“If I’m low in energy, what kind of vitamins should I be taking?”
You’ve probably noticed that my weekly blog posts are now focused on answering your questions. I am really enjoying answering your questions so far. Keep ‘em coming via facebook or email, and I will answer them in upcoming blog posts. Sign up today for my weekly newsletter at jessicadrummond.com to have the answers delivered right to your inbox! Enjoy!
Now to answer your question about vitamins and energy…
First of all, add high quality food to your diet before you even consider which vitamins you need. Vitamin, mineral and other supplements were designed to fill in the gaps when we cannot eat enough high quality food. There are many reasons why your diet might be lacking in high quality food. You might be eating too much low quality food, like sugar, flour, processed foods or factory-farmed meats not leaving enough room in your belly for leafy green veggies, whole grains like millet, quinoa and kasha, omega-3 eggs, or pastured beef or butter. You might be unintentionally crowding out sweet potatoes, squash, sprouted nuts and seeds, lentils, rosemary, tomatoes and basil with cookies, crackers or “whole grain” morning O’s. Start with luxurious, high-quality whole foods first.
Secondly, your food might lack nutrients due to soil depletion. When most vegetables and fruits grown for humans to eat were grown in small garden plots or farms, they were rotated and grown in nourished soils. Today, our soils have been depleted. If you have the ultimate luxury of growing your veggies in your own garden with nourished soil, or buying them from small local farmers then go for it! All of the biochemical processes in your body will benefit from the hidden gems of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in those fruits and veggies. However, if you don’t have access to very local veggies, do your best to buy organic vegetables (especially if they were grown in the US, imported organics are more questionable regarding their sources), or at least buy fruits and veggies that are in season. If you routinely buy plums in the winter at your local grocery store that were imported from Chile, you might be missing some nutrients, so vitamin and mineral supplements are a good idea.
Finally, if you are simmering in a world of stress each day, you are burning more micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) than the average bear. (Well, maybe not bear, but certainly than the average calm, free spirited human. Not that I’ve actually met anyone like that.) If you are under stress, learning techniques to increase your resiliency and adaptation to that stress is essential for your health (and your happiness.) But, in the meantime adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement is probably a good idea.
My suggestion regarding multivitamins and minerals is to look for a high quality supplement, ideally one that is organic and food based. Some of my favorite options are New Chapter, Rainbow Light, and Metagenics Phytomulti, which is partially food based.
Beyond multivitamin and multimineral supplements, supplementation for low energy can be highly variable. You might have depleted adrenals requiring some adaptagenic herbs, B vitamins and vitamin C. You might have low vitamin D, which is very likely if you live north of Atlanta or wear a lot of sunscreen. Your sex hormones might be out of balance requiring some additional natural progesterone and/or a low glycemic diet. The causes of feeling like a slug are highly variable, but all of them can benefit from starting with ramping up the quality of your fuel, and calming down the pressure cooker in your mind and heart.
Feel free to add a good quality multivitamin and multimineral supplement to your self-care since the likelihood that your nutrition is nourishing you optimally is fairly low. But, don’t forget that nourishing your body and nourishing your soul every day are far more important than any supplement that you can buy.