Nutrition basics - Pt 2

What foods are good for me?

For many years the food pyramid focused on eating lots of grains and carbohydrates. Over time, this has proven not be the foundation of good health. Despite all the "low fat", "sugar-free" promotions, we continue to gain weight and have become the most obese society on record. Our children suffer increasing health problems and are now touted to be the first generation to predecease their parents. So, what is a healthy diet?

The foundation of wellness is regular exercise followed by adequate water. Rather than drinking soft drinks which contain numerous additives, not to mention the carbonation which pulls calcium out of our bones, we need to drink water – purified, filtered, clean water. The quantity will vary depending on weather conditions and level of physical exertion, however, 2 litres per day is appropriate for most of us.

The foods that should be eaten most are vegetables followed by protein-rich foods – fish, chicken and lean meat. Two pieces of fresh fruit daily along with a handful of nuts and seeds for the oils essential to good health. Foods we should limit are high glycemic foods like potato, bread, pasta and rice. Avoid processed carbohydrates and sweets. Limit stimulants such as tea, coffee and alcohol.

As a basic rule – whole foods, prepared from the basics, unprocessed and fresh are always best. Fast foods are a fast way away from wellness. Supplementing even a healthy diet with multivitamin, Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants may be necessary at times.

Selecting the Best

There are three important considerations that I make when selecting a multivitamin and minerals for my patients:

  • I ensure the formula contains vitamins and minerals in correctly balanced ratios.

    A good supplement is more than a collection of ingredients all present in the same quantities. There must be a balance of vitamins and minerals that match the ratio of nutrients that you as an individual require. This avoids wasting your money on nutrients you don’t need, and those that are not present in an effective dose.

  • I ensure the constituents are biologically active and absorbable.

    Vitamins and minerals are available in many different forms. For a supplement to be effective it is critical that it contains ingredients that are easy for the body to absorb.

    Many supplements use inorganic salts such as oxides and chlorides. These tend to be poorly absorbed by the body and can cause side-effects such as diarrhoea and constipation. Our bodies have a preference for organic salts and animo acid chelates. I recommend formulas that contain absorbable forms of every ingredient.

  • I ensure the ingredients are good quality and provide true value for money.

    mother and baby

    As with everything, you tend to get what you pay for. Cheap vitamin formulas tend to contain cheaper ingredients in an imbalanced ratio. While on the surface they may appear easier on the pocket, in the long run, they prove quite uneconomical. You may need to take up to four of a cheaper multi to get the same benefits as one of the superior quality, and taking a higher number increases your risk of unwelcome side-effects. Choosing the right multivitamin and mineral formula is not always simple and straightforward. As a qualified Naturopath, I am able to provide you with quality practitioner-only products that meet your individual needs, assessing your vitamin and mineral needs, assuring that you will get the best value for money and the absolute best for your health.
Quality supplements taken correctly can benefit your health. Always seek the advice of a qualified practitioner and always tell them of any health issues and medication you are currently taking.

More information in Nutrition essentials

Profile: Dagmar Ganser ND

Dagmar's experience and expertise focus's on all health concerns through her extensive knowledge of not only nutritional science but also naturopathy, herbal medicine, remedial massage to aromatherapy. Dagmar's services along with further information can be sought at her website here.

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