I have an arsenal of supplements that I take partly because of my wonky thyroid. I prefer to get my vitamins and minerals from food, and I try to eat a variety of fresh whole foods to do that. But sometimes you have to wonder if the food your eating is really as high in vitamins and minerals as the charts claim.
These days, farming practices vary hugely and you never know the growing conditions and if the soil is being attended to properly to live up to those numbers. Is the soil where your fruit and vegetables are being grown mineral rich and enriched with compost and organic minerals, like eggshells for added calcium for example? You really never know unless you know where all of your produce is coming from and you actually visit the farm and speak to the growers. Thats assuming you are buying organic produce. If not you will probably never know and should assume there is not even crop rotation and you are probably getting a lot of watery tasteless produce. I think flavor is a good indication.
I listened to another Real Food Summit last night, Paul Check spoke about where, how and why's of buying organic food. He spoke about buying local in the farmers market and speaking with the growers. Asking questions. Here in Israel we have a shuk, an overwhelming hodgepodge of vendors selling everything from produce to baked goods to clothing. There really isn't anything that I know of that's organic there and I actually dont know where these vendors get their produce at all. I have yet to see an organic farmers market here in Israel, Maybe someone will think of it in Tel Aviv. For now I buy from a woman who organizes produce and groceries, all organic from many organic growers around Israel. So far I am pretty happy with it and I'm going purely on assumption that it's more nutritious. It definitely tastes better.
Back to the point, how do you use this system to ensure that what your getting has exactly "x"minerals and "x" vitamins encased in the fruit or vegetable without a lab test kit? If I know that I must have 400mc of selenium a day to support the thyroid I want to make sure thats exactly what I'm getting. I have decided to take a supplement to make sure. I used to eat 4 Brazil nuts a day and that's fine if you have no pressing issue but just want to try and get everything from whole food, get your iodine from sea weed etc.
Some people however cant rely of the inconsistencies of our modern growing conditions and need to know they are getting exactly what they need.
I am very big into getting in the sun for vitamin D and feel its important to eat those food sources of vitamin D as well, like eggs, liver, etc. But I think taking Cod Liver oil is an important factor too (For equal A&D ratio). And if absolutely necessary to take a Lanolin sourced Vitamin D supplement. I also take B12 since my levels had dropped dangerously low from being vegan. These are not things to take lightly.If you feel bad have your vitamin and mineral levels tested. A simple blood test can tell you a lot. So in general I think its a combination of a good diet go ahead and make sure you are eating techina for calcium and sea weed for iodine but if your levels are low in anything it might not be enough. Some people have absorption issues especially if there is an underlying gut issue like celiac or leaky gut. Weigh it out.
If you have a b12 count of below 100 like I did you really dont have a choice. I went for shots. Even though at first I felt defeated I got over it very quickly once I started feeling normal again. Also if you are deficient in any vitamin it might be a good idea to find out why. There are correlations to many of these issues having to do with absorption and underlying health issues. Like thyroid, celiac, etc. A lot of investigation, listening to experts in the field of alternative medicine and safe experimentation is what I do. Try and get levels up with whole foods and if you are stuck then try to buy the best supplement possible.
Unfortunately the planet that we were given to care for has been deeply abused. You have to check everything. We're all on a journey to feeling our best, with Hashem's help we will all have success.