One of the reasons that I rarely advise nutritional supplements is because in taking them, it is easy to over or under-do these chemicals. Whether the body has too much or too little of these substances, it will become stressed with ridding the excess or trying to meet the body’s needs, with insufficient.
Nutrients cannot be seen in isolation. They work together, like an orchestra. Each depends on others to perform their role to ensure the whole is working effectively.
A side issue is that many supplements are poor quality and the nutrients are in the wrong form for our digestive systems. This is so often the case with vitamins D and B12 but there are others too. People who suffer IBS and other gut problems have even more difficulty with absorption.
To maximise nutrient uptake, food should be eaten in its natural state with minimal processing. We should also eat that which we are genetically programmed for. (Lots of information about this in other blogs.) There is little point in humans eating grass, even though it is probably full of nutrients – after all, cows love it!. Our taste buds tell us that we do not have the correct digestive equipment for grass and therefore cannot absorb its goodness. However, cattle make all these nuteients available to us if we eat meat!
Whilst all nutrients need others, there are some that are more important. Vitamin D3 needs several in order to be utilized properly. Firstly it is formed in the skin with the help of the sun. Then it reaches the bloodstream, ends up in the liver and is transformed into other substances for use. At each stage, a variety of chemicals are required to enable the function. Magnesium, vitamins A and K2, zinc and boron are the main players here.
This is one mineral that is becoming a problem. The soil becomes exhausted with modern farming methods. The best way to obtain a good amount is to buy organic produce and/or grow your own vegetables. Good sources are leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. This study shows the importance of magnesium for bone health in children.
Vitamin A and K
Again there are various forms of these vitamins and the most reliable way of obtaining them is from animal foods. Liver, eggs, golden butter and cheese are good for bio-available vitamins A and K2. Leafy greens are good for K1 and beta-carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A. For the best absorption of these, eat animal fat on your greens – a good knob of butter will do it!
Meat, shellfish and nuts are good sources.
Leafy vegetables, nuts and avocados are reliable sources of this trace element.
So, meals can be easily put together to maximise your intake of these important nutrients. Here are some examples:
Liver and onions cooked in butter and served with kale or broccoli
Cheese omelette cooked in butter with green veg as above
Avocado and prawns, good bread with lots of butter and a handful of nuts afterwards
Whilst there will be some vitamin D in the above meals, a more reliable source is from safe sun exposure.