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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nature's Field - Supplements are Nutritional Health Insurance

 
   

March 24, 2010

Supplements Are Effective,
Natural Health Insurance
by Steven Horne, RH(AHG)

Many years ago I was helping out a friend who suffered from severe emotional problems.  I gave her some free herbs and supplements, which were helping to balance her nervous system and regulate her blood sugar.  Unfortunately, when she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, her doctor confiscated them and threw them away.

According to her, her doctor said, "Don't waste your money on supplements.  You can get all the nutrition you need from a McDonald's hamburger, milk shake and French fries."  I was amazed by this.  If he had said, "You can get all the nutrition you need from a well-balanced diet," I might have given him some credit, but as the movie Super-Size Me proved, no one can be healthy on a diet of fast food.

But it does beg the question.  Are supplements really necessary?  Can you really get all the nutrients you need from a well-balanced diet?  Of course you can.  Dr. Weston Price found that native people living on traditional diets were extremely healthy and rarely got sick.  However, all the animal food they ate were from wild animals and they ate organ meats (brains, heart, liver, glands, etc.) not just muscle meat.  Furthermore, their diets contained plant foods that we think of as medicinal herbs (like dandelion, burdock, chickweed, etc.). 

So, can you really get all the nutrients you need from a modern supermarket diet?  Probably not. Most of the fruits and vegetables are 14-days old and have traveled an average of 1,000 miles to reach the produce section.  That's enough time for huge nutrient losses to occur.  Even the organic meats, eggs and dairy products aren't the nutritional equivalent of their wild-caught counterparts, and the commercial animal proteins are extremely lacking.

And, this is the real food we're talking about. Most people are eating heavily processed foods.  There is no way that this food can provide all the nutrition the body needs to be healthy.  It's a major reason why we have huge problems  with obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and the other serious health problems that plague most modern people.  Native people living on traditional diets didn't have these problems!

So, even if you're eating real, whole foods, it doesn't hurt to supplement a little.  Here are the seven basic types of supplements I find most people benefit from. I think investing in some of these supplements will do more good for your health than the new "health insurance" legislation passed in Washington this week.  These supplements are real health insurance, especially when coupled with a good diet and other healthy lifestyle practices.

You don't need to use all seven of these supplements.  Pick the three or four that are most appropriate for you.

SuperFood Supplement

The first thing most people think of when they think supplements is a multi-vitamin and mineral.  If you want to take one, that's great, but I personally don't do well on them. What I do like are whole food supplements like Ultimate GreenZone and the new Love and Peas protein powder (which contains whole foods as well as extracted protein from peas and rice). 

I also like herbal supplements like HSN-W, I-X and other formulas of nutrient-rich herbs (see the sidebar).  I find the body assimilates and utilizes the nutrients from these whole foods better than vitamin and minerals supplements.  I use specific vitamin and mineral supplements more like "natural drugs" to provide temporary support for the body while it heals.

But, whether you choose a multi-vitamin or a superfood supplement, a basic supplement helps make sure you're getting extra nutrients to make up for deficiencies in modern foods.  I like to think of it as taking out "nutritional health insurance."

Minerals

The mineral content of our foods has dropped to less than 10% of what it was 100 years ago.  We simply cannot get the minerals we need from food alone.  That's why I highly recommend that at least periodically, people should take Ionic Minerals with Acai or Mineral Chi Tonic so they get the trace minerals they need.

Enzymes

Most people don't eat enough raw food.  Traditional diets had a lot of fresh, raw food, which is rich in enzymes. Traditional cultures that consumed more cooked food also ate enzyme-rich fermented foods. This gave them the enzymes their diet was missing. Since most of us don't eat fermented foods, but do eat a lot of cooked food, I think a basic enzyme supplement like Proactazyme Plus or Food Enzymes is essential for most people. This is especially important after age 50 when digestive function begins to decline.

Fiber

It's no secret that most Americans don't get enough fiber.  Adequate fiber, taken with plenty of water, lowers cholesterol, protects you against colon and other cancers, helps your body get rid of environmental toxins and keeps you regular. 

My favorite fiber supplement is mixing Psyllium Hulls Combination half and half with freshly ground flax seeds.  I take about 2 heaping teaspoons of this daily.  However, I'd start slowly (1/2 teaspoon) and work up to it if you're not used to taking fiber.  Also make sure to drink plenty of water when you're taking fiber.  If you don't, you not only won't get the benefits of it, it could give you a condition a friend of mine called "stuckie gutsies."

Also, if you have colitis or any inflammatory bowel disorder you're better off using straight slippery elm or Everybody's Fiber.  It's gentler on the bowel.  Gentle Move and Intestinal Soothe and Build will also be helpful in this case.

Probiotics

If you've never taken antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills or chemotherapy and you've never drunk chlorinated water and you eat natural yogurt or other fermented foods every day, you probably don't need to supplement the friendly bacteria in your colon.  Everyone else probably needs Probiotic Eleven or Bifidophilus Flora Force

Antioxidants

If we were eating lots of fresh, locally grown produce we wouldn't need antioxidant supplements.  However, if you don't eat your fresh fruits and vegetables every day (and most people I know don't) or you have any kind of inflammatory condition, you need Antioxidants like Thai-Go or Super ORAC .

Essential Fatty Acids

If you eat grass-fed meat, drink raw milk from grass-fed cows, use eggs from pastured chickens and eat sardines, wild salmon or deep ocean fish several times a week, you are getting your omega-3 fatty acids naturally.  If you don't, you may need to supplement them, as well.  Flax seed oil or Super Omega-3 EPA or better yet, the new Krill Oil will get you what you need.

Sensible Supplementation

I personally don't take everything on the above list every day, except for maybe my enzymes, but I do take most of the supplements on the above list fairly regularly.  And, I eat a fairly healthy diet, as well.  I think it's the combination of the two that has kept me fairly healthy into my mid-50s, and I believe that the extra nutrition (coupled with other good health practices) can keep me vibrantly healthy into my 80s and 90s. 

So, yes, I believe that supplements are important for people living in modern society, even if you eat a fairly healthy diet.  And they are essential if you're going to indulge in those fast food burgers, fries and milk shakes on any kind of regular basis.

You can learn more about healthy eating and supplements in my Get Well Now Webinar Class.  The first session of the paid portion of this class starts this Thursday, March 25.  It's not too late to register.  Click here to learn more. 

Coming next week: Tips on getting kids to eat healthy and supplements for children.

Herbs: Nature's Natural Nutritional Supplements by Steven Horne

My first herb teacher, Edward Milo Millet taught me that herbs are nature's natural nutritional supplements. He believed that the healing properties of herbs didn't just lie in their so-called "active constituents."  He maintained that they also supplied the body with specialized nutrition.

I believe Ed was absolutely right.  Over and over again I see better results with whole herbs than I do with isolated vitamins and minerals and concentrated "active constituents."  It's true that the isolated and concentrated stuff is more medicinal, but it isn't more healing.  There's a difference.

Something that is medicinal will help to balance the body temporarily, but you'll have to keep taking it to get it to work.  Herbs have the ability to shift the body's biochemistry so it returns to normal function and you no longer need the herb to stay well. That's what healing is all about.

Let me give you just one practical example.  Many times I've seen anemic people taking iron supplements and their blood levels of iron are not climbing.  I've put them on herbs such as alfalfa, yellow dock, marshmallow and nettles and watched their blood iron levels normalize in just a few weeks.  Yet, the herbs I'm giving them have a fraction of the iron found in an iron supplement.

This is because the body doesn't assimilate nutrients in isolation.  Even the simplest of foods contains thousands of chemical compounds. Are we smart enough to know what parts we need and what parts we don't? I don't think so.

All the subtle co-factors in a whole plant work together to restore normal function to the body.  When nutrients and compounds are isolated, they appear to lose much of this healing power.

It goes deeper than this.  Native people say that if you harvest an herb without asking permission from the plant to take it's life, it's body will help to heal your body.  But, if you approach the plant and ask for it's help, it will also help to heal your soul.  I've literally found this to be true.

I believe we are too caught up in our "cleverness" at isolating and concentrating stuff we think is important, but over and over again we find that this approach results in unwanted side effects or other problems. 

That's why I like to use HSN-W, BON-C, Herbal CA and PLS II for healing tissues instead of calcium supplements.  I use real lemon juice, rose hips and fresh fruits for Vitamin C.  I use I-X and iron-rich herbs to build iron levels.  I find this approach works better.  Sometimes you have to take a lot of the herbs, but they seem to have a greater healing effect.

So, I encourage you to think of herbs like my teacher Ed Millet did.  Don't look at them as just medicine.  Think of them as natural nutritional supplements, prepared by the master nutritionist and healer, the Creator.

Last Chance to Register for the Get Well Now Webinar

My Get Well Now Webinar starts tomorrow (Thursday, March 25).  The great thing about this class is that it is very practical.  It teaches you all the basic skills of healing that serve as the building blocks that help you understand how the body heals. 

What's even better is that almost everything I'll be teaching you to do isn't expensive.  In fact, most of the techniques I'm covering don't cost anything except a little time and effort.

This doesn't mean they aren't powerful, however, because they are.  I've seen amazingly rapid healing using the information I've compiled in this class. 

To learn more and register for this class (before it's too late) Click here.

Free Parenting Webinar

I've heard people complain that they can't get their kids to eat healthy.  I can understand this if the kid is in their teens, but they're often talking about four- and five-year-olds.  I also see a lot of kids that are labeled ADHD or "problem kids" that I have no trouble getting to co-operate with me.

These are just a few of the signs I see that many parents simply lack good parenting skills.  That's why I'm doing a free webinar called "Parenting is a Delightful Job" in April. It's absolutely free, so if you're a parent or grandparent or just want to acquire better skills in working with children

Click here to register

 
 
 

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