thA common myth has it that if you eat well, you will automatically get all the vitamins and minerals you need solely from your food. Naturally I think you should eat a healthy diet. But even if you eat fresh fruits and vegetables every hour, you still get only a fraction of the essential nutrients you need from those foods. Remember, those “fresh” fruits and veggies are often grown in mineral-deficient soils that contain a lot of pesticides. Then the produce travels across the country for days and then sits for days at the grocery store. Then more time passes while it sits in your refrigerator. Then you microwave it (something I certainly do not recommend doing) or boil it too long. The bottom line is that the vitamins and minerals in today’s food supply have been greatly diminished by the time you eat them.

And…let’s not forget the impact of sweets. People who eat processed foods containing refined sugar (as opposed to Stevia or raw honey) will lose some B vitamins, zinc, chromium, magnesium and other minerals. Yep…that’s right. White processed sugar is the bodies mugger of minerals! Sugar cravings can actually be caused by mineral and B vitamin deficiencies.

So how do you know what types of vitamins and minerals your body needs? I suggest visiting a reputable holistic practitioner who can determine your individual deficiencies based on a variety of methods. A hair analysis, a blood test and/or muscle reflex testing are some methods of making an accurate determination. They will then be able to recommend quality brands of supplements that are food based and not synthetic chemically based.

Vitamins are not a cure-all but they certainly are a good place to start. They offer some insurance against the poor state of our food supply. Good quality nutritional supplements should be considered one big piece of the health puzzle. Here are a few things to avoid when looking for a quality vitamin:
– A One-A-Day vitamin – Multivitamins that promise dozens of nutrients in one single dose can’t possibly have the potency needed for good health. High-quality multivitamins may require 3 to 6 capsules a day to give you top protection.
– Expect to Pay – If you can get 1,000 pills for $9.99, how good can they be? Are you getting a great deal or a great deal of junk that can potentially harm your health?
– Watch for Additives – Many vitamins contain magnesium stearate, flavorings, sweeteners, coloring, fillers and binders. Things your body can (and should) do without.

So what should you do? Start reading labels and look for pure and unadulterated formulas that are free of harmful additives. Take only exceptional quality supplements that are recommended from your naturopathic doctor that will actually be healing to your body.

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