Every morning before I caught the school bus in elementary school, my mother coerced me into opening my mouth while she squeezed in a dropper full of cod liver oil. Even though I didn’t really appreciate her efforts at the time, now I am incredibly grateful.
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are deficient in most Americans. According to Dean Ornish, best selling author on preventing heart disease, the most important supplement for people to take is fish oil.
Just three grams a day may provide enormous benefits. It may lower the risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death by 50-80 percent. It may reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. It may reduce depression. When given to pregnant and nursing mothers, it may increase a baby’s IQ. It helps with brain development.
A good multivitamin is also a smart idea. Look for one with selenium in it, or take it separately. One study found that 200 micrograms of selenium a day was associated with a marked decrease of common cancers. Increasing “green foods” is also a smart idea as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. If you are one of those people who just don’t like to eat vegetables, you can buy a number of green products from the health food store, such as wheat grass, blue green algae, spirulina, or consume your greens in capsule form.
It’s probably safe to say that most people don’t get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets. But it’s also not safe to think that taking a multi-vitamin gives you the permission to eat whatever you want.
Lest you downplay the importance of vitamins and minerals and eating well, please note this fact: Diet and lifestyle changes can be even more powerful than drugs and surgery. And the only side effects are good ones.
To the degree you eat more healthfully, you’re going to look good, feel good, lose weight and gain health. As Dean Ornish says, “Joy of living is a much better motivator than fear of dying”