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Posted on 01-14-2011

Much of this article is common sense and you've probably heard many of these recommendations before.  I believe it's important to continue to give this information because there is no magic bullet!  People need to be reminded of that and once you commit to your health and start living a better lifestyle you will realize that practicing the basics are the simplest and best way to live!

The Basics:

Eat your fruit and vegetables.  Eliminate processed foods, refined sugars, and soda.  Eliminate any foods with hydrogenated oils.  NEVER put artificial sweeteners in your body!!  They only make you sicker! Choose only lean meats and fish.  Drink plenty of water.  The rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day.  Add more if you exercise.  Eat something healthy every 2 to 3 hours to keep your blood sugar balanced.  You will have more energy and won't crash in the middle of the day.

Keep in mind there is always something more you can do to improve your health.  Even if you start by eliminating soda consumption or just drinking more water.  Perhaps even just starting to eat breakfast every morning. Optimal nutrition is essential for the healthy functioning of our bodies. Without it, subtle functional changes may occur that impede our progress on the road to vibrant health.  Many people don't even know that their bodies are sick and many more live with symptoms daily and just ignore them.

What Does Your Body Need?

The nutrients required to sustain life are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which supply energy and build tissue. Vitamins and minerals are used in the body in much smaller amounts but are important in the regulation of all your body processes. And, then, of course, we cannot survive without water.

By supplying our bodies with adequate amounts of these nutrients in the proper ratios, we help ensure optimal nutrition and solid foundation for health. We supplement because we don't receive all the nutrients we need from the foods we eat. According to recent health surveys, few of us consume the recommended five daily servings of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and most of us don't even meet the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). We each have our own unique needs as well so the RDI's will vary for each individual and, in many cases, are quite inadequate.

Keep in mind 75% of the American population is deficient nutritionally and it takes 6 to 9 months to bring the body to sufficient levels through healthy eating, lifestyle change, and nutritional supplementation. If we only supplemented with the RDI's, we would have a difficult time reaching sufficient nutrient levels in our bodies.

How Do You Know You Should Supplement?

All of the healthiest people I know supplement and never or rarely take drugs. They understand the human body is capable of optimal health if just given the right tools. If you health is less than optimal then it is even more important to improve your dietary habits and include supplementation in your daily routine.

Some signs of optimal health are:

  • High energy
  • Ideal weight
  • Good muscle development
  • Smooth and clear skin
  • Glossy, healthy, hair
  • Clear eyes
  • Normal appetite, digestion, and elimination
  • Alert mental functions
  • Good sleep habits
  • A body that functions well in the absence of drugs (prescription and OTC).

Vitamins and minerals are essential for many bodily processes which include:

  • Energy metabolism
  • Growth and maintenance of skin, bones, and other tissues
  • Immune system function
  • Brain function
  • Hormone production and regulation
  • Detoxification

A single deficiency can interfere with many different body functions and impact your health. Obviously, your first line of defense is to eat a well-balanced diet of wholesome, nutritious foods. But due to our busy lifestyles this can be very difficult at times.

Since there are no FDA requirements on any nutritional supplements they will range from very poor quality to excellent quality or pharmaceutical grade. A company who provides third party assays of their products, performs double blind, placebo controlled, human clinical trials, and only uses the purest of ingredients holds themselves to the highest standard of giving you a quality product that will enhance your health.

So, short of calling each company to ask for third party assays, how do you find supplements without toxic ingredients? I agree it can be difficult. For starters, take this article (along with part 1) with you next time you are at the store. You will need to start reading labels and you may have to begin seeking out more reputable sources for purchasing your products. Professional and/or pharmaceutical grade supplements are typically available through doctors and other health care providers, certified nutrition consultants, and reputable health food stores. Pick and choose wisely if you are at a chain vitamin store. Don't take the word of the salesperson. Ask if they have a trained professional on staff. (You may want to ask what their training is in also). It may be necessary to seek the advice of a professional in order to receive supplements that are specific for your own health needs.

In the meantime, if any of your current products contain any toxic ingredients they are probably doing nothing for you and in many cases causing you more harm. You have to take much more of a poorly made product to have even a slight impact on your health. Of course this means ingesting more of its toxic additives. You may pay more money in the end for a better product but you will know your money is well spent on a healthier you!

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