You eat a healthy diet—fresh vegetables and fruits every day, lean animal protein or high quality vegetarian protein, and whole grains—and you limit your intake of processed foods, right?
Do you still need a multivitamin or any kind of supplement?
In functional medicine, we often find the answer to be yes, because there are multiple reasons why you might not be getting what you need just from food.
First, we eat food for energy and nutrients:
The food we eat is more or less nutritious depending on the soil it is grown in or, in the case of animal protein, the feed the animals have been given. Conventional farming puts only a limited number of nutrients back into the soil through fertilizers, so food grown on those farms tend to have lower nutrient quality over time. In particular, zinc often becomes depleted.
Organic farming has a greater potential for higher nutrient quality because the soil is often fertilized with richer nutrient sources than just standard fertilizer. But again, if the soil has been used for decades for agriculture, it may become depleted especially of trace minerals.
Before we became such an urban culture, people ate much more of the “whole” of whole foods—nothing was thrown away. We ate organ meats like pancreas, kidneys, liver, brain that all have nutrients that aren’t necessarily found in vegetables or the usual meats we eat. We ate much more fish and so got our omega- 3 fatty acids we need for healthy cell membranes. We also used vegetable skins to make soup stocks and roasted pumpkin seeds for snacks (think zinc) to get minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Overall, then, we have narrowed our nutrient sources by just eating the “good” parts of our foods.
Supplement Suggestion: In order to compensate for these changes in our foods and diets, we recommend a daily regimen of:
- A daily multivitamin-mineral
- Omega 3s, and
- Vitamin D
These will meet the basic needs of almost everyone.
Looking for these essentials in an easy daily packets? Our specially-formulated Once Daily Vitamin and Mineral Essentials has everything you need, and is third-party tested for purity.
Then there is your digestion:
If you are not digesting your food well, then you may not absorb your nutrients well. We can determine what the problem is with your digestion by doing functional testing.
Then, while you work on improving your digestion, targeted supplements based on what’s going on in your body can really make a difference in how you feel.
We determine that based on symptoms or medical conditions that are associated with certain deficiencies in addition to the testing. We do with each person who comes to Blum Center to tailor a program specifically to you.
When choosing supplements you also want to be aware of the quality of the products you are taking.
News reports come out frequently about how the supplements at some of the chain stores don’t have the nutrients they are labeled to have. Professional quality supplements have third party verification of their ingredients and also have testing for contaminants like lead. We are careful at Blum Center to choose high quality, third party verified supplements. We can advise you on resources to check supplement testing for products as well.
Meet Elizabeth: In her dual role as our Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner and a teacher in our Mind.Body.Spirit programs at Blum Center for Health, Elizabeth Greig, MSN, FNP, helps treat and heal patients with complex chronic health conditions. Whether she’s treating a medical condition or leading a class in meditation, Elizabeth helps people understand that when it comes to healing, it’s more about nourishing life, than it is about battling illness.