why a healthy diet isn’t always enough
I know, the last thing you want to hear is that there’s something else you could be doing to improve your diet. One day you’re told certain foods are good for you, the next you’re told to avoid those same foods. Or maybe you’ve met with a doctor who told you that you should be getting all the nutrients you need from your diet, while another lectured you on the importance of taking supplements. While I’m not here to say there’s one right answer, there’s no question we could all use a little extra boost of vitamins and minerals in our diets, and here’s why.
Life gets in the way
While we may have the best of intentions, there’s no way any of us are eating a “perfect” diet at all times. Vacations, business trips and busy schedules happen, which can leave us with limited healthy options, or simply with less willpower to make healthy choices. Even when we do make good choices, stress, digestive issues, illnesses and medications can cause nutritional deficiencies, making it more important than ever to feed our body with extra nutrients.
Food isn’t what it used to be
A nutrient-packed diet is definitely a great place to start, however it may not come as a surprise that the food we’re eating now (whether organic or not) isn’t the same food our grandparents used to eat. I’m not only talking about processed or GMO foods, but even organic fruits and vegetables. Soil depletion has caused our produce to lose some of the nutritional content it once had, in fact, 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classified as either degraded or seriously degraded. And unless you’re buying locally, fruits and veggies are often picked before they’re ripe and have begun to lose some of their nutritional value by the time they reach your plate.
Whole foods vs. isolates and synthetics
For these reasons, supplementation can be a great way to fuel ourselves with the nutrients we may be missing from our diets. But instead of running straight toward the supplement aisle, there’s still more to consider what can be included in your diet. As we always say, we are fans of consuming foods in their natural, whole form whenever possible. For example, if we we’re looking for a vitamin C supplement, we’d prefer one that uses whole foods that are high in vitamin C like amla or moringa; similarly we’d choose a pure turmeric supplement over a curcumin supplement (the active ingredient in turmeric which has been isolated to make the concentrated supplement).
Food is incredibly complex and contains dozens of micronutrients, cofactors, enzymes and phytonutrients that work synergistically together. When we isolate nutrients, or synthetically create them, our body isn’t able to digest or absorb them as easily or naturally as it would if the food were in its whole food form. And while isolated or synthetic vitamins can serve a purpose when a certain dosage is needed, they can also cause imbalances in the body; for example, too much vitamin D can cause a magnesium deficiency.
So what can we do?
This is where supplements like greens powders or adaptogens can come in handy. With one scoop added to your smoothie, you can get a powerful serving of veggies, fruits and superfoods, all dehydrated in their natural form. One brand we are genuinely loving right now is Pranin Organic. First of all, they are a local Vancouver company which is always a plus. We also love that all of their products contain no additives, fillers, preservatives or isolates, just real, organic food. We’re particularly into their Purefood B (made with organic guava, lemon, holy basil, and spirulina) and Purefood C (organic moringa leaves and amla berries) powders, which are whole food, organic and vegan vitamin B and C supplements formulated by a naturopath.
Why B & C vitamins?
B Vitamins in particular are important for energy production, and as we have yet to meet a naturopath who hasn’t suggested taking a B Complex as part of a basic wellness protocol, it’s nice to have the option of taking these vitamins as a whole food supplement rather than in isolate or synthetic form. Boosting your vitamin C intake, particularly when you’re feeling stressed out (or of course if you’re catching a cold), is also really important. This is because we store vitamin C in our adrenal glands, and when our bodies are stressed, we burn through it very quickly. PureFood C is a great alternative to isolated or synthetic vitamin C supplements — and it packs a punch, with one serving containing the same amount of vitamin C as 20 organic lemons!
Why we’re loving these powders
Unlike so many other greens powders, what’s great about these ones is that you only have to add the smallest amount of powder to your smoothie (interesting to note that it takes 20lbs of raw fruits and veggies to make 1lb of powder!), which means the consistency doesn’t change and the taste is very subtle. I’ve played around with lots of different ways to “boost” my smoothie and so far this has personally been my favourite. If something isn’t easy and convenient (and doesn’t taste good), it’s likely not going to fit into my daily routine. Pranin’s powders have been such a great find, and have provided the easiest way to start the day off with a superfood meal.
Check out Pranin’s website for their full line of products, and use the code “Welldaily” for 20% off your order, because nutrition should be simple and affordable.