- Bread and Crackers
- Coconut Products
- Cookies and Bars
- Fats and Oils
- Flours, Grains, and Legumes
- Fermented Vegetables
- Fermented Food Starters
- Milk and Cream
- Salt and Spices
- Snack Foods
- Supplements & Superfoods
- Yogurt and Kefir
- Books and DVDs
- Kitchen Tools and Appliances
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Personal Care
- Simple Food
This article was originally written on May 6th, 2009.
It would be great if we were in good enough health to simply continue to eat the nourishing food that we’ve always eaten and not worry about needing supplements to boost our health. The problem when you’ve only eaten this way for a few years is the “continue to eat” part. If you are like me then you have 20 some years of damage to make up for.
Still, I believe that when we are trying to maintain or boost our health our largest focus should be on eating nutrient-dense foods. Taking a supplement while continuing to feed our bodies garbage is not only counterproductive, but harmful.
Speaking of harmful… many of the commercially made supplements can be harmful. The vitamins and minerals are either in a state our body can’t absorb or are actually harmful to the body. So always look for high quality supplements.
Ways to Increase Your Vitamin/Mineral Absorption
- Eat food with enzymes. Enzymes help you to digest food more easily and absorb the nutrients from that food. So by eating more raw and lacto-fermented foods you can increase the nutrition absorption in your body. (looking for cultures or starters for cultured foods? find them here.) (looking ready made lacto-fermented foods? you can find them here.)
- Eat fat with your meals. We, as a nation, are desperately lacking in the fat soluble vitamins such as A & D. Even if this food is present in your meals, if you are lacking in healthy fats you can not absorb them. Put olive oil on your salad, make a butter sauce for your seafood and stir fry those vegetables in coconut oil.
- Don’t eat sugar. Sugar depletes the body of nutrients, specifically B vitamins. Also, cut way back on even natural sugars. We were not meant to eat sweets daily as we do now.
- Cut back on grains and make sure that they are properly prepared. Large quantities of grains can also block absorption of minerals. If you soak/sprout/ferment them they are much easier to digest and won’t block mineral absorption. If you’re looking for a good source of sprouted grain flour you can find it here.
In doing the above we are able to maximize the nutrients that we get out of the food we are eating. Sometimes we still need added nutrients to boost our health. This is where superfoods come in.
Superfoods To Boost Your Health
Consider taking some or all of the following, depending on your specific health needs.
- Probiotics. There is nothing more important to your immune system than having a gut that can absorb nutrients. Probiotics may be where you want to start because if you have taken antibiotics or had a sugar/grain heavy diet (like me) then your gut is probably in need of some good bacteria. Unfortunately not all probiotics truly work in your gut as they claim to, so find a good one.
- Cod liver oil. This should be in everyone’s daily repertoire as it supplies vitamins D and A in the correct ratio as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
- Butter oil. Containing the X factor that Dr. Price found, butter oil comes from grass-fed cows who eat lush green grass. Spring time grass-fed butter is a super food and butter oil is the supplement form of it.
- Kelp. Most Americans are desperately deficient in iodine. Kelp and other seaweeds are a great, natural source for iodine and other trace minerals. You can buy capsules or powder/flakes and use them in your cooking.
- Spirulina. This stuff is packed with healthy proteins, iron, B12 and chlorophyll.
- Bee pollen. Bee pollen contains trace minerals and is a complete food containing a good dose of protein.
- Coconut oil. A great source of essential fatty acids, a booster to the immune system and a booster of metabolism.
- Glandulars. For those suffering from any glandular or organ problems dessicated glands and organs from pastured animals can be a great help. I, personally, am considering taking a thyroid glandular to boost my thyroid function. Traditionally all of these organs and glands were eaten when an animal was slaughtered.
- Maca. This is a root that grows in South America. The ancient peruvians ate maca to increase energy, balance hormones, and *ahem* as an aphrodesiac.
- Herbal teas or tinctures. There are way too many herbal teas and remedies to mention in this post, but there are many that will help boost your health and I hope to try out a few others in the near future.
Supplements & Superfoods I Currently Take
All of that being said, I will share a list of the supplements and superfoods that I am currently taking. Keep in mind that my biggest health struggle is increasing the activity of my thyroid.
- Fish oil. I hope to switch over to fermented cod liver oil once our current supply is used up.
- Maca. I am trying to take about 1/2 teaspoon of raw maca daily.
- Coconut oil. I sneak this into smoothies and other coconut-flavored foods.
- Kelp or Iodine. I have been taking kelp daily for a while now for my thyroid and just recently started taking a stronger Iodine formula with great results.
- Vitamin D3. I am not taking this nearly as often since I am getting a lot more sunlight. I got my vitamin D levels tested after the birth of my last baby and found them to be so low as to not give the baby any vitamin D through my breast milk. So I have been taking a high quality supplement ever since.
- Thyroid glandular. I started taking this as a replacement for the armour prescription that I was taking. I am hoping to wean off of this as well at some point.
- Herbal teas. I like to drink a bit of medicinal teas every now and then, but especially if I am not feeling well. I currently keep chamomile flowers, dried nettles, dried red raspberry leaf, yellowdock (for iron), echinacea, slippery elm and a few others in my herb cabinet. I am also now trying to create an every day tea for adrenal support.
At some point, I hope that real food will be enough to keep me in good health, but for now superfoods and supplements are an important part of my daily regimen. If you are looking for sources for any of these superfoods or supplement check out my resources page.
So there is my list. What do you take to boost your health?
my (grain-free) cookbook
All information found on Nourishing Days is editorial in nature and therefore meant to motivate and inspire rather than be construed as medical advice.
Any statements or claims about the health benefits of supplements or foods made here have not been evaluated by the FDA and as such are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease..
And in the spirit of full disclosure: I do earn a small commission from some links, images and advertisements.
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