It is not entirely uncommon for me to consider a Luna Bar and a Diet Coke a perfectly valid lunch. I am not proud of this fact. It’s not a good thing, I realize. Even more shameful is my attempt to atone for this nutritional wasteland that is my lunch hour, by religiously downing the following every single morning: a multivitamin, some vitamin D, and couple of big stinky fish oil capsules. I also drink an astonishingly bad green powdered drink from Whole Foods that I mix with organic cranberry juice (which makes it taste even worse, therefore making me feel incredibly virtuous, twisted I know). You’d think that such discipline could translate into cobbling together a virtuous lunch, but sadly I can’t pull that action off.
I need a health reboot friends, a wellness intervention if you will. So I’m bringing in the big guns (i.e. Dr. Kate Naumes, ND) to help me (and you, because I’m guessing I’m not alone here) navigate things a bit.
Luckily she’s agreed to share her knowledge with us every week, and we’re kicking things off with the question of supplements. Do I need them? If so, what should I take? And if I down a handful every morning can I still get away with that aforementioned Luna Bar/Diet Coke combo?
Kate says no to that last one. Here’s what else she has to say on the topic…
By Kate Naumes, ND
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Basic supplementation for a busy mom should most likely include a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, a probiotic, and maybe a “greens replacement”. Sounds easy right? Run over to GNC or better yet Whole Foods and voilà! Done! Healthy and beautiful! Not so fast moms; many of the supplements made available to consumers:
- are not high quality or adequately absorbable
- are not pure/clean (i.e. free of additive, heavy metals, and preservatives)
- do not contain the ingredients that the label claims
- do not follow GMP-certified manufacturing standards (which are an indicator of quality)
- and are not made with safety-reviewed ingredients
Not all multivitamins are created equal.
One-a-day type vitamins aren’t actually helpful, simply because one pill can not magically confer the huge laundry list of health benefits often claimed. Sifting through supplements (many that have no medicinal value and some that can actually harm your body) is a daunting task. Since supplements are not regulated in the same way pharmaceuticals are, it is important that products are subject to purity and quality controls (many are not). It’s also extremely helpful to connect with a trained expert who can guide you through the sea of supplement options.
Do Moms need supplementation?
- Due to soil depletion, diets high in processed foods (which lack nutrients), and exposure to environmental pollution in our food, water, soil, and air (which increases our body’s needs for certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients) – we are simply not eating the vital foods that our ancestors seem to have eaten.
- Appropriate supplementation assures that we are getting adequate vitamins and minerals despite our nutrient-lacking-foods. But appropriate supplementation is not an excuse to eat poorly!
- Moms are overworked, overstressed, and under-rested, and that combination is a sure-fire way leave your body depleted!
In short, yes, you probably do want to add a basic supplementation protocol to your routine. The average mom is likely to benefit from a high-quality multivitamin, fish oil, a probiotic, the appropriate amount of Vitamin D and perhaps what is misleading sometimes called a “greens replacement.” Find someone qualified to help you decide which ones, how much, when and with what you should take supplements to enhance absorption. Such a person may, in addition, recommend specific lab testing in order to make appropriate and personalized recommendations. A good supplement plan can help your skin glow and your hair shine, as well as give you a boost of energy and a more balanced mood.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. When she’s not keeping up to date on the latest nutraceutical research, she’s counseling her clients about creative and tangible ways to keep healthy in our modern world. She also provides pre-conception and infertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness care, as well as ongoing well-woman and menopause support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.
Disclaimer: The blog post is intended for educational purposes only. Dr. Kate Naumes, ND cannot recommend specific supplements and/or dosages in this post, as each individual is unique and testing may be needed first. Only a qualified healthcare professional should make these recommendations on a case-by-case basis.