Food expert and naturopath Janelle Purcell lends her opinion to the supplement and multivitamin debate ...
I am a firm believer in the power of a good diet, first and foremost. Supplementation has its place, but not instead of a balanced diet. I rarely give vitamin supplements to my clients, but when I do I make sure they are of the highest quality and a practitioner only brand. There are too many supplements available that are sub standard, meaning they add buffers, fillers and other synthetic materials. I wonder about the affect of these additives on our systems.
Having said this there are times when we may need supplementation to our diet; times in our lives when we have an increased need for certain nutrients. These are the times when we are stressed or run down and not eating properly, those with chronic conditions that are depleting our system of certain nutrients, athletes pushing their body to the extreme, pregnancy and lactation, or we’re having trouble absorbing iron, for example. In these cases I recommend giving the particular nutrient needed. So, a straight zinc, iron, magnesium or vitamin C supplement, not a multivitamin.
Additionally, I feel it’s far better to be taking powder or liquid rather than tablets or capsules.
I like to recommend supplements we can add to our food. Things like spirulina, barley grass, flax meal or oil, cacao, coconut oil, chia seeds, goji berries and other foods that are jam packed with nutrients we can easily absorb.
Too many times we spend a fortune on synthetic supplements that are difficult to break down and absorb. Why not include the nutrients we need into our diet, and top up with individual powdered or liquid single nutrient supplements in times of increased need?