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Money is tight. Supplements are expensive. Which are the very most important?

By March 24, 2009 - 8:10am
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I really want to figure out and take, on a continual basis, the supplements that are best for me on a long-term basis. I know that things like Fish Oil, Co-Q-10, vitamins and calcium are important; but right there, those things together could cost $30 or $40 a month for one person. That's way too much in this tight budget time.

What are the very most important supplements a person should take, beyond a good multivitamin? And if you've found a great place (online or otherwise) to get (trusted) supplements for less, could you share your strategy? Thanks so much.

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EmpowHER Guest

I eat a very healthy, diverse and mostly organic diet but I also take vitamin C which is constantly filtered out of your system and is only absorbed when needed so I try to keep a consistant supply going. I also take vitamin D because I live in the northern hemisphere and the sun isn't very strong from fall to spring. I take 400iu from spring to summer and up it to 800 through the winter months when the sun is weakest. Just a note, flu season starts in the fall - this is when the sun drops below the equator and everyone is getting less nautrally produced vitamin D than they are used to. It is also known that taking vitamin D can protect you from colds and flus (yes, even H1N1 - just google it) as well as preventing diabetes, depression, chroic pain, cancer etc, etc, etc. so that is the one supplement you should take if you have to choose only one. Just make sure it is a good quality supplement - there are many organic choices now. Other than that, look at your diet, if you are finding you are deficient in eating your nutrients naturally, then THOSE are the ones you should supplement.

November 1, 2009 - 8:47pm

This is where your doctor or nutritionist would be helpful in determining whether or not you need supplements. Were it so reliable that we could get all of our necessary and essential vitamins and minerals from our overly-processed, enriched, bleached, chemically treated, colored and whatever else foods, that would be great. However, we've built a huge industry out of packaged and convenience foods that tend to be high in sugars, sodium and things I can't spell or pronounce, that are just too easy to pick up at the store.

Whole, organic, non-processed and fresh foods are the best sources of fiber, vitamin and mineral-rich foods, as well as of antioxidants and other healthy properties. Eat real food, I always say.

This tight economy is encouraging a resurgence of home gardening, like back during the 1970's oil crisis. Growing your own vegetables is fairly easy and satisfying, even in small container gardens.

You might be interested in this article on EmpowHer: Confused About Waht Vitamins or Supplements to Take?

See also Mayo Clinic's article: Dietary Supplements: Nutrition in a Pill?

March 24, 2009 - 4:26pm

I agree as well! Invest instead in fresh fruits, vegies, dairy, protein, etc., and make sure your diet is well-rounded and that you're well hydrated. If on a tight budget, I'd personally forget all of the supplements unless you feel you're really lacking in an important area, like calcium.

March 24, 2009 - 3:33pm
EmpowHER Guest

I tend to agree with the above commenter. Most vitamins are not well absorbed by the body in supplement form. Unless your doctor has recommended something for you, you're much better off just trying to eat well and skipping the pills entirely.

March 24, 2009 - 11:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I believe that it's much more important to eat healthily. To me, suppliments are unecessary and a waste of money. If you are eating lots of fruit, vegetables, healthy fish, eggs, nuts, etc....you don't need vitamins except maybe for a flax seed oil or other oil.Mostly people urinate them right out anyhow as certain vitmains need fats, etc.. for absorbtion.

March 24, 2009 - 10:01am
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