My Thoughts on Supplements

Vitamins are a huge industry and big money-maker here in the United States, but are they necessary? Can we not, and should we not, get our vitamins and minerals from food?

I often get asked this question, and a lot of people want to know what I’m taking and why. So let’s address that shall we?

Vitamins for fertility

photo credit: detroitsunrise

When the world was first created, our food was perfect and supplied all of our needs. After the fall of man things changed and the ground became “cursed”, we had to toil in the fields for our food. After the flood, things may have changed even more – plants may not have resurfaced in certain areas, the ground was changed yet again.

And then we humans have done our own damage to the ground we walk on, the same ground that feeds the food we then eat. Whether it’s plant or vegetable matter, all of our food gets its nutrients from the stores in the ground. And our modern-day agriculture has damages this precious source of nutrients quite drastically in just the last 50-100 years. Most soil no longer has the same amount of vitamins and minerals as it once did. And the soil is artificially fertilized with less absorb-able synthetic minerals.

I highly believe that whole foods is the foundation for good health, yet I and many other whole food fanatics still take supplements. And the amount that I take has grown and changed over the years. Yet, how can I justify it? I mean, even my husband asked me at dinner the other night why I feel it’s acceptable to take pills for nutrients.

I feel that in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need them. People who have always eaten and stayed on a nutrient rich, whole foods diet probably don’t need them. But my body has been damaged by 25 years of eating a standard american diet. I went through phases of starving myself to lose weight, I was on the birth control pill for 4 years – my body just doesn’t work like it should and I’m still in the process of healing. So for that reason I take supplements based on my particular symptoms as well as a pre-natal vitamin.

What to look for:

When you’re looking for supplements, the biggest thing to look for is one made from whole foods.many times these will be listed as “raw” or “whole foods based”. Of course, many still have issues, like vitamin A being plant-based and not animal based, maybe folic acid is used instead of the natural based folate. But they will be miles better than regular vitamins.

And you can also look to herbs for vitamins and minerals as well – this way you truly are using whole foods!

A simple whole foods pre-natal is a great choice for those trying to conceive, but if you have deeper issues that need healing I would highly suggest you consult a naturopath, chiropractor, or holistic health counselor who uses nutritional response testing and/or can look at your symptoms and best “prescribe” certain supplements. I’ve had great luck going this route, and the supplements were tailored to my specific issues, allowing for healing.

What am I taking now? Well…… I’m currently healing and building after a miscarriage and seem to have some thyroid issues going on (and I’m working with a naturopath), but I take a raw prenatal, fermented cod liver oil, vitamin C, desiccated adrenal and ovary, calcium/magnesium, and iodine. I don’t always take all of these and I’m looking to get back to taking just the prenatal, fish oil, and calcium/magnesium. But in the short-term, my body needs the extra nutrients.

What are your thoughts on supplements?

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. I suffered a late miscarriage in October, and since then have been trying to repair my body. At first, I was so saddened that I ate way too much sugar. I wanted comfort, but all it did was make me break out all over my face and back.
    I am trying to get into eating more whole foods so my husband and I can begin trying to conceive in January, but the sugar still seems tempting. I am taking a whole food prenatal as well as a magnesium supplement.

    I am learning so much from your blog!

  2. Amanda T. says:

    I’ve never heard of taking dessicated adrenal and ovary. Where would I find such a thing? What kind do you take? I’m suffering from adrenal fatigue and a recent miscarriage as well.

    donielle Reply:

    @Amanda T., It’s from the company Standard Process and I get it from my chiropractor. you can also find a good organ blend from http://www.drrons.com

  3. I take a daily multivitamin. When I was pregnant I took my vitamin plus probiotic (SolaRay “multidophilus”–dairy products produce too much mucus for me so kefir is out of the question) and Nordic Naturals prenatal DHA. I want to start taking the probiotics again because I felt so wonderful on them, and instead of DHA, start taking cod liver oil.

  4. What raw prenatal do you take? Where do you get it from?

    donielle Reply:

    @Kristen, I currently take one made by Garden of Life. you can find it online at a few places:amazon, Lucky Vitamin, Vitacost and their own website.

  5. Where do you get your fish oil and calcium/magnesium? What brand? Thanks so much!!

    donielle Reply:

    @Rosanne, I use a fermented cod liver oil / high vitamin butter oil blend from http://www.greenpasture.org and I like the calcium magnesium supplement from Garden of Life, though sometimes I just use a magnesium oil as well.

  6. Anne Morello says:

    Donielle, I am currently reading your book and find it fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing all that information! I just finished the chapter where you talk about supplements and have been looking for a raw prenatal. I found the one at Garden of Life but it has Ginger in it. You mentioned that Ginger can cause birth defects. Would this still be safe to take? Thank you again so much!!

    Donielle Reply:

    @Anne Morello, Oh blerg. Hmmm….I did not notice that! And of course I don’t have any of that right now so I can’t check labels for you. My first thought is that I do trust the Garden of Life company and I can’t imagine that they’d put something in their formula that may be enough to cause issues. My second thought is to look for a new supplement when I buy some in the next couple of weeks. :-)

    Anne Morello Reply:

    @Donielle,
    I did a little more research and found Nature’s Plus Source of Life Prenatal, which doesn’t contain either ginger nor soy (it was quiet a struggle to find one that didn’t contain either one or the other). It’s made out of whole food concentrate. Is that still good?

    donielle Reply:

    @Anne Morello, I’ve not looked into that one at all – did you end up purchasing it? Let me know how you like it if you did. :-)

    Anne Morello Reply:

    @donielle,
    I did purchase it and am pretty happy with it, I guess. It doesn’t make me nauseous or has any weird side effects that I can tell but I honestly haven’t noticed any difference to what I have been taking. I’m not pregnant, yet :( but I guess that’ll be the real test 😉