My patients frequently ask questions about vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. Usually the questions center on specific problems such as arthritis or headaches. Many times they have heard about a certain product from a friend, the health food store, or from reading an advertisement. They want to know if these products will make them feel better. All of these questions have proved to be an inspiration to me to come up with a more simplistic approach to using nutritional substances to heal.
First of all it is important to think of nutritional healing in three basic steps:
1. Eat a healthy diet.
2. Take a multivitamin.
3. Take specific nutrients for specific problems.
You can think of this three step process in terms of a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is step one; eat a healthy diet. In the middle of the pyramid is step two and at the top, step three. The idea is that each step relies on the others. For example, you will not get the best benefit from taking a multivitamin supplement without eating a good diet. Also, taking specific nutrients for specific problems will not work as well as when accompanied by a healthy diet and a multivitamin. Here is why this is important.
Your diet is your nutritional foundation. The constituents of food including carbohydrates, fats and proteins are needed to keep your body going. They provide the energy needed for all of your body's processes and provide the building blocks for your cells and tissues. The multivitamin works to help support your body's metabolism. In other words vitamins work by allowing your body to process food efficiently.
Why do you need a multivitamin? You need vitamins because the American diet is seriously deficient in many nutrients. It is very difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals from your food. It is my opinion that virtually everyone should be taking a good multivitamin supplement. I do not personally endorse any one brand of vitamins here are some general guidelines:
1. It is standardized (meaning laboratory tested to ensure it contains what the label says).
2. It is all natural (no artificial preservatives, colorings, or other contaminating substances).
3. It contains at least 100% of the daily value (RDA) for the B vitamins, Vits C, D, E, and folic acid.
4. It contains 15,000 international units (iu) or less of beta carotene.
5. It is bioavailable (absorbed).
6. It contains micronutrients such as chromium, selenium and zinc.
Once you establish a good nutritional foundation you can consider taking specific nutrients for specific problems. Examples of these would include glucosamine sulfate for joint problems, vitamin B6 for nerve problems, or enzymes for pain control. These and many more supplements will work better if you follow the first two steps.
Bottom line is to avoid taking nutritional products without first establishing a good nutritional foundation with a proper diet and a multivitamin.
Dr. Bruce Forciea is an author, educator and chiropractor. His new book "Unlocking the Healing Code" presents a new paradigm for healing. His site: contains more information, free newsletter, free guided imagery download and New Age music downloads.
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