Best Way to Take Supplements Naturally and Cheaply
Dr. Vaughn Lawrence
Mar 27, 2011
Almost everyone takes supplements of some kind in the US, but many people do not understand whether the supplement they are taking is harming or benefiting them. It is absolutely imperative and critical to supplement in today’s world. The challenge is to supplement in a way that benefits your body naturally.
There are three phases to proper supplementation. The first phase is the most critical step to build a foundation for good health. The second phase depends on the way you eat. If you eat a balanced diet with green vegetables, water with minerals and plenty of fiber-rich food as outlined in the first phase, you can minimize your supplement needs. On the other hand, if you eat more processed food, smoke and drink soda and alcohol, you will need to take several supplements recommended in phase 2. Finally, the third phase depends on your current state of health, health challenge or imbalances. You may need the guidance of a knowledgeable natural practitioner for phase 3.
Phase 1: Universal Supplementation Critical for All
When you think about supplements, you may be thinking about popping some pills or capsules. However, my idea of supplementation is to eat natural food and drinks to get all the vitamins and minerals. I have broken down these categories below:
- Water with Minerals
Most of us drink sterilized and poor quality recycled tap water. Unlike water from a natural spring, this water does not have essential minerals and contains over 2100 known contaminants. For proper supplementation, you need to drink water with quality minerals. Minerals and water have a symbiotic relationship, and there is no other relationship more important to your health than this one. Several diseases are just because of mineral deficiencies. The best way to add minerals to your water is to filter your water through reverse osmosis and add trace minerals.
Green vegetables are essential to build a healthy foundation. Instead of taking multiple vitamin pills every day, why not get your vitamins, mineral and enzymes from your green vegetables? Even if you hate vegetables and fruits, you can still build an acquired taste with time. You will start loving and craving them within two weeks.
- Essential Fatty Acids
When it comes to fat, we are so confused that it is frightening. The worst diet disaster ever in history is the low fat diet fad that started in the 1970’s. Good fats are critical to numerous functions in the body such as brain function, hormone production, vitamin D synthesis and so much more. You can get good fats from avocado, nuts such as almonds, coconuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. This is a better way of taking good fat than taking omega 3 capsules. Avoid all bad fats such as trans fat, hydrogenated fat and partially hydrogenated fat.
Good bacteria are essential especially in your gut for digestion. Bacteria create several B-vitamins and Vitamin K, neutralize and eliminate dangerous pathogens like harmful bacteria and viruses, and assist in proper digestion. Everyone can benefit from a quality probiotics supplement. You can drink kefir or eat fermented food to get probiotics naturally for your health.
If you are eating natural fruits and vegetables, you are probably getting plenty of fiber. On the other hand, if you are eating cheese, white flour and refined grains, your fiber consumption is too low to build a good healthy foundation. Chia seeds and psyllium are great sources of fiber. Proper elimination of toxins and waste is necessary for a healthy body, and fibers help smooth this elimination process.
Phase 2: Nutrients for Building Health and Strength
After you build the foundation from phase 1, the next step is to build your health and strength with natural herbal multivitamins, superfoods and herbs.
- Herbal Multivitamins
Most cheap synthetic multivitamins do not provide any health benefits because they are not food-based. For example, most b-vitamins are coal tar derivatives. You have to understand whether your nutrients come from food or coal tar or its derivatives. I prefer to grab some rice bran, nutritional yeast, bee pollen or royal jelly for my B-vitamins over a nice cool glass of motor oil! When you buy multivitamin supplements, read the label and make sure the vitamins and minerals come from food. Such vitamins will have the foods listed as well.
Chia seeds, raw cacao (source of chocolate), hemp seeds, goji berries, coconut, mangosteen, maca, mesquite powders, nutritious herbs like nettle, barley grass juice, wheatgrass juice, acai juice and noni powders are great super foods. These are nutrient-dense and provide you necessary enzymes, vitamins and minerals to help you stay healthy and strong.
There are two kinds of herbs: nutritive and tonic adaptogens. Nutritive herbs are loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are also safe to take on a daily basis. Examples of these herbs are ginger, nettle, ginkgo biloba, chlorella, spirulina, saw palmetto, milk thistle, red raspberry, aloe, etc. Tonic adaptogens, which are used in Chinese medicine, are Reishi, Chaga, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, He Sho Wu, Schisandra, Deer Antler, Ginsengs, and several other herbs. If you are stressed out and anxious, holy basis will help you calm down. If you have thyroid problems, try Black Walnut, Ashwagandha and some Kelp. If you have liver problems, some great herbs are Milk Thistle, Chaga and Reishi mushroom, Asparagus and Artichoke. If you have a joint pain, Yucca, Boswellia, Turmeric, Cayenne pepper and Aloe will help you relieve the joint pain.
Phase 3: Supplement & Herbs Tailored to Your Unique Health Issues
Every individual is unique and has different challenging health issues. In this case, a qualified health professional will have to target your specific health issue. Most diseases disappear on their own if you build the foundation from phase one and follow additional recommendations from phase 2. If you still have a diagnosed disease such as kidney stones, gallstones, congested colon or a chronic disease that does not disappear, it is time to get professional treatment to treat your illness.
(This article is based on information provided at a weekly healthy living class by Dr. Vaughn Lawrence. Dr. Lawrence is a Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritional Consultant at Spirit of Health, Kansas City. He founded Spirit of Health, LLC upon his return to Kansas City after seven years in Las Vegas training with three master Herbalists and spending time as a health food store manager, educator, practitioner and consultant. For a video about this class as well as additional information, please visit www.spiritofhealthkc.com).