Whether it is spurred by pressure from concerned family members or, rather, from an emphatic raw foodist who tells you that you need copious amounts of so-called “superfoods” to thrive, all this information can be conflicting. And don’t forget those that say no supplementation is necessary if you eat a whole-foods diet!
What is a person supposed to do?
You definitely need some key supplements on a raw food or predominantly plant-based diet (omnivores, take note too because you really need these too).
Many of you will know that I refuse to sell you any new superfood potion or mineral-enhanced water that stands to make copious amounts of money and then turns out to be a sham two years later (I don’t sell supplements at all). I advocate a return to basics.
The supplements I recommend are based on common sense, established science (I recognize the inherent limitations of traditional science but I also commend (and adore) the advances (plus it never hurts to have peer-reviewed studies on your side)).
Unfortunately, soils today (where vegetables are grown) are not as nutritious as they once were.
This doesn’t mean we’re doomed but – yes – we do have to supplement to a degree.
Vitamin B12, for example, something that only used to be a vegan worry, is now far more deficient among omnivores as well. Why? In order for B12 to grow, it needs healthy bacteria which is killed by antibiotics given to farm animals (travels to the soil) – sad but true.
And – to do superfoods justice – they can be great (future post) but they are also really expensive which is why I don’t push them. I see them as a luxury, not a staple.
More importantly we need to return to basics, real food, simply prepared, inexpensively and deliciously. Kale is as much a superfood as anything on the market! Or what about wheatgrass? A true superfood (made very cheaply too – attend my class to see how).
Here is my list of needed supplements (see how short it is):
B-12 – Especially if you are vegan you must, must take a B12 supplement. Take a daily supplement of at least 10 micrograms (mcg). Try to get this from a reputable company that sells sublingual tablets. As well, try to add Red Star nutritional yeast to your diet also (sprinkled on salads is one way). I do not work for this company but it is the only brand I believe contains true B12 due to the way it is produced (don’t assume that all nutritional yeast has B12 – it likely doesn’t).
Vitamin D – This is easier to get during the summer if you spend a lot of time outdoors but, it is safest to supplement in temperate climates, especially during the colder months (also I do not sunbathe for many reasons (wrinkles and skin cancer being two!)). It is suggested adults supplement with about 600IU (15 mcg per day). Note that most vitamin D supplements are animal based (called D3). Look for a D2 supplement to ensure it is plant-based.
Essential Fatty Acid Supplement – Yes, you need an essential fatty-acid supplement! This is a common missing element in almost ALL diets, including raw vegan or plant-based diets. This doesn’t mean you have to add fish supplements to your diet – there are new and great algae based DHA and EFA supplements available on the market (essentially you’re going right to the source that the fish get it from – the algae).
A multi-vitamin (optional): There are days where even I occasionally skimp on my needed nutrients, so this is just like a little insurance. As well, try to opt for a high-quality naturally sourced multivitamin.
A vegan probiotic supplement (also optional): Mainly I recommend this for all women (and for men who are sensitive to yeast overgrowth). As well it can help if you have gas or bloating.
And that’s that. Simple, direct and relatively inexpensive. Have fun and flourish with your raw vegan, plant-based (or omnivorous diet).
Did you notice your life changed when you started adding a few essential supplements? Or not? Any opinion at all? Why not share? I’d be delighted to hear.
© 2012, ohmyraw!. All rights reserved.