Are you eff’ing tired? Does your skin lack the glow it had in your 20’s? Is your body sending things in the wrong direction (reflux) or not eliminating them at all (constipation, bloating)? Do you have high anything – blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol – or high everything (metabolic syndrome)? Or do you have better health and every day, several times a day you think about how you must keep this most precious status?
Well, thank goodness for supplements, you know the pills, powders, creams and sprays that add up to a $30 billion and growing industry. Thank goodness for them because they are the better answer to any of these problems – and I will now tell you exactly which ones to take and where you can buy them.
GOTCHA! If you were just pulling out your credit card or filling up with hope, I am sorry to be cruel but I am not sorry to save you money and help you get the better health results you crave.You can’t supplement your way to better healthClick To Tweet
You want better health. We all do. If we have it, we want to keep it. If we need it, we desperately want to get it, then keep it. So, what is the answer to get better health?! Better nutrition. Better nutrition gives your body the nutrients it needs to run better. Better nutrition is your better total nutrition- what goes in and on your body more often. While a supplement can’t give you better health alone, it can be part of the better nutrition that will help you get and keep your better health. Here are a few tunes to help you assess what your body might need to run better.
- “I’m too busy for my life, too busy for my better nutrition, so busy it hurts” (to the tune of “I’m too Sexy” by Right Said Fred): If this is your tune, and you are turning to supplements to give you better nutrition because you are too busy to exercise, too busy to prep your food, too busy to see your doctor even though “it” hurts, there isn’t a supplement out there that can help you. For real. Here’s why. Supplements, by definition, are supplemental to your diet, so if your daily food, exercise and lifestyle choices are poor, supplements alone cannot give you that upgrade you crave. Rather than another scoop of protein powder, even an organic one, find time to lift some weights (even the protein powder container can be used as a DIY gym option). Instead of throwing back a multi with a venti Americano, add oatmeal, cinnamon and peanut butter to your order and down-grade to a tall. You can still take your multi, especially if it is a better quality multi, to help you get enough of the harder to eat nutrients like vitamin D, but maybe take it midday with water to help you get another burst of energy from those B vitamins.
- “All I do is Win, Win, Win” (a la D-J Khaled) Is this your tune? You feel healthy, your lab tests say you are, but you are taking some supplements to give you more key nutrients to help your body have more of what it needs to keep winning. Sweet, right? Wrong. Too much of a good thing is not better, in fact it can be the exact opposite and even worse for you. That’s right those supplements may deduct from the better health you are working so hard to keep. Let’s say your iron levels are great but you were reading about how iron helps provide red blood cells with oxygen and it is important to get enough if you are working out. So, what’s the harm in adding more iron via your multi? A lot. Excess iron is a negative health risk so men and women (especially those not having a menstrual cycle) need to avoid iron supplements unless lab values indicate the levels are low.
- “I’m not perfect just like you” (from Missy Elliott) This is my tune, is it yours too? I make but then leave the better nutrition lunch on the counter as I head to work, I play a little harder and sleep a little less well some nights, I don’t choose orange fruits or vegetables more often, not because I don’t like them, but I like and choose others more often, and I travel lots, which means I often have less control over my choices than I do at home. Because I am not perfect, I rely on better supplements to fill in gaps in my better nutrition more often. But before I supplement, I assess myself – where is my overall nutrition and health today? Am I getting better nutrient balance mostly from plants, am I eating a rainbow more often, taking medications, what does my recent lab work reveal, am I exercising enough, am I breathing better more often? I use my better tools (and so can you, head on over to my website for my better evaluations and better menus) to make sure that I choose better supplements for who I am today and to help me reach my better health goals tomorrow. And then I reassess myself after a few months, annually, or if my health changes.
If you do decide to take supplements, make better supplement choices. Like we can distinguish between food choices – whole foods, organic, non-GMO, kitchen-processed or chemistry lab ingredients – the same goes for our supplement choices. When choosing a dietary supplement, it should be as good quality as your better nutrition choices or it isn’t worth it. That means if you choose organic, whole foods more often then make that choice not one with isolates and artificial ingredients. After all, your supplement is meant to add better nutrition, it’s not meant to be that sometimes less good quality option that we might treat ourselves too (ahem, movie popcorn or caramel candy 😉 And do keep track of what you are taking – for you and your healthcare team. I recommend taking pictures of them (front and back) and keeping them in an ICE info folder (in case of emergency) so that anyone who needs information about what is going into your system more often can access it at the most critical time.