Whew. I am sorry that I have been a bit MIA. This past month has simply been crazy.
I have been in the process of applying to a few local dietetic internships. Completing a dietetic internship is the last and final step I need in order to become a Registered Dietitian! Whoo hoo! So lately, my time and my energy has been mainly directed towards applications. However, they are now completed and turned in so now I just wait. And wait. And wait. (If you can’t tell, this is something that does not come easy for me!) I will keep you updated. For now, the good news is… I have time to blog again!
So my topic of choice for today is : Vitamins!
A little disclaimer: I do believe there is a time and a place for vitamins. If there is any sort of deficiency, illness, growth periods such as pregnancy, medication that requires supplementation, etc. then I completely understand the need for vitamin supplementation. However, for normal, healthy people (and of course this is just my opinion) I do not think using vitamins to supplement a healthy diet is necessary.
-Foods were created with natural vitamins and minerals long before we even had a concept that they existed.
-Vitamin deficiency is very rare in an average person’s diet.
-A healthy person can obtain all the vitamins and minerals their body needs simply from eating a balanced diet.
impossible incredibly hard to reach a level of toxicity with vitamins when eaten in the food form and yet very easy to reach that toxicity level with vitamins in supplement form.
-Vitamins are man-made and are relatively a new idea. We cannot fully understand the long term effects of taking vitamins. In other words, it isn’t really known if taking vitamins over a long period of time actually helps or hurts our health.
-Vitamins, minerals, and other compounds are absorbed differently when paired with other compounds found in food or even when cooked certain ways! For a few examples (and there are many more)
- Iron is better absorbed when paired with Vitamin C.
- Calcium is better absorbed when paired with Vitamin D.
- Cooking tomatoes seems to increase the amount of lycopene (an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red hue and is extremely helpful for the body) and cooking them in a little olive oil seems to increase its absorption in the body.
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of “quick-fixes” that tells us to pop a few pills to keep our bodies healthy rather than make lifestyle changes that can have a much greater and healthier impact.
When it comes down to it, I am a firm believer that eating a balanced and healthful diet rather than supplementing our bodies with synthetic vitamins & unknown long-term effects is a much healthier way to maintain our health.
And finally, if you are taking or considering vitamins, take a minute to read this very interesting article posted today by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Popular but Dangerous: 3 Vitamins That Can Hurt You