The Supplement Series: Part 1: Vitamin Deficiencies

A delicious empty-calorie pizza

Disclaimer: This article is about why you could be vitamin deficient and what to do about it.

I walked into a conversation with my co-workers. The two of them were talking about health, fitness, their workout routines, and how “healthy” they were – as if it was a competition.

One of them even claimed – that the fewer pills you take the healthier you were. (As if every condition you had was another sign that you were more unhealthy…)

This implied that you could only really be healthy if you didn’t need to take anything at all…

Hearing that made me laugh. They didn’t seem to know much, yet they talked to each other as if they were experts.

If only we didn’t need to take any vitamins or medications, get everything we needed, and heal exclusively from our food…

Unfortunately, this is as real as fairytales.

Our modern lifestyle can be to blame.

We live in an unnatural world and the truth is that we DO NOT get everything our bodies need. If the majority of us lived in a natural world we’d still be living in a village somewhere hunting and gathering!

These days we have access to everything we could ever imagine. We don’t need to hunt for our meat or harvest our vegetables anymore. It’s all done and conveniently placed on the shelf for us.

The problem is companies are always trying to save a buck and often cheap out…

I found this out the hard way after I did some shopping.

I picked up a bag of frozen broccoli and what I found when I got home surprised me.

It turns out I had paid for a bag of leftover broccoli stems that had zero nutritional content!

So, next time I went to the vegetable aisle to look for some fresh broccoli instead. However, again to my surprise the broccoli I found was sad. Thick stemmed, small-headed broccoli was all I could find!

So why bother with spending your hard-earned money on low-grade foods that aren’t even nutritious?

Taking vitamins are guaranteed more reliable.

There’s no guesswork, no washing or preparation, and no eating bowls and bowls of bland-tasting vegetables just to get the nutrients you need. (That’s if you actually do find quality fruits and vegetables!)

You get the same thing every single time in each capsule. It’s a no-brainer!

For those of you who may be on the fence let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with taking supplements or medications.

I mean when was the last time you had a headache? You most likely took a headache pill for it. And where did that headache come from in the first place? Could it be eye strain from staring at a screen all day? Now ask yourself, is that natural??

And what about any other conditions you may have? Could this simply be due to a poor diet?

The way I see it, there are two types of people out there. People who have a victim’s outlook on their health; and those who accept the condition of their health and move on. If something needs to be done about it, it gets done and that’s it.

Diabetics are a great example. These are people who don’t naturally produce enough insulin to absorb the needed nutrients from their food. So they take an insulin shot every so often in order for them to live a normal life.

These people probably don’t want to stick themselves with needles on a regular basis, but they can’t help it and they can’t change it. So they accept it and move on.

The crucial medication that someone needs to live normally is not an indication of their health. As long as that person takes their medications, their symptoms are managed.

What is important, however, is if this person is eating healthy, exercising regularly, and sleeping enough. This is something they can control and something that should not be neglected!

So even though a diabetic needs medication they can still be among the healthiest people on earth. Actually, they could even be healthier than you!

Never look at the need for medications as a measurement of how healthy you are.

I say this now but there was a time when I did. I would eat garbage empty-calorie foods all the time and I wouldn’t take a vitamin to save my life. I felt like garbage and I never knew why.

I used to think that if I needed to take vitamins something was wrong with me and I never wanted to admit that possibility.

But because of this ignorant way of thinking my body wasn’t getting the proper nutrients it desperately needed.

I know I’m not the only one with this mindset.

So why is this? Why do we neglect our health?

Well, it could be because most of us live a busy lifestyle. Whether you work long hours, you have an active social life, or maybe you have kids and a lot going on.

This makes time a valuable resource. Most of us turn to frozen or fast food meal options so that we can focus on other aspects of life. Sadly, these foods are poor in nutritional value and our health becomes one of the last things we care about.

Nine out of ten Americans have nutrient deficiencies  – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fortunately taking vitamins and supplements can help. Especially for those of us with busy lifestyles. It’s as easy as taking vitamins in the morning with your breakfast.

This is especially great for those of you travelers out there. Healthy food options on the road are limited and can rack up in expenses. Bring some vitamins with you and your body will thank you.

You might be wondering where do I start? What supplements should I take?

(Note: this is not medical advice and should only be used as a guideline to be discussed with your doctor.)

These are some of my recommendations to start.

1. A Multi-Vitamin – Taking a multi-vitamin is just peace of mind, knowing that no matter your diet, your body is getting what it needs.

2. Probiotics – This is a must for your digestion and more people should be taking this daily. Essentially it restores good gut flora in your stomach. You might not know that your gut has a huge impact on the rest of your body. There are actually skin diseases that originate in the stomach due to a bad bacterial environment in your gut.

3. Omega 3 Fish Oil – The fatty acids in omega 3’s help grow new brain cells and also act as an antidepressant as well. They are shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Fish oil also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke substantially. I add together the EPA & DHA and take enough to add up to 3,000mg total per day.

4. B-Complex Vitamin – This contains the B vitamins including B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, and B12. B-Complex is a good brain anti-inflammatory. Take one in the morning for a boost of energy throughout the day.

5. Magnesium Threonate – This one is completely optional as it is a little pricey. Magnesium Threonate is a great supplement to help with your memory function. I can say that after I started taking this I noticed a night and day difference in my memory function! I can’t live without this one anymore – it’s too good.

6. Drinking Water – I know this isn’t a “supplement” but staying hydrated is a must! Drinking water keeps you cool, promotes weight loss, improves skin quality, and flushes your body from toxins.

Your options are endless. Just make sure to do some research first so that you have an idea of what you are putting into your body! Supplementation can be as simple or as complicated as you want.

Note: Be aware that just because a supplement or mineral is available on the shelf does not mean that it is 100% safe. Hence this is why I say do your research! Biotin for example is a vitamin responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails. They sell biotin on the shelf in doses of up to 10,000mcg (10mg). BUT, taking a dose that high probably isn’t for you! A dose that high will actually interfere with your blood work results and produce false positives or false negatives! Leave a dose like that to the people with known biotin deficiencies recommended by a doctor.

With the above being said, keeping a daily supplement routine is essential!

When it comes to me, I take a hand full of pills every morning but I never look at them and think of myself as some sort of junkie. I look at what they are going to do for me and how they are going to help me live a healthier life. So I’m grateful that I have them.

Honestly, I’ll never go back. My mental sharpness, energy levels & life has improved so much since I started taking better care of my health.

Taking vitamins and minerals are great for better health but you have to remember to eat healthy food too. These supplements won’t do anything for you unless you eat right first!

For those of you who don’t know what to start eating. My general rule of thumb would be to eat “slow food”. Anything that hasn’t been processed, foods that actually take a little bit of time to cook and that can spoil easily. Stay away from frozen foods unless they are fruits or vegetables and shop along the perimeter of your grocery store. Stay away from the shelves towards the center.

To conclude, our bodies naturally gather vital nutrients from food and you can get a lot of them provided you’re eating right. The supplements you take will cover the rest.

So take your health into your own hands and look out for yourself. You really only have one life to live – why spend your days feeling like trash?

Test out some of the supplements I have listed above and comment below with how you feel.

You might even thank me…

Until next time,

– Oliver

The next part of this series will discuss the single most important supplement of them all.

This supplement is dirt cheap and widely available, a powerful immune system booster, a natural anti-depressant, and will fend off 17 types of cancers!

If after reading this you still think your diet is perfect & you think you don’t need any of the gems found in this article, be sure you don’t miss this!

I’ll give you a hint: 🔆

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