This is a subject I have found to be rather controversial. I have spoken with farmers and ranchers, as well as practitioners trying to find the best answer. Due to farming practices, if you can eat organic, that is great. Personally, I am rigid about our meats being organic and grass fed, same with chickens who are producing eggs. It makes a huge difference not just in taste, but in the available Omega 3’s that are in the meat. This will also eliminate the added chemicals and hormones. A movie to watch that discusses the raising of beef in a non-judgmental manner is “King Corn”. It is actually funny, but gives a pretty clear picture of how most of our beef is raised.
When it comes to produce, stay away from the “Dirty Dozen” unless they are organic. This group of produce is known to absorb more chemicals than others when pesticides and herbicides are used. They include: Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes , and the following if imported: Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes. In addition, the cleanest foods include: Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn (Frozen), Pineapples, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas (Frozen), Kiwi Fruit, Bananas, Cabbage, Broccoli, Papaya.
Buy organic when you are able, as you will minimize added chemicals and optimize farming practices that ensure better nutrient value in the produce itself. My preference is to buy fresh at farmers markets. The food is then freshest and will contain more nutrients because of its freshness, and will need less chemicals because the food is not travelling on trucks and to packing companies. Eat fresh!
This is a question asked by so many people both in the general public and health care providers. For most people, supplementing with a multi-vitamin will provide better nutrients to the body. For other people facing physical illnesses, additional supplementation may be necessary to obtain optimal physiological and biochemical status. There are numerous reactions that take place within the body each moment. When we are not giving our bodies adequate nutrition, our cells suffer. When it comes to eating, it is important to remember that while we may be feeding our appetites, we are really feeding each cell in our bodies. Nutrients such as iron, all of the B vitamins, and CoQ10 are necessary for energy production. Because many of us eat processed foods, the nutrients have been stripped out of the food through processing. In breads and cereals, they are added back in through fortification, but it may not be enough to prevent disease. Even eating a whole foods diet, due to farming practices, many nutrients are lower than in previous years in the foods we eat. For example, refining flour depletes many vitamins and minerals by up to 86%! (Dr. Gaby’s book of Nutritional Medicine)
So the answer as to whether or not to supplement is very individual, and a little controversial. What is true however, is that our current diet in America does not provide enough essential nutrients to prevent disease or operate at an optimal level. We consume too much sugar and too much processed foods. Working to find out which nutrients you may be lacking, and supplementing when necessary can make a tremendous difference in how you may feel from day to day, especially when you are working to eat more whole foods.