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Friday, September 6,2019

Do I Need to Take Supplements?

By Karen Ellis-Ritter  

There are lots of factors to consider when exploring supplements. Some are whole-food sourced (wholeplant-derived), while most are either synthetic or heavily processed. I strictly use whole-food sourced nutrients, because the body recognizes them as food, rather than forcing the body to assimilate an isolated nutrient that is grown in a lab. Most of our nutrients should come from eating a colorful array of living plant foods (raw), some organic whole grains, beans, and lightly cooked foods, since the body will best absorb those nutrients. However in today’s society, there is value in taking additional supplements, especially a multivitamin. 

Here are the reasons:


1. Most of the human population is consuming nutrient-deficient processed food. This happens, whether you eat animal products or plantderived products. If they are packaged, processed and contain preservatives, chances are they are nutritionally inferior to whole foods, especially compared to raw plant foods.

2. Most of the produce we get in the grocery store was not vine-ripened. Vine-ripened fruits and veggies are at their peak of nutrition and bursting with flavor! If you have ever picked a ripe fruit off the vine in your garden, you know that the flavor is far superior to anything you could purchase in a commercial store. The produce at the grocery store is often picked well before it’s ripe, so it will last in transport and start to become “ripe” on the shelf. Once it’s picked, it contains all the nutrients it will ever have. A lot of commercial produce is also sprayed with waxes and dyed to look bright and shiny.

3. Most soil in commercial farming is now depleted of the mineral-rich and probiotic-rich soil that you get with traditional composting.

4. If you are eating or coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD), chances are, your body is loaded with toxins, so you want to ensure you have adequate nutrition to aid in proper detox and elimination.

5. The nutrients that vegans must be vigilant about getting enough of are B12, DHA and EPA. Fortunately, there are excellent plant-based sources of all of these. You can also get your DHA and EPA from flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados and coconuts.

There are a few excellent brands that offer whole-food plant supplements. Here are my two favorites:

Garden of Life has several vegan-friendly, organic whole-food supplements and supergreen powders. I personally recommend their RAW and MyKind (certified vegan) lines, as well as their Doctor Formulated probiotics. MyKind also offers products in the form of mouth sprays and gummies, so they are great when you’re on the go and for kids.

Healthforce Naturals is a wonderful small business, 100% vegan and whole-food-sourced. They offer some very unique combo supplements that address immunity, gut health, antioxidants and more.

If you would like more information or recommendations, please feel free to contact me at


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