Jul 2, 2022 by Tania Gustafson


New health trends are always popping up and because of that, I’m always learning, researching and growing.

One of the most eye opening things I learned a while back has recently become a bit of a buzz in health. You are not necessarily what you eat, you're only what your body can absorb. Lightbulb moment for sure right?

The way your body absorbs and utilizes nutrients is almost more important than the nutrient consumption itself. For example, often times you may be eating the right amount of a protein, but your body may not be digesting it properly. And if it can't digest a food, it can't break the food down into small enough molecules and therefore be unable to fully absorb it.

In this instance, it doesn't make sense to just add in more protein to your next meal. Adding more of something that your body isn't capable of using is tantamount to raising your voice and slowing your speech trying to get a point across to someone who doesn't speak the same language as you do. Yelling at them won't make them capable of understanding you anymore than adding more protein won't make your body capable of absorbing the nutrients. Creating the right conditions within your body so that your body is better able to absorb, metabolize and digest that protein is what does the trick. And the right supplements can most definitely help support your body to better absorb.

For some people however, there is a bit of a “resistance mindset” to the suggestion of certain supplements. Or any supplements for that matter. I addressed this in one of my columns a while back but it bares repeating. I still can't pinpoint it but I have two thoughts. First, there's the belief that we can get all the nutrients we need just from food. And while it is possible, the likelihood that we're all eating enough high quality, organic, non-gmo foods 100 percent of the time is just not feasible. Even my vegetarian and vegan daughters aren't eating 10 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Second, I think it has to do with a mindset about "being sold to." That the chiropractor, naturopath, nutritionist, functional medicine doctor, etc., is only trying to sell you something. And nobody likes that, present company included.

As a health professional myself, trust me, health pros become affiliates for a certain product(s) because of the benefits they experience for themselves and see in their clients and patients. Period. It's NOT about how much money they can make, it’s about how many people they can help. Do ask your practitioner if he/she uses the products they're recommending to you. Their answer will tell you a lot.

It is, however, important to note that we need certain supplementation to help properly absorb the food we eat so that it will all be used for good and benefit your body in the way it was intended.

So when your health and wellness expert, whom you trust and whose reputation is on the line, suggests a product, (or treatment) believe them. After all, wasn't that why you booked the appointment in the first place, to get their advice? You'll listen to your trainer about fitness (heck some of y'all even pay more for a trainer that will put you through crazy, intense workouts!), to your chiropractor about how to lift and carry things, to your nutritionist on what foods to eat, what to look for on labels and why you should avoid it, your naturopath on what foods to avoid, so why suddenly become skeptical when any one of those practitioners recommends a supplement?

I've thought long and hard about this and aside from the obvious, “I don't have time” or “Not sure I can spend the extra money right now..” which, try replacing “I don't have time” with “That's not a priority”, and you'll see perspective get shifted real quick. The other one I hear a lot is, “I can't afford it..” Which for a vast majority of people isn't really as true as they'd have themselves believe. Try this. Open up all your cupboards, pantry, freezer, etc., grab a calculator and tally up the cost of all the non-essential, empty-calorie foods. How about the dollar value of drive-through trips for the month? Dinners out? You see where this is going, right? But the vitamins your naturopath suggested or the digestive enzymes your nutritionist recommended somehow got replaced with some random brand that popped up while you were scrolling social media. Or maybe Dr. Google told you it wasn't necessary at all.

It really doesn't matter what the reason or excuses may be. Bottom line, Tik Tok, Facebook, Costco, or Amazon should never have more influence over the people who take the time to know you, are educated in their field, and want the best for you.

For more information on supplements, absorption, and digestion, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook.

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