Supplementing in 2018
Thank you Council for Responsible Nutrition for sponsoring this post. This is #MyWeekSupplemented.
Hello & Happy Friday!!
With the new year upon us and everyone rushing to make lofty wellness goals, I thought I’d share my experience with taking supplements and how today I actually embrace them.
Long before studying nutrition, I would take multivitamins. As time went on though and I began to take upwards of 20 college credits, many things went by the wayside, including taking supplements. You would think that with studying nutrition your health would be your main focus, but it wasn’t as much as it is today post college. In all honesty, even with being a part of a prestigious NYU nutrition program, many didn’t appear embrace a healthy and were severely overweight.
However, I always made sure to consume a balanced diet with a huge workload, especially when I didn’t have extra time to hit the gym and maintain a regular fitness routine. I drank green juices, smoothies, and opting for veggie packed meals to get me through the day.
When I first explored supplements I was about 20, and I didn’t have a positive experience with it. I felt they made my face break out and significantly increased my hair and nail growth. Long hair and nails are wonderful, sure, but when they grow rate which forces you to get your hair cut and your nails done more frequently, it was sadly a burden. Needless to say, I wasn’t crazy about taking vitamins and just didn’t feel that that they were warranted with a balanced diet..
As a result I took a break from taking supplements as I do believe if you have a balanced diet that it’s not imperative to integrate them into your routine. However, as we age, our lives become busier, and our absorption decreases over time, I find that supplements fit into my lifestyle today.
I typically take supplements with a shake in the morning, but again, my schedule is all over the place. So whenever I find the time, I take them. I generally take them when I have something in my stomach as our bodies absorb more when we consume them on an empty stomach and their effects are intensified. Thus they can make you feel ill. My optimal times for vitamins are right after breakfast or after a snack post gym. If taken before it doesn’t sit well with me and can even make me feel nauseous and or dizzy.
I produce upwards of 2-3 recipes per day with videos. That’s a lot to take on while still carrying out my additional day to day tasks. That being said, I find that supplements enable me to ensure that I’m obtaining all of my daily recommended intake of nutrients. I don’t take them every day, and sometime not full doses, but that’s a big step from not taking them period for years. Perhaps our bodies respond differently to supplements as we age, but today they don’t promote breakouts on my skin nor do they increase my hair or nail growth to the extremes like they once did.
Throughout studying nutrition it was always emphasized that we shouldn’t recommend supplementation unless a deficiency was present. For many vitamins and minerals, once you hit the threshold of how much your body can absorb, the rest is excreted.
To circumvent overdoing any vitamins or minerals I commit to taking one multi vitamin a day and I actually get the best results with prenatal vitamins. Vegan gummies are also fun and bring back childhood, just be weary of the sugar content.
It’s also important to be selective with which companies you support as supplements are not required to be approved by the FDA. This means there are no stringent regulations in place for that industry, which makes it imperative to choose options from reputable companies.
Why prenatal vitamins?
As a married woman we’re finally embarking on a new chapter to grow our family. (Crazy!) Having all of that ahead of us I started to take prenatal vitamins just as a precaution to have my body prepared in the instance that we became pregnant. Even as a plant based chef, my biggest concern would be obtaining enough folate in the diet to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
At first I was nervous, being that my experience with vitamins at a young age was broken out skin and my hair/skin feeling oily. However, I feel that the prenatal vitamins are wonderful if you’re trying to conceive. Prenatal vitamins ensure that I obtain the daily recommended intake of nutrients, make my hair healthier without extreme growth, and doesn’t make my face breakout, but have an effortless glow. I currently take one that requires 4 capsules for the daily recommendation. I sometimes take half or the full does depending on my week.
It’s important to note that if you’re not pregnant or trying to conceive that prenatal vitamins are not recommend for long term use due to the higher concentrations of folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C and E. Precaution should be taken even more so if you have preexisting conditions prior to supplementation.
Perhaps my perception of supplements has shifted due to my body positivity responding to them combine with my hectic schedule, and knowing that as we age our bodies absorb nutrients less effectively, but I feel better when I take a multivitamin.
As we age our bodies lose the ability to absorb nutrients regardless if they are sourced from fresh foods or supplements, but I feel more receptive to taking them and actually feel better knowing I’m obtaining the nutrients I need. According to a survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, nearly 76 percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements each year. Dietary supplements play an integral role in manifesting wellness, but it’s important to note that they are meant as supplements to, not substitutes for, other healthy habits. I think that’s where we miss the mark as a society, is that we look for the quick fix while not maintaining a balanced diet.
To learn more about supplementing visit the Council for Responsible Nutrition
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 170+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, the manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics.
Dietary supplements include; vitamins and minerals (e.g., multivitamins; single letter vitamins like C, D, and E; calcium, magnesium, and iron; and more. Specialty supplements (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, probiotics, melatonin, glucosamine/chondroitin, coenzyme Q-10, and more). Herbals/botanicals (e.g., green tea, cranberry, turmeric, Echinacea, ginseng, garlic, ginkgo biloba, and more)
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.