Supplements first started to become popular last century, and they were a way of adding things to the diet to prevent popular diseases caused by nutritional deficiencies – like scurvy (lack of vitamin C) and rickets (lack of vitamin D). Now, taking a supplement doesn’t just mean popping a pill but equally, you can get your vitamins, minerals, herbs, essential oils and enzymes as a drink (think vitamin water), powder to make into a shake or even a spray.
It's big business. £1.5billion is spent each year in the UK alone and a hundred times that globally. Two thirds of us take a supplement, and the market is predicted to grow by nearly 9% this year alone [source for statistics: IBIS World]. Are you one of them?
Who needs supplements?
It’s often said that people who eat a ‘balanced’ diet shouldn’t need to supplement. They should be able to get everything they need from the food they eat. But is that really the case? Would your body feel better if you had a few supplements inside you or is it really just expensive urine?
My view is this: so many people I see are eating a sub-standard diet when we meet, not eating their 7 fruit and veggies a day, choosing poor quality sources of protein, and relying more often than they’d like on convenience foods.
If your body is out of balance (there is something not quite working in your health), that one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to be sufficient. When your body is dealing with certain health conditions, it often means that something is missing or needed in far greater amounts than you’re currently getting.