While the goal is to have a balanced diet it may not be achievable for everyone. Add to that the ever changing guidelines about what you need to eat for health and it can feel quite overwhelming. Have you heard the latest? Apparently you need to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to ten serves per day. Wow! That means every meal and snack needs to feature a fruit and or vegetable. Now while I’m a huge advocate for the foundation of our diet being fruit and vegetables, I don’t know how realistic and achievable this guideline is for the masses. Call me a bit sceptical, but I can’t help but wonder if we are getting the same nutrient value from foods that we once did due to changes in food production. Having said that if you are growing your own produce in your back yard then you’re doing yourself a big favour. Unfortunately, there seems to be a long lag time from the farm to your plate that could ultimately be impacting the nutrient value of the foods you eat.
Recently I had a blood test done and was surprised to find out I had some deficiencies. I thought I had a balanced diet but realised I was falling short. I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming you have a balanced diet or that you need to take a vitamin supplement. For this reason I am a big fan of a regular / semi regular health check depending on what you and your health care professional decide. Just as you put your car in for a service I think it’s a good idea to also get your body serviced. A full blood examination is a good way to find out if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. If you are deficient then you can look at what you need to do to address it.
If you decide to go down the path of taking a vitamin supplement don’t just go for the product that is being actively marketed in the media. You need to do your research. Unfortunately, as things stand the vitamin supplement industry isn’t as well regulated as the one for prescription medications. While the products on the market have passed the safety tests they may not deliver on all the promoted benefits. Ultimately you want a vitamin that is derived from real food and you need to check out the research behind the product. Also you need to check if the product been independently tested. When you contact a company, they should be transparent about everything relating to the product otherwise this should be considered a red flag. If you don’t have the time to research yourself then seek advice from a trusted health professional. I spent years researching so many products on the market and I now have a couple of preferred suppliers for my products. As you know it’s a maze of products out there, but with a little effort and perhaps trial and error you’ll find the right products for you.