Drink Water, Sleep & Supplement
Three of the things about which I’m most passionate in terms of the Pillars of Health are the amount of water a person drinks, the amount of sleep a client drinks and whether or not they are supporting a well-balanced diet and exercise routine with high quality herbal and vitamin supplements. It would be wonderful if we could get all of our nutrients from the food we eat, but the truth is, even if we are eating only organic food, we are still receiving far fewer nutrients than we would have even 20 years ago. This is because our soil has been over-farmed and depleted of its natural richness, but that’s an environmental soapbox topic for another day.
After I finish grilling clients about the importance of adequate water and sleep, it’s time to discuss herbs and supplements. This can be a very lengthy and complex topic, so I won’t go in to the nuances right here. However, in order to simplify this just a little, here are the basics of how I choose my own supplements.
- You get what you pay for. You don’t have to buy the most expensive product on the shelf, but generally speaking, spending a few dollars more will get you a better (more readily absorbable) product. If you can buy it at a grocery store, drug store or big-box chain, it is not high quality. Most, if not all of the products sold in these places are definitely affordable, but they are low quality and comprised of fillers and chemicals that your body can absorb or process. So at the end of the day, you’re just throwing your money away.
- I don’t believe that multivitamins give you very much bang for the buck. I recommend people take the specific herbs, vitamins and minerals that their body most needs. Again, this is all about choosing what is best for your unique body-type, dietary preferences and nutritional needs. As a quick reference, I believe most people could benefit from taking Vitamin B and D along with an Omega oil supplement and Iron for menstruating women. This isn’t for everyone, so be sure to get some guidance before going out and making any purchases.
- I choose a “whole food” type of vitamin. This means that it is actually made from food and your body will readily absorb the nutrients. Because it is a food product vs a chemical product, you can take these on empty stomachs with no negative effects. You may find that the labels state a lower percentage of nutrients are present in these supplements, but when you are absorbing 100% of the product, you are getting everything you need.
- I also seek products that are from Certified B Corporations. This means that the company values its social and environmental impact. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but if I have a choice between two otherwise similar products, I always lean towards supporting ethical companies.
- Finally, I do have specific brands that I prefer, but I don’t think I’m allowed to mention these here, lest it sound like an intentional advertisement. Health food stores are a great place to start for guidance on the best product for you that fits your budget and your specific health needs.
I hope this is helpful. Health isn’t just about a silver bullet to make every concern disappear like magic. It requires a multi-pronged approach that could include acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, herbal supplements and regular blood work and advice from your medical processional. Enjoy the journey and never be afraid to ask questions.