, but it is important to factor in:
- When you eat
- How well you digest
- How well you absorb the nutrients
- And how well you can eliminate the by-products of the digestion
For example; if you are going through a period of anxiety, maybe your bowel movements will be affected, so the usual foods may not be processed by your body in the optimum way.
Go to a doctor and they may tell you that your eg. constipation is caused by anxiety and if you take laxatives, yes they will help in the short term but they won’t cure the cause of the problem or help to improve your absorption of nutrients.
It’s doubtful that the doctor might suggest niacin to help support you during a stressful time, or valerian to help you get to sleep if those are the underlying factors that are possibly causing your constipation.
Have you heard about the frog principle?
It isn’t a pleasant description but bear with me…
- If you throw a frog into a pan of boiling water, they will immediately hop out (or hurl themselves out in utter panic).
- Put a frog in a pan of cold water and they will happily swim around. Light the fire under the pan and keep it low. Eventually the water will boil and the frog will be cooked.
Number 2 is likely to be us at this moment in time in our day to day lives. We have become so accustomed to the daily stress that we are in fact “boiling” ourselves without really noticing it. It is usually when the stress manifests as chronic pain that we seek help, often from our GPs and then we might become reliant on painkillers.
This is why my secret weapon is my Kinesiologist. If you are not sure what they do, you will be amazed at how they can “read” the body with muscle testing. I was convinced by their help when I had chronic backache. I thought it was because I had injured it during a squat workout.
The Kinesiologist did some tests and decided that the pain was caused by my ICV (a valve in my digestive tract). It was fixed in 10 minutes and when I got down from the table, my back was pain free. I was tested for and given supplements for nutritional support and to help keep the problem from returning.
Amazing! I did well on the supplements (Bowel Build: available from Nature’s Sunshine) so I returned when I noticed feeling extra tired when I was teaching Aquarobics.
It was found that it was likely that my thyroid was affected by the frequent exposure to swimming pool chlorine. I was prescribed a course of Iodine and the difference in my energy levels is noticeable.
I was advised to chew the supplements as the first stage of digestion starts in the mouth, but I can think of 2 that should not be chewed and these are digestive enzymes (they could be detrimental to the teeth) and acidophilus as the capsules are meant to dissolve in the intestines.
Now I have been reliably informed that not all nutritional supplements are the same. This is marked in 2 different ways. I believe that certain brands (as they each have unique formulations) of supplements will benefit individuals to greater or lesser degrees. I tend to choose my supplements mainly from Nature’s Sunshine – organic products with a formulation that uses only the active part of the plant. Nutri are fantastic and Higher Nature too.
There is another point to note on choosing supplements. If you can get to a Kinesiologist, ask them to muscle test your supplements to see if they are helpful, or if a different brand might be more effective. This is because perhaps a B complex from Nutri may suit one person, but be less effective than eg Nature’s Sunshine for another. Some osteopaths and chiropractors can do this testing for you.
Note: Kinesiologists have been given a poor image by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence who have branded them unproven in the UK and advise against their services in allergy detection. However, my experience has been a positive one. I think the best thing to do in this situation is to do your due diligence and get recommendations, before starting any type of consultation with a therapist.
I like this method of muscle testing to find the right nutrition for your body. I like how it feels when a supplement makes an indicator muscle strengthen! I took a whole bag of supplements with me and found that I didn’t need about half of them at the time! I was also advised different brands of certain vitamins to some of the ones I had been taking.
This is also why it can be helpful to take your vitamin supplements separately; rather than take a multivitamin, so you can really tailor the best nutritional choices for your body.