Friday, May 15, 2009
Should I Take Vitamin Supplements?
Day 15 of our “One Month Raw Food Cleanse”
Well, I’m half way through my one month raw food cleanse. Hopefully some of you are doing this journey with me. I must admit, after the first week my stomach was a bit upset from all of the fiber, but I feel great now and I’m ready for the second half of the cleanse.
I have reminded you in previous posts that a total raw food diet will not provide vitamin B12 or vitamin D so if you are going to eat only raw food on a long term basis, you should think about taking supplements for the B12 and either get more sunshine for vitamin D or also take some supplements for that too.
With all of the press given to articles claiming vitamins are useless, many people are confused. Just yesterday the New York Times ran an article, “Vitamins Found to Curb Exercise Benefits”. A research team led by a nutritionist from Germany tested a group of young men who exercised. Some received some vitamin C and E supplements and some did not. Those that received supplements showed a decrease in the ability of their bodies’ natural defense mechanism to clean up free radicals from exercise. Kind of scary – (I’m sure their main intent). Is my body’s natural ability to defend itself getting weakened by me pumping all of these supplements into my body?
Although I have distrust in many of the articles that have appeared over the past few years, I have become somewhat concerned with over supplementing. I probably could fill a swimming pool with the number of vitamins I’ve taken over the past 20 years so why am I concerned now?
First of all, the supplement industry is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Some of the same corrupt and deceitful behavior shown by our medical system and pharmaceutical companies are now being demonstrated by the vitamin industry. Whenever there is this much money involved, unfortunately, you can expect this. So what can you do? Here’s what I’ve done.
• I never take synthetic vitamins.
• I only take organic vitamins that are derived from whole foods.
• I only purchase vitamins from reputable companies that are actually concerned about health. Just go to the NEW CHAPTER website and you will find that kind of company. So when picking a vitamin, look at their website, read their mission statement and how they make their product. Buying discount vitamins from a superstore is counterproductive.
• I find out where my vitamins are made. Ninety percent of all vitamin C is made in China, as is much of vitamin A, B12 and E. I am more than a bit concerned about a country that spikes its baby formula with melamine making my vitamins.
• I have cut down on the amounts and the number of vitamins I take. I do not take iron (I’m not anemic and it’s usually not needed past childbearing age) or vitamin E (I eat plenty of avocado and sunflower seeds). I take one New Chapter stress support multi per day (they recommend 3). I supplement with a little calcium/magnesium citrate (about 1/5 of what is recommended). If you eat an alkaline diet, (fruits and vegetables, little or no meat), your body doesn’t need as much calcium. I also take 1000 mg of vitamin D per day because my blood test showed my level to be low (I should stop blogging and get more sun which is the best source of vitamin D). Your requirements may be different so this regimen may not be optimal for you.
• To get more vitamins and minerals in my body naturally, I juice, make fruit and vegetable smoothies, eat more fresh fruit and salads, and eat raw nuts, seeds and sprouts. I try to always eat organic as it has been shown that organic food has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than food that has been grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is a personal decision and one that should be based on need and data. Ask your doctor to take a blood test to see where you may have a nutrient deficiency. You should also see how you feel. Feeling badly is a sign that you may need a change in your daily regimen whether it’s sleep, proper diet, exercise, supplements, water or sunshine.
Menu for Day 15
Breakfast is a mixture of freshly picked organic strawberries and cantaloupe. Lunch will be a spinach salad with avocado, cashews and grape tomatoes with a lemon dressing. Dinner will be a sprouted green lentil curry with fresh pineapple and dessert crumble.