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To Supplement or Not to Supplement

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Ideally, you would get all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need from your diet — in the form of fresh, whole foods. Unfortunately, most of the time this isn’t practical or possible. The controversy surrounding the question of whether or not your need to take supplements isn’t new, but the idea that you can get all of the nutrients you need from your diet is seriously flawed.

Today’s food supply is not providing you with the same nutrient as it did for past generations. Most food contains synthetic fertilizers that decrease nutrient density, along with toxic agricultural chemicals and other toxic ingredients. If you do not eat a diet solely made up of unprocessed, organically-raised foods — and it’s probably safe to assume that most people do not — there’s a highly likely chance you’re suffering from some type of nutritional deficiency.

A recent report from the CDC revealed that nearly 90% of people surveyed did not eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables to support optimal health — which means each of them could benefit from a supplement.

So, if you’re still wondering if you need to take supplements for optimal health, the answer is yes. The 10 most common nutrient deficiencies include vitamin D, omega-3s, magnesium, iodine, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin K2, selenium and vitamin A. Each and every one of these nutrients plays an important role in your health and well-being. If you have a deficiency, it’s sure to cause symptoms in one way or another.

Nutrient deficiency symptoms may include:

Vitamin D — Achy or broken bones, low energy, frequent colds and flu

Omega-3 — Dry skin, brittle hair and nails, excessive thirst, difficulty sleeping, mood swings

Magnesium — Constipation, eye twitches, muscle spasms, headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue

Iodine — Dry mouth, dry skin, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, weight gain

Zinc — Pour wound healing, feeling lethargic, hair loss, weight loss

Vitamin B12 — Apathy, fatigue, mental fog, mood swings, muscle weakness, tingling in the extremities

Vitamin E — Disorientation and vision problems, muscle weakness

Vitamin K2 — Easy bruising, excessive bleeding from wounds, heavy menstrual periods

Selenium — Hypothyroidism symptoms including extreme fatigue and mental fog

Vitamin A — Dry skin, dry eyes, poor would healing, acne breakouts, throat and chest infections