Supplements vs. Food Diversity

My atti­tude toward nutri­tion sup­ple­ments wax­es and wanes. Some­times I take them reg­u­lar­ly, and rec­om­mend them to my patients. At oth­er times my enthu­si­asm fades, and I for­get to take my sup­ple­ments and won­der how much ben­e­fit they are for my patients.

One ques­tion that weighs on my think­ing about sup­ple­ments is: How nutri­tious is the food that we eat, any­way?

Here are some of the rea­sons why our food sup­ply may no longer be as health-pro­mot­ing as it could be:

  • Our soil has been deplet­ed.  Many trace min­er­als are no longer present in the same con­cen­tra­tions as found in the days of grand­ma and grand­pa.
  • Food spends a long time in tran­sit and stor­age, and nutri­ents are lost.
  • Plant breed­ing (includ­ing, yes, genet­ic mod­i­fi­ca­tion) has focused on yield, pest resis­tance, ear­ly matu­ri­ty, and oth­er fac­tors to the detri­ment of nutri­ent con­tent.

Although you can raise these ques­tions, you can’t, unfor­tu­nate­ly, do much about them on an indi­vid­ual lev­el – they’re polit­i­cal prob­lems.

What Can You Do as an Individual?

Eat a diver­si­ty of foods. Each has a unique array of micronu­tri­ents, many of which have yet to be stud­ied sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly. The more diverse your diet, the less like­ly you’ll be miss­ing out on essen­tial nutri­ents.

Here’s a cheat sheet to get your imag­i­na­tion rolling. Include two or three choic­es from each cat­e­go­ry as part of your week­ly diet.

mushroomsmushrooms mushroom-group

Herbs.…..tar­ragon, mint, thyme, oregano, dill…

Organ meats.…..liv­er, kid­neys, sweet­breads (thy­mus & pan­creas)… – impor­tant to con­sume healthy, grass-fed ani­mals

Spices.…..corian­der, turmer­ic (incor­po­rates the known anti-inflam­ma­to­ry cur­cum­in), chile, cocoa (choco­late is good for you)…

Mush­rooms.…..por­to­bel­lo, cri­m­i­ni, shi­itake…

Sea veg­eta­bles.…..nori, wakame, hiji­ki, kom­bu… – good sources of iodine and oth­er min­er­als

Fer­ment­ed foods.…..pick­les, kim­chi, kom­bucha, kefir, cider vine­gar, yogurt

Shell­fish.…..mus­sels, clams, oys­ters…


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Nutri­tion­al val­ue of mush­rooms

Nutri­tion sup­ple­ments vs. phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for low back pain



About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website,, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.

This entry was posted in Nutrition & Diet and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.