If you can take nothing else, take these.

Bluntly said, food today isn’t what it used to be. Poor farming practices, environmental pollutants, and pesticides have depleted nutrients from the soil, or the food undergoes so much refining and processing that any remaining nutrient content is further decreased, even eliminated.

Considering this, we need to be mindful of what, and how, we eat. Your best bet to reap the highest health advantages is to eat a well-balanced diet of fresh, whole, organic foods, but sometimes this may not always be doable. With that in mind, if you can take nothing else, supplement your diet with the following:

Multivitamin/Mineral: The average N.American diet consists of high levels of refined sugar, sodium, flour, trans-fats, and other refined, processed foods that are low in nutrients and contribute to malabsorption of what nutrients they contain. Many pharmaceutical drugs also cause nutrient depletion. A quality multivitamin/mineral supplements your body with essential vitamins and minerals that may otherwise be lacking in your diet.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid: Our bodies require different kinds of fats to maintain healthy cells, tissues, organs, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, etc. The body is able to manufacture some of these fats itself, but some “essential” ones must come from our diet. Of these essential fats, Omega-3, is often low in the average diet, which leads to problems such as mood swings, dry skin, sore joints, and inflammation. The best sources are found in deep cold water fish (cod, halibut, mackerel, sardines, salmon, etc.).  Other sources include: ground flax and hemp seeds and their oils, chia and pumpkin seeds, walnuts.

Probiotics: Much of our food nowadays is pasteurized and processed. As a result we don’t get the same exposure to healthy bacteria as our ancestors. Healthy bacteria in the gut make Vitamin K, help digest food, and prevent a myriad of diseases from occurring. Eighty percent of our immune system activity is based in the gut! Taking a quality probiotic daily preserves the delicate balance that is required for a healthy gut and immune system, and in turn enhance our overall health.

Dr. Sarah Sjovold is a Naturopathic Doctor practising at Livstil Wellness Clinic. She regularly sees patients in the Langley and Surrey area looking for help with digestion, detoxing. and immune support.

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