As the nutritionist and buyer for supplement stores, I am constantly reminded of how overwhelming it can be for people to pick out effective and high-quality supplements.
Do we even need supplements? And if so, what do I take? What should I look for when wanting to purchase high-quality supplements?
I address these questions everyday, as there is so much conflicting and often confusing information out there when it comes to supplements. As well as the fact that there are so many brands and options to choose from, it can be hard to decide what to spend your money on.
Given our modern lifestyles, I do think that supplements are an essential tool for maintaining and optimizing our health and wellness.
Stress, poor diet, pollution, not spending enough time in nature, conventional farming, mineral deficient soils, lack of sunshine and fresh air, lack of exercise, and excessive exposure to chemicals (food, personal care products, household cleaning products, etc) are all reasons we may need to rely on more than just a whole-food diet to keep us healthy!
However, when I use the term 'supplement' I am being very specific.
I am not taking about the generic supplements comprised of synthetic and isolated nutrients.
What I am referring to are the herbs, superfoods, and whole-food based supplements, all of which contain nutrients in their whole form and include the 1000s of other compounds (phytonutrients) found within a plant that help our body absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals we are so familiar with.
Once we isolate a vitamin or mineral and put in into a supplement it acts more like a drug than a food, and some even have detrimental effects.
Here are my Top 10 Reasons to Choose Whole-food Supplements:
I would like to thank Dr. David Wang for leading the way in the research on synthetic vs. whole-food supplements and for all the passionate work he does trying to get this important information into the mainstream.
If you would like to learn more, or would simply like some guidance on choosing the right supplement for your current health needs please visit me at Plant Life Nutrition 2140 East Hastings St. Vancouver, BC.
Rawkin' Pesto Pasta
By Shawna Barker
Simple, fresh, and delicate. Zucchini noodles infused with the flavours of basil and olive oil. Perfect for a warm summer night!
2 zucchini (or approx. 4 cups), peeled
2 cups basil, packed, stems removed
1/2 cup pistachios, raw
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp basil, small leaves, stems removed
1. Using a vegetable peeler or spiral vegetable slicer (spirooli), make noodles from zucchini using the smallest noodle setting. Massage noodles with 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt and set aside.
2. For the pesto, place all ingredients in food processor and blend until well combined, or until desired consistency.
3. Combine pesto with the zucchini noodles, and mix well.
4. Plate the pasta and garnish with basil leaves, cherry tomato, and freshly ground black pepper.
Contact Shawna today for Nutrition Consulting or Raw Food Classes to learn how to ensure you have a good nutritional foundation for your journey to vibrant health.
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist, college instructor, and raw food educator.