There is no doubt that getting our fix of daily vitamins and minerals from natural whole food sources is the best way to nourish our bodies. Our US government rarely regulates supplements, so you are on your own. Always check with your doctor about any supplements you may choose to take. There are thousands of supplements on the market today. Many have outrageous claims for losing weight, gaining muscle, boosting immunity, etc. Most supplements come in tablets or capsules and exit our body the very same way they came in – making them kinda useless. We cannot stress enough that the best way to get all nutrients is through natural foods, NOT supplements.
Popular these days fiber supplements can be found in powdered form – making it easy to add to beverages or food. However you can easily get the necessary amount of fiber by including whole grains, leafy vegetables, legumes and fruits into your diet.
Another popular supplement is probiotics. These are basically good bacteria (like acidophilus found in yogurt) that helps break down the foods we eat in our intestines. We have about 100 trillion microorganisms lining our guts! The majority are friendly. Some studies suggest that probiotic supplements cannot survive in the highly acidic environment of the stomach; therefore, never making its way to the intestines to do its job. According to U.K. food microbiologist Glenn Gibson, quoted in a 2008 story that only highly resistant bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria can survive stomach acid. Other types of bacteria, including many probiotics, are likely to be destroyed by stomach acid. This is likely why probiotic are coupled in yogurt which is not very acidic.
And a few tips when it comes to supplements:
- Instead of supplements, eat nutrient-rich meals made with natural organic foods.
- Select a yogurt that is rich in “active cultures”. Look at the ingredients section.
- If you take antibiotics, consult your doctor about a probiotic supplement to replenish your intestinal flora.
- Choose a fiber-rich smoothie instead of using a fiber supplement.
- Choose fiber-rich fruit for dessert.