Avocados, nuts, and supplements

Avocados, nuts, and supplements

The Fabulous Five is neither a British rock band from the 1960s nor is it a collection of superheroes from Marvel Comics. The Fabulous Five is a group of supplements that virtually everyone can and should take every day. Let me give you the rundown.

1) A Multiple Vitamin: In a 2002 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 287 No.23, June 19, 2002) it was stated that “Most people do not consume an optimal amount of vitamins and minerals by diet alone.” They draw a causal relationship between such conditions as cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects in newborns, osteoporosis and a host of other chronic disease and nutritional deficiency. They go on to state that “it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements”. That, by the way, may be the understatement of the decade. This is a simple one. Get a good quality, pharmaceutical grade multiple and take it every day. Centrum, One-A-Day multiple and other such products are better than nothing, but you can do much better.

2) Fish Oils: Fish Oils are high in Omega-3 fats and as such have some wonderful benefits for those of us who eat a modern, processed diet which is, by definition, high in Omega- 6s and low in Omega 3s. Such an imbalance promotes inflammation and creates rigidity of the cell membranes which prevents normal cell function throughout the body. Take Fish Oils every day and reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular function and provide your nervous system with the essential fats that are needed to properly insulate your brain, spinal cord and nerves. The only caution is that if you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin or Warfarin you should check with your prescriber before adding Fish Oils; they will also thin your blood and prevent clotting and you can have too much of a good thing. Yes, there is a real difference in quality and purity. Buy the good stuff.

3) Vitamin D: Vitamin D may be the closest thing to a panacea (cure-all) in the nutritional arena. The benefits of vitamin D supplementation range from preventing depression to cancer. Vitamin D is manufactured by your body in response to sun exposure. We Minnesotans get scant sun exposure in the winter and when we do go out in the summer we are advised to wear sun blocking agents. The net result is that we do not get enough D and many of us are chronically deficient with very significant health consequences. You can have blood tests for your vitamin D status or you can, as I do, just take some every day. You should take a minimum of 5,000 Units per day of Vitamin D3.

4) Probiotics: Antibiotics Kill bacteria, even good ones, and probiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Because we live in a much more “hygienic” environment than our ancestors and use antibacterial products we are all pretty deficient in the beneficial bacteria that should normally occupy our guts. Because we have such deficiencies and imbalances our immune systems are being adversely affected and many of us are sick because of it. Children who, for example, are not exposed to animals and dirt as they would be, say, on a farm have a much higher incidence of atopic diseases such as allergies and asthma. We need a steady dose of good bacteria to keep that garden in our guts flourishing. When it is balanced and healthy so will we be. You need a blend of different cultures that are guaranteed for potency and purity.

5) Fruits and Veggie superfood products: Most of us do not get enough fruits and veggies and there is broad agreement that we should be eating 5 to 9 servings of them every day (a serving is about ½ cup). These wonderful items contain all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that we need for good health. Even though some of us are eating a good amount of fruits and veggies they are often not as nutrient-rich as they should be- the culprit is modern farming methods and soil nutrient depletion. One solution is to consume a product like Dynamic Fruits and Greens every day. One scoop of this stuff provides the antioxidant equivalent of 20 servings of fruit and vegetables. The good news is that it also comes in some great flavors and tastes fantastic. Next time you are in the clinic check out the samples at the front desk. Your health is largely in your hands and nutrition is without a doubt your most potent weapon against disease; use it wisely and consistently and your will lead a healthier life.

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