WHY SHOULD I SUPPLEMENT? To achieve all over health, I believe it is necessary to add supplements to your daily diet to avoid deficiencies that may occur and result in chronic problems later. You may ask why you would be deficient in any nutrient if you eat a healthy diet but there are many factors that will shortchange or deplete your levels;
- Fruit and vegetables with lower nutritional values as a result of poor soil and chemicals
- Limited diet choices that may unwittingly leave out vital food groups
- Stress, will deplete your B vitamins faster than you can imagine.
- Free radicals from external and internal sources will use up all your anti-oxidants
- Many medications deplete important minerals and vitamins
In my opinion, there are two groups of nutrients that definitely need to be added to your diet. Firstly, a B Complex with good levels of all the B’s, as well as unofficial B’s such as Biotin, Folic Acid, Inositol and Choline and secondly, Omega 3. Collectively, your B vitamins are largely responsible for your energy needs. If you don’t eat enough foods containing these or happen to be under stress, the first thing you will notice is lowered energy levels. Very simply, the next most important function of B vitamins, is your nervous system and neurotransmitters. Before you rush to the Doctor for anti-depressants or a Neuro Surgeon because you have burning feet or peripheral neuropathy, add a good B complex to your day and re-assess the situation again after a week. You can also consider a B12 or B Complex course of injections for a quick fix. Low levels B1, B3, B6 and Inositol (an unofficial B vitamin) can also trigger panic attacks, anxiety and palpitations, so once again, if these symptoms present, first look at your B vitamin levels. On a more serious level, these very important vitamins can go a long way in preventing Alzheimers’ and lowering your Homocysteine levels. High Homocysteine levels increase the chance of cardiovascular problems, stroke and Diabetes. Foods that contain many of the B vitamins are WHOLE GRAINS, LEGUMES, NUTS and SEEDS. Liver, eggs and fish are good sources of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is necessary in order to absorb iron and this could result in anaemic conditions. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – OMEGA 3 AND 6 Essential for 60 different functions in the body but the most important benefits are in the following : CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH INFLAMMATION ALLERGIES AUTO IMMUNE DISEASES eg Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and LUPUS Best food choices : Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, flaxseed. NB : We normally get enough Omega 6 in our modern day diet and it is now recommended that you only supplement with Omega 3 to keep the ratio in balance. Too much Omega 6 can actually increase the tendency towards inflammatory conditions such Arthritis, Asthma and Psoriasis. We manufacture Omega 9 ourselves so don’t need to supplement. HEALTHY SNACKS RICH IN B’s AND OMEGAS Dip raw vegetables like carrots, celery, snap peas, baby mealies, mini tomatoes, mange tout into some of the following dips; HUMUS / TAHINI – B vitamins LIVER PATE – vitamin B12 SALMON DIP – omega 3 AVOCADO DIP – vitamin E, folic acid, potassium COTTAGE CHEESE with bean sprouts on rice biscuits or provitas PEANUTS – legumes with B vitamins and low GI NUTS – B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, selenium and more These are very simple tips and ideas and by no means complete. If you would like more information and guidance on a personal level, look for a Dietician or Nutritional Therapist in your area by going to www.healthonyourdoorstep.co.za