Food supplements

Three different approaches to what we need to add to our diets.


SmoothieI am interested in nutrition; I want to be healthy and I want to stay that way for as long as I can possibly manage. I just don’t believe that we need extra supplements if we eat properly so I try to eat properly. Most people don’t.

At university I studied some evolutionary ecology, and learned about the Stone Age diet 20 years before it was a fashion. I believe that refined sugar is evil, and that our bodies need lots of nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, with a bit of protein now and then.

We weren’t hunter-gathers, we were gatherer-hunters, and we evolved eating a heck of a lot of stuff that grows on trees.

So when I want vitamin C I eat an orange or dried mango. I think that vitamin C works best when it’s in its original packaging, so to speak, not as a synthetic separated from its natural co-nutrients. For my anti-aging, anti-everything that can go wrong I eat red, yellow, purple, green and orange fruit and vegetables. For my Omega 3, 6 and 9, I eat mackerel and nuts. For my minerals I put sea salt on my vegetables. I do take turmeric tablets for the bursitis in my right shoulder; but that’s an injury and it needs treatment.

And I choose to believe that chocolate is mostly an antioxidant.


Vitamin tabletsI want to stay healthy too but I don’t believe I get all the nutrients I need from my food.

The food we eat is often over processed, over farmed and full of bad stuff. Our world is polluted. On top of that, I work long hours so don’t always have time to sit down to a proper meal, or plan good pack-ups.

I am careful. I minimise processed food and sugar, and I regularly eat organic. I choose superfoods whenever I can. But I still don’t think that’s enough.

My menu of supplements includes vitamins D, B’s, C (with flavonoids), Selenium, Coenzyme Q10, fish oils, magnesium and a couple of others. Weekly I refill 2 containers with the days of the week for morning and evening. I take the supplements with my meals. Always. If I go out for a meal I take them with me. For healthy skin I use creams that include vitamin A and E.

There are regular articles questioning the safety of supplements. I think it’s just hype. I know what I’m using and why, and I think I’m better with my supplements.

I read up on what I should be taking to maintain good health, talk to a specialist and only buy good quality supplements. I do buy in bulk!

And I believe a good quality dark chocolate is one of THE best antioxidant.


Multivitamin tabletsI became a pescatarian in November 1990, mostly because I couldn’t trust John Selwyn Gummer. Today this diet is seen as a very healthy choice, as long as you avoid eating too many portions of shark or similar. In those days what fish there was around wasn’t very nice. Remember boil in the bags?

So I was vegetarian most days, and knew I could be missing out on a few vitamins and minerals such as B12. Taking a daily multivitamin tablet made sense.

After all these are the same chemical compounds regardless of how they’re delivered into my body.

Despite there being more fish on my plate these days, I’ve kept the habit up. There are 18 vitamins and minerals with RDAs. I can’t keep track of how my diet is delivering against them all (as well as protein, fat, carbs, calories…). And I wouldn’t know how to spot a particular deficiency.

When “superfoods” are listed in a weekend supplement, I find I eat all except the obscure one. But I’ll only manage to find a way of having spinach once a fortnight. Blueberries maybe twice a week, but only when they’re in season.

So for me a multivitamin tablet a day is insurance. As is a bar of antioxidant.

What’s your view on food supplements?


About Triangles

Three women share their different views on a subject.

  • Linda Booth

    I’m extremely busy, so I do find it difficult to have a well balanced diet. I have to admit though, I don’t live to eat. I eat to live. Food is not a passion for me, and I don’t like cooking. I find it tedious and boring. Luckily, my husband doesn’t mind, so he does most of the cooking, but he’s a pretty busy chap too.

    To mitigate the potential negative health risks of my not so balanced diet, I take a daily Solgar VM75 extra potency multivitamin and chelated minerals capsule. I prefer to take my supplements in capsule form, rather than tablet, for better absorption. In view of the fact that I have now passed 50, I was advised, by Dr. Stossier at The Viva Mayr Clinic in Austria, to take a daily Co-enzyme Q10 supplement, in a soft-gel, and Niacin (non-flush) to help support my liver.

    I find that these supplements serve me pretty well. In the Winter, I may increase my Vitamin C, and I have no qualms about taking up to 6/7,000mg daily (in powder form as Magnesium Ascorbate). If my bowels get a bit loose, then I cut back a bit on the Vit C.

    I can’t remember the last time I had a cold. I’ve said it now! Where are the tissues!

    I’m not a vegetarian. Tried it once and my hair started falling out! I feel much better eating meat – not much – just 2 or 3 times weekly, and only about 3 or 4 ounces. People get worried that by eating red meat they are more at risk of bowel cancer, and there’s no doubt that evidence would point to that. However, it’s not that cut and dried. If you eat lots of red meat, and lots of processed meats, and you suffer with constipation, and intestinal inflammation, then yes, you need to make some dietary changes.

  • Deborah

    I agree with you Linda, though again here’s another article against taking vitamins
    I do agree with the comment about being careful with the vits that don’t just ‘flush out’ if you take too much, like vitamin A.