Most of us have probably taken a nutritional supplement at some point in our lives. It may have been something recommended on the Dr. Oz show, or perhaps your friend was raving about how amazing she felt after taking a particular vitamin. Regardless of the reason, most of us have taken something at some point in our lives.
The health supplement industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and is projected to have sales just shy of $300 billion by 2024.
Unfortunately, many of us are consuming these products with little or no real knowledge of how they work, when they work, or if they even work at all.
As a holistic health professional, I will always recommend food as the most essential way to satisfy your dietary requirements. My approach is to identify the root cause of a problem and begin to heal that area first with diet rather than to immediately slap on a Band-Aid, or pop a pill. Unfortunately, we live in a time where stress, poor lifestyle choices, disease, lack of sleep, toxic food and nutrient-starved soil are at all-time highs. Supplements can help, and in some cases are a necessity.
If you are considering taking a supplement I encourage you to chose carefully. While Health Canada regulates natural health products, not all countries do. Reports have been documented, warning of contamination and improper labeling. Do your homework to understand what rules apply to supplement regulation in your own country.
Further, do not assume that because you may take a supplement for a period of time that you will need to take it indefinitely.
Often, what we need in the winter will not be what we need in the summer. If our stress levels increase, we may need additional support for that time period. The key is to begin tuning into your body to better understand when you need more support.
When you may need more support:
- Times of extreme stress (emotional or physical)
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Extreme fatigue
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Restrictive dieting
When experiencing any of these symptoms or conditions, it is always best to consult with your doctor or health care provider before taking anything new. They can ensure you are well-supported and are getting the supplementation you need, and reduce your risk of any adverse reactions.
I've said it a million times before, "There is no magic pill!" There really isn't, trust me I've tried!
Achieving optimal health begins with feeding your body the best quality food you can, moving often, enjoying life, having great relationships and minimizing stress. When that isn't enough, turning to nutritional supplementation can be a great option. Keep in mind, you are an individual in every way so what works for your best friend, isn't necessarily what is best for you.
As always I'd love to hear from you and hear what has worked best for you. You can reach me on Instagram, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.