It seems like every six months I hear of a new miracle supplement on the market that contains the juice or extract from some exotic fruit found only in a small region of the world and is supposed to help me achieve the health and vitality I’ve been looking for! Although these supplements may have healthy properties, no supplement can replace a healthy diet.
In our culture Wellness practices are replacing the old “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” model. People are more interested now more than ever in how to take better care of themselves. We are living longer and as we anticipate more years of life we want to add life to those years! We know that exercise and a positive mental attitude are keys to healthy living, but the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle is healthy nutrition. You can’t expect to perform well if you are fueling yourself with garbage. As I so often say, if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out!
What should you be fueling your engine with? Human beings are designed to eat a diet consisting mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, accented with whole grains and healthy meats. Your dinner plate should consist of 70-80% produce and the rest healthy proteins and whole grains. Water should be your staple beverage. Although no single formula fits every individual, if you’re not drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day you are not getting enough. Avoid highly processed foods and sugary drinks. Remember, if you want to be more alive than dead, eat foods that are more alive than dead!
So, where does supplementation come in? As the nutrient value of food declines with over-farming and transportation of food over long distances, supplementing your diet is important. With so many options available on the market it’s important to seek guidance from a holistic healthcare professional when deciding which supplements you should be taking. Not all supplements are created equal and not all people have the same requirements. In general, most people should be taking a quality multivitamin/mineral to ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals; an Omega 3 supplement, such as fish oil; Vitamin D, especially if you work indoors or live in a northern state; and lastly a probiotic to ensure a healthy gut. As I said before though, you should consult a qualified healthcare professional that specializes in nutritional recommendations to ensure that you are not literally flushing your investment down the toilet!
Until next time, Live Well!
Dr. Brent Reiche