Time for me to ride on of my favorite hobby horses. I just spent some time with a friend who was using and selling supplements. The conversation that occurred spawned this blog. I am not anti supplement. I take several, based on their efficacy and my perceived lack of nutrients. I’m not in favor of “proprietorial blends” of ingredients, mostly involving tiny amounts of natural foods. Could I be wasting my money on what I do take? Sure, that’s why I don’t buy super expensive ones, and they are all specific ones, to address specific needs. Expensive ones always try to tell you that theirs are superior in purity, quality, nature of ingredients. They may be right. I just don’t have money to spend unless there was a measurable difference in my health. Occasionally I’ve allowed myself to be talked into buying some of them, and haven’t seen any difference. Turmeric, rosemary, onion, and garlic can all be bought in the produce aisle, or even cheaper in bulk from outlets. Rose hips can be grown in your own yard. Why are you popping a 5$ pill with blueberry in it when you could just eat some? Could some forms of Glucosamine Chondroitin be better than others? Possibly, but the cheap form I take works, and it isn’t cheap. No one herb is magical, and if you start to eat right, most of the issues these “magical supplements” are purported to solve will solve themselves.
But this isn’t even the biggest point to be made. My real beef is with people spending a fortune on supplements, and not watching their diets. If they are watching their diets, they don’t need the supplements. When I see an ad for “supergreens” I get irritated. First, greens are everywhere. Spinach, kale, lettuce, celery and other greens are readily available in the supermarket. Just throw them in the blender and tada! You have your own super greens. Don’t want to drink them? Chop them in a salad. People- it’s FOOD. Why are you taking your food in a pill or powder? You want a powder? Dry them and put them in your blender. If you are taking them in a pill or powder, you leave a lot of room for bad things in your diet. If you think you can drink a powder in a shake, then eat a hot dog, you’re kidding yourself.
Clean up your diet, and you will get everything you need:
- Fat is an acquired taste, you can “unacquire” it.
- Start with veggies you like, find ways to branch out to other veggies.
- Don’t batter and deep fry anything.
- Don’t eat out.
- Hate veggies? Eat a variety of fruits, or drink a green smoothie- fruit with spinach added. Keep trying new recipes and ways of eating them to find ones you like.
- Eat whole grains- wheat berries, bulgar wheat, brown rice, quinoa (technically not a grain, but used that way), amaranth, buckwheat, millet
- Limit red meat to once or twice a week.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Eat healthy fats- olive oil, walnuts, olives, flax,
- Eat beans- lots of them
Try all these things, see how you feel. I won’t have any sympathy for “how expensive it is to eat right” if you can afford all those supplements. I know a lot of ads are very persuasive, but the real answer is a lot less expensive, but does require more of a commitment on your part.