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Kirk’s #GoVeggies 31-Day Challenge, Day 25: Are Supplements Necessary?

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Kirk Charles
Kirk Charleshttp://KirkCharles.com
Kirk Charles is a personal trainer who specializes in wellness. He is a 30-year vegan.

Dietary supplementation is something most nutritionists agree on. With depleted soil, genetic modification, nutrient deficient soil and polluted air and water, there’s no way we can get all the vitamins and minerals we need to thrive metabolically, right? 

I’ve never been too sure about that. It seems like a sales ploy to sell you some mass manufactured potion to fix what is wrong with your body. 

The way we’re taught to think about epidemiology is through a reductionist lens, which means we focus on nutrients for dietary value, not food. For instance, oranges are only good because they contain vitamin C, so taking a vitamin C supplement is just as effective. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth. That type of ideology ignores the many other positive things the orange could provide that enhance the vitamin C it contains.

Replacing reductionism with a wholistic approach is far superior. By focusing on the foods that we eat to produce a desired effect—namely, superior health—we will make far more progress.  For instance, simply by eating more plant-based foods and exercising, I estimate 90% of your metabolic issues would fade away and you would live a higher quality life. 

There is no need to focus on a single nutrient, as taking a supplement would suggest, especially with many studies pointing out that supplements don’t help. However, if you feel you’re not getting the results you desire through more plant-based eating, then possibly a dietary supplement would help. 

Just remember, plant-based eating must come before any thoughts of supplementation for nutritive value. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live would say, “You can’t buy health in a bottle.”

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