Monday, April 18, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky


I strive to eat a natural diet. That means eating food where I know what the ingredients are, preferably food I have made myself so I stay connected with what I eat. The move to a more natural diet was a result of reading many different blogs and websites, news articles and a curious mind. All of these different sources of nutritional advice have different recommendation for how much and what I should eat, but one piece of advice is quite common: Take a good multi-vitamin.

Modern farming techniques and food preparation short cuts has left our food supply woefully short on nutrients says the theory. The solution is to supplement your food with a high quality multi-vitamin, but are multi-vitamins necessary?

I don't take multi-vitamins. The first red warning flag I noticed was that most people that recommend dietary supplements also happen to be promoting the very pills you should be taking. Also, if the eating plan they promote requires additional multi-vitamins to fulfill my nutritional needs then the diet is not good enough for me. I want to eat food that is healthy and balanced and gives me all the nutrients I need without having to take supplements. Humans didn't evolve on pills so I stay away.

"But what about the quality of food today?" you might ask. I don't know for sure, but I am pretty sure vegetables still pack a decent amount of the nutrients we need. The key is to get a wide variety and eat vegetables of all different colors. Adding a reasonable amount of eggs and meat and the occasional fruit or handful of nuts should round out your nutrient profile nicely.

I grow my own vegetable as much as I can, but that is not because I don't think the veggies in the store have any nutrients in them. I want to minimize the risk of eating food that's contaminated by pesticides or nasty bacteria like salmonella, that's why I make as much of my food as I can myself.

One of the guiding principles I have for my own health is to listen to my own body. If you give your body a somewhat decent diet, and stay away from excess stress it will do a great job of letting you know when something is wrong. If you are running a little short on important nutrients, a body in good balance will crave foods that satisfy this need. I put a lot more faith in this mechanism than I do in some factory made multi-vitamin that is supposed to be the right thing for everybody. I keep my body in balance by avoiding refined sugar. When I do that my body is pretty amazing at regulating what it wants to eat and how much.

  1. I'm trying to do better about getting a balanced diet so that I can avoid needing multi-vitamins.

    The internet and blogs have been such a great resource for navigating through how to get healthier. I love it!

  1. Hi Karen,

    I say almost no matter how you eat multi-vitamins are not needed. I don't think the most common brands do much for us anyway. I believe that our bodies are better at getting micro-nutrients from food than from pills any day. A balanced diet will beat out supplements every time.

    For people who refuse to eat either meat or vegetables however I can see how supplements become essential. My advice is to eat clean natural ingredients and the nutrients will fall into place by itself.

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