Ideally, we would get all the nutrients we need for optimal health from fresh, healthful foods. However, this is often difficult. We have already covered a few reasons for this in the previous Gut Heath Series but let’s dive a little deeper into supplementing.
Supplements are just that, meant to add to a healthy diet. Therefore, it is important not to use supplements as a means of replacing real food.
Why is eating healthy sometimes not enough?
We are constantly inundated by environment pollutants and never-ending stress in our modern world. For this reason, our nutritional requirements have been increasing, but the number of calories we require are decreasing, as our general level of physical activity has declined. This results in needing more nutrients from less food.
With the advancement of scientific discovery, according to food scientist and author, George Mateljan, we require more than 45 nutrients to be supplied in the diet. The absence of any one of these nutrients, whether it is needed in small or large amounts, can have a profound effect on health.
What are vitamins and minerals?
Nutrients that are essential to life. They are often called micronutrients because, in comparison to the four macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, fats – they are needed in relatively small amounts. Macrominerals are needed in large amounts, are calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Microminerals, or trace minerals include zinc, iron, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, iodine, potassium, and boron. Vitamins are organic compounds, meaning they occur naturally in plants and animals. They function as activators in the chemical reactions that constantly take place in our bodies. There are water-soluble and fat-soluble forms.
This group of vitamins stay in the body for a short period of time – two to four days. B and C vitamins belong to this group. Utilization of water-soluble vitamins begins the minute they are absorbed through your digestive system. Thus, these nutrients must be replenished regularly. Since they are not stored but are quickly excreted from the body, toxicities are virtually unknown and uncommon.
Fat soluble vitamins:
This group of vitamins stay in the body for a longer period. Vitamins A, D, E, and K belong to this group. Although these vitamins are usually stored in fat tissue, some may also be stored in some organs, especially the liver. Therefore, if taken in large doses or compromised liver function, there is a potential to have toxicity problems with some of the fat-soluble vitamins.
Quality matters! Supplements made on the mass production market often include additives that you want to watch out for (i.e. artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, etc). The general rule of thumb is that you pay for what you get. If you are wanting to truly enhance your nutrition, you want to invest in choosing the best product you can get.
Supplements made on the mass production market often include additives that you want to watch out for (i.e. artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, etc). The general rule of thumb is that you pay for what you get. If you are wanting to truly enhance your nutrition, you want to invest in choosing the best product you can get.
Lieberman, Shari. “The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book: A Definitive Guide to Designing Your Personal Supplement Program”1997
Professional assistance on nutritional supplementation is the safest and most effective way to decide what is right for you. Below we have a few suggestions for gut health based on your body type/element.
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Digestive Tendencies for Air Element:
· Noisy, unsettled stomach
· Often experience gas, particularly when eating fibrous foods such as raw vegetables and beans
· Dry or hard stool
· Variable appetite but tend to under eat if stressed
Digestive Tendencies for Earth Element:
· Bloated, heavy feeling after meals
· Sluggish metabolism
· Clearing throat after meals
· Tendency for “emotional eating”
Digestive Tendencies for Fire Element:
· Strong appetite, often hungry
· Acid reflux / indigestion tendency
· Loose or frequent bowel movements
The statements made herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a physician or healthcare professional.