Natural Sources to Replace Supplements

Happy Friday y’all!

I just had my post-workout yogurt and as I was dumping in all my toppings, I thought I’d share with you the way I incorporate food versions of many supplements that people consume. I think supplements can be beneficial if (1) you have a legitimate need for it and (2) if you are 100% sure that the manufacturer follows the highest quality standards and there are no harsh metals in the supplement. That being said, I don’t take any synthetic supplements simply because I can never remember to take them consistently! I choose to focus on having a balanced diet of vitamin-rich foods to account for my “anti-pill” nature. So, let’s get to it!


 

flax-seed-1

First up, Omega-3 fatty acids. The standard American diet is pretty high in Omega-6 fatty acids so we want to balance that out with Omega-3s. There are so many benefits to Omega-3s ranging from lower triglyceride levels (triglycerides is blood fat which, when high, can lead to heart disease), lower levels of depression, and reduced inflammation. (Read more here)

Here is a list of foods where you can get those awesome Omega-3s:

Fish (I eat mostly salmon and whitefish)

Flaxseeds

Chia Seeds

Walnuts

Basil

Spinach


 

Spinach_2337460b

Next up, folic acid. Folic acid (also known as Vit B9) is super important for women of child-bearing age since this micronutrient has been found to prevent fetal deformities (i.e. spina bifida). But good news! A balanced healthy diet provides you with all the folate you need. Confused by the difference between folate and folic acid? Here’s a mini-lesson for you:

“While folic acid and folate are often marketed as one and the same, their metabolic effects can be quite different. Folate is the bioavailable, natural form of vitamin B9 found in a variety of plant and animal foods. Folic acid, while readily utilized by the body, is the synthetic form of the vitamin, often found in supplements and fortified foods. The body is more adept at using folate and will regulate healthy levels by releasing excess through the urine.” – Global Healing Center

My favorite food sources for folate are:

Spinach (or other leafy greens)

Broccoli

Oranges

Garbanzo Beans

Black Beans

Wheat Germ


 

salmon

And finally, Vitamin D. This vitamin is important because it promotes bone health, absorption of calcium, lowers blood pressure and may even reduce your risk of diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The sun is a great source of getting Vitamin D but as much as I enjoy the PNW, we just don’t get our fair share of sunlight. :) Thankfully, we can get some Vit D through food!

Fatty Fish

Fortified Milk (dairy and plant-based)

Egg Yolks

Tofu


Going through this list, I’m realizing that I have been lacking in my fish intake. I will be challenging myself to eat more fish this month!

Which of these foods can you start incorporating into your diet to ensure that your micronutrient needs are being met?

Talk to you soon, friends!

 

 

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