How do you know which nutritional supplements to take?Before I answer that, let me re-state the case for taking supplements. To begin with, our foods today are not as nutritious as they once were — a result of poor environmental stew-ardship. Modern farming methods, for example, have depleted the soil in many areas of the country, ul-timately reducing the nutrients in food. Also, weight-loss diets, exer-cise, and stress increase our need for nutrients. Cooking can destroy cer-tain vitamins too.Further, many people do not eat nutritiously enough to even satisfy the recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals, according to several studies.
Consider, for ex-ample, a typical American diet:Breakfast: one glazed doughnut, one cup of orange juice, and one cup of coffee with a tablespoon of half-and-half.Lunch: ham and cheese sandwich, small bag of potato chips, one medium apple, and a can of cola soda.Mid-afternoon snack: one granola bar and a can of cola soda.Fast-Food Dinner: Quarter Pounder cheeseburger and side salad with an ounce of red French dressing.Evening snack: six ounces of vanilla ice cream (16% fat).Although it supplies adequate calo-ries (2264), this menu is deficient in several vital nutrients: calcium, a bone-building mineral; magne-sium, important to heart health; se-lenium, widely recognized as a can-cer preventative; vitamin A, vital for disease-fighting; and vitamin E, a nutrient that confers a wide range of health-protective benefits.
This menu is critically low in fiber too (only about 10 grams), supplying less than half of what we normally need each day. Plus, 40 percent of the calories come from fat. Fat in-take should be no more than 30 per-cent of your daily calories; people with heart disease should further reduce their fat consumption.Thus, a very strong case for tak-ing nutritional supplements can be built. That being so, how should you decide which supplements to take? Here’s a step-by-step guide:A Basic FormulaA good motto to adopt is: Food first. Before you even consider taking supplements, make sure you’re fol-lowing a nutritious diet. Each day, try to eat five to six times a day, as recommended on the Parrillo Nutri-tion Program™. These meals should consist of fibrous carbs, starchy carbs, and lean proteins. But as nutritional insurance, take the recommended dosage of Parrillo Essential Vitamin For-mula™ and Parrillo Mineral-Electrolyte Formula™.
These contain antioxidants, which are vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, vita-min C, vitamin E, and selenium that help protect you against dis-ease.A Personalized Supplement ProgramNo two people are alike in their need for various nutrients. Our own individual nutrient re-quirements vary, depending on our sex, age, activity level, and physical health. Thus, based on your personal situation, you may want to consider additional sup-plements – in addition to a daily antioxidant product. Here’s a closer look:Sex: If you are a woman, you require adequate calcium (about 1200 mg daily) to help prevent osteoporosis, a crippling bone disease. To get that much cal-cium from food, you’d have to eat the following each day: a cup of calcium-fortified orange juice; a cup of skim milk; a cup of low-fat yogurt; and a cup of cooked turnip greens. If you fall short on your calcium intake, you can make up the difference with a calcium supplement such as Parrillo Mineral-Electrolyte Formula™.
Men can be nutrient-needy in other areas. For instance, supplemental vit-amin E and selenium have recently been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. Thus, if you’re a man, you may benefit from an extra dose of these nutrients. Up to 50 mi-crograms of selenium and between 400 IUs and 800 IUs of vitamin E daily are considered health-protec-tive. Good sources are Parrillo Min-eral-Electrolyte™ and Natural Vita-min E Plus™.Age: As we get older, our need for certain nutrients changes. People older than 60, for example, have trou-ble absorbing enough folic acid (a B vitamin), vitamin B12, and calcium. Age also increases our need for iron. Supplementation is an excellent way to guard against health-damaging de-ficiencies. Try the following: Parrillo Essential Vitamin Formula™, Min-eral Electrolyte Formula™, and Liver Amino Formula™.Activity Level: Exercise depletes nutrients. Thus, if you’re physically active, you may benefit from ad-ditional nutrients.
Taking antioxi-dants – namely vitamins E and C – has been found in studies to help muscles recover and regenerate more quickly following exercise. As well, specialty supplements such as the Parrillo powders may give you extra energy for exercise.Physical Health: Depending on the condition of your physical health, you may want to explore “disease-spe-cific” supplements – those that have been shown in scientific research to prevent, treat, and even reverse, certain diseases. A good example is glucosamine sulfate for treating osteo-arthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Glucosamine is a type of sugar mol-ecule manufactured naturally by car-tilage cells. Where there is joint dam-age, cartilage cells self-destruct and stop making glucosamine. Joint health then continues to deteriorate.
An over-whelming number of medical stud-ies show supplemental glucosamine reverses this destructive process and stimulates the cartilage cells to rebuild cartilage. I recommend Parrillo Joint Formula™ for joint health.Other examples of disease-specific supplements include folic acid, vitamin E, and carnitine (protein-like nutrient) to fight heart disease. A good source of supplemental vitamin E is Parrillo Natural Vitamin E-Plus™. The amount of information currently available on nutritional supplements is certainly mind numbing. But if you’re interested in attaining optimum health, take the time to bone up on nutrition and supplementation. Knowledge is empowering – and certainly health-protective.