Timeless Spirit Logo Live in the Raw Timeless Spirit Logo

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine ISSN# 1708-3265

Index Meet Our Staff Free Subscription Donations Come Shopping Advertising Archived Issues ***OUR NEW FORUM***


Life in the Raw
Supplementation; Should we really supplement our diets?

with Melissa Gilbert

When I think of supplements I think of my Grandmother who consumed almost everything on the planet in pill form. She loved her supplements. She did this for most of her adult life. She ate badly; loving her lunchmeat, cheese and breads. Grandma had a special cabinet in her kitchen dedicated to just her supplements. Her thinking was that if she took these vitamins then she would automatically be healthy. WRONG! You have to eat properly, feeding your body fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds each and every day. Funny thing is I never remember my Great grandparents ever taking these pill-supplements so where did Grandma pick up this habit?

We are reminded by our parents and the television to take supplements in the form of vitamins that can be readily purchased at the local market, on-line, drug stores or even all the department stores we shop at. They are everywhere, it is a huge business and very profitable for the manufactureres. I do not believe in putting these things into our bodies, they do not work the way we are lead to believe. When you eat vitamins in pill form all they do is sit in a corner of your stomach. The ones that actually dissolve properly are expelled from your body when you urinate, not much absorption is happening. Unless you count the absorption of your money to the local manufacturer!

What is a vitamin? What does it do?

Vitamins are metabolic nutrients required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the human body. When we speak of vitamins this does not include other essential nutrients such as minerals, fatty acids or amino acids.

Vitamins are biomolecules which act both as catalysts and substrates within the chemical reactions that occur in the body. When acting as a catalyst, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are then called co-factors. Vitamins also will act as co-enzymes to carry chemical groups between enzymes.

Vitamins are essential for the normal growth and development of multicellular organisms. Most vitamins are obtained through the food you eat, however we get a few vitamins by other means: for example there are microorganisms in the intestine otherwise known as "gut flora" which produce Vitamin K and biotin (B7). Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from natural ultraviolet light, known simply as sunlight. Both necessary for the human body to maintain health.

There are thirteen vitamins in the human body which are divided into two groups; nine water-soluble (easily dissolved in water), they include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 and Vitamin C. Then there are four fat-soluble vitamins which are dissolved within the intestines with the help of lipids. Each of these fat-soluble vitamins are used in multiple reactions and most have many functions within the body. They include Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It all seems so complicated and confusing, because it is. Our bodies need these things in order to work at their optimal levels without creating dis-ease within them.

There are many more vitamins which are no longer classified as vitamins - they include: B4, B8, F, G, H/I, J, C2, L1, L2, M, O, P, PP, R, S, T and U. These were unclassified as vitamins long ago when scientists in Germany decided to include these in what is now known as the Vitamin B Complex. They are actually chemicals within our bodies, which assist it to work the way it does so perfectly.

Here is where I would like to talk about Vitamin D, Sunlight, well OK maybe this will be preaching, but I need to bring it up. Most people believe they get enough of it, I am here to tell you it is likely you do not. Not in this day and age when people and pharmaceuticals are programming our brains with the nonsense that we get cancer from the sun and we should be putting sunscreen on our bodies. Sunlight does not penetrate these sunscreens, even a cream with a SPF of 8, your body only gets about 5% of the sunlight it needs to be healthy. In my mind sunscreen causes cancer not the sunlight and studies are beginning to prove this. Think about it. Don't be fooled by other's greed, need and ability to make the almighty dollar. It is true that if we burn our skin from the sunlight we have a high chance of getting skin cancer. Be smart limit your exposure wisely. The darker your skin the more exposure you will need, also it will depend on where you live in the world, those living at higher latitudes need more exposure as the sun is not as strong. Also think about the pollution in the air, etc. it blocks a lot of the essential ultraviolet light. If you assume you are getting plenty of sunshine driving to and from work or sitting in the sun in your office or living room, you are NOT. Vitamin D from the sun does not penetrate glass, that's right not any type of glass.

Vitamin D deficiencies include:

A few of the benefits of Vitamin D:

So - How do you know if you are actually getting the vitamins you need within your body? If you are already eating a diet high in organic fruits, raw vegetables, sea vegetables, raw nuts, raw seeds and sprouts - then you are. Trust in how your body feels, try not to make something out of nothing. Relax, trust and listen to what your body has to say to you, it speaks and it will speak loudly if it needs something it's not getting, often in the form of a "craving".

Minerals in the body

Ahhhh, you thought I was done. Not even close. I love to chat about all the minerals within our bodies. Scientists still do not know all the minerals which are present and utilized within the body. There are twenty-eight known minerals that have very definite uses and twelve other minerals whose uses are not yet (to my knowledge) fully understood.

No one mineral is used in isolation within the body. All minerals interact with other minerals, vitamins, enzymes and so on. To say that "iron builds rich blood" or "calcium builds strong bones" is not entirely true. Copper must also be present for the iron to be used in blood-building. Phosphorus must be present along with calcium to build bones. A mineral deficiency can occur when there is an abundance of the needed mineral in the diet but the body simply cannot digest or assimilate the mineral because you are lacking something else. So now do you see why you need to get your vitamins and minerals from natural sources—YOUR FOOD!?!?

Major minerals in the body

There are thirteen minerals found in appreciable quantities within your body. These include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, fluorine, magnesium, iron, manganese, silicon, copper and iodine. Let's talk about a few of these.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for clotting of your blood, normal heart action and muscle contraction. Calcium controls the passage of fluids through cell walls. It is essential for healthy bones and strong teeth.

Foods high in calcium: Sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, almonds, broccoli, dates, sprouts, oranges, strawberries, papayas. Most fruit and vegetables have calcium within them in their natural raw state.

Phosphorus occurs in the protoplasm and nucleus of every cell. It is used in more functions than any other mineral within the body. It is necessary to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The building of brain cells require phosphorus. It is also required along with calcium to build healthy bones and teeth—very important in any diet.

Foods high in Phosphorus: Coconut, dates, figs, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, avocados, carrots, sprouts, beets, apples, peaches and pears.

Potassium is a factor in tissue elasticity, healing injuries within the body, liver function, normal bowel activity and a must for a regular heart rhythm. Potassium is needed for inter-cellular fluid balance. It is responsible for complete digestion.

Foods high in Potassium: Raisins, pecans, almonds, dates, peaches, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, melons, tomatoes, beets, carrots, bananas, lettuce, cabbage and apricots.

Sodium helps in the formation of digestive juices, eliminates carbon dioxide, maintains water balance and nerve function in the body. It is responsible for the utilization of iron.

Foods high in Sodium: Celery, carrots, raisins, melons, lettuce, peaches, cabbage, both sesame and sunflower seeds.

Iodine is found primarily in the thyroid gland. Iodine is essential for the formation of an organic iodine compound called thyroxine which regulates metabolic functions. It oxidizes fats and proteins and is necessary for circulatory function.

Foods high in iodine: Swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, watermelon, cucumbers, pineapple, grapes, tomatoes, bananas, strawberries and spinach.

Manganese is found in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, prostrate gland, adrenals, your bones and brain. It is used in the metabolism of carbohydrates and strengthens tissue and bone. Manganese is used in the thyroxine formation in the thyroid gland. It also regulates your blood sugar level.

Foods high in manganese: Bananas, beets, celery, nuts, squash, green leafy vegetables and cucumbers.

Don't forget about those trace minerals either, they are found in sufficient quantities in diets which contain proper amounts of major minerals. Just like the major minerals, these too are supplied in a diet of whole raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. These trace minerals are: zinc, cobalt, titanium, aragon, tin, beryllium, boron, cerium, silver, rubidium, nickel, helium, chromium, aluminum, molybdenum, lead, neodymium, selenium, strontium, neon, mercury, lanthanum, scandium and vanadium.

So as to end all the confusion, I am sure you are having about what to eat or what supplements to take to get all the proper vitamins and minerals so your body operates at its optimal levels for your greatest good and health. It's easy! Simply eat fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts all in their whole natural raw form.

Should we really supplement our diets?

Well that will depend on how you choose to feed your body and brain. What foods do you eat? Do you eat naturally or do you choose to eat cooked or processed foods which cause mucus to build within your body? Whatever you decide to do for yourself and your family is up to you. There are many people who think supplementation is what keeps them alive, then there are people who eat an abundance of raw live food and get everything from their daily intake of food!

Supplementation is a highly conversational subject so be sure to do your own research and supply your family's bodies with whatever you feel they need. Don't fall into the trap of - a certain person sells a particular product, so this must mean that they take it, - because most times they don't. They are selling these to add money to their pockets, after all we all must make a living… right?

Do I take supplements? Yes, but not the kind of supplements we've been discussing here so far. My family takes the powder form of MSM. Two tablespoons daily. Alex tries a little bit on his tongue each morning and then makes funny faces at me (giggling). I choose the powder form because it absorbs quickly into your body. It is the only "real" supplement that we take. You can add MSM to your juice (citrus is best) or just place it on your tongue as we do and wash it down with pure water. MSM is Methol-Sulfonyl Methane. MSM is found naturally in plants which are watered by the rain that falls from the sky. It is a biologically active form of sulphur and is found in all living organisms, including humans. Being that it is a form of sulphur, it is a mineral essential for function and structure of the body. Let me remind you sulphur has long been known for it's healing qualities, this has been overlooked for many years due to the constant fascination with other supplements. Methol-Sulfonyl Methane helps the joints, bones and muscles work properly. MSM reduces inflammation within your body, dilates blood vessels increasing blood flow. MSM relieves heartburn and normalizes your immune system. MSM passes through your cells therefore cleansing them, it is very effective at relieving all pain within your body. When you take MSM daily it will restore normal bowel activity and will reduce muscle spasms. I have a sister who gives her dog MSM each day and he is up and running around as a dog should be, before his intake of MSM he was stiff and sore. This MSM is good stuff!

Note: The only place that I get my MSM powder is at Bio-Alternatives. Their MSM is the highest quality with the purest form of MSM I have found anywhere. They are a joy to deal with. They have fast and friendly customer service and their prices cannot be beat, often having "buy two get one free" sales. I purchase their 3-pound tub of MSM and it lasts our family for a long while. I hope you will decide to provide your body with MSM, if you do please consider ordering from Bio-Alternatives here: www.bio-alternatives.net. They are a small company with a big heart and they know how to treat their customers!

We also eat what others may refer to as supplements, but it is actually food. In some circles these are referred to as "Superfoods".

Chlorella comes in a pressed form, it has been carefully dried to preserve all the nutrients it contains. In fact it looks like a little green pill, misleading to say the least, but rest assured it is only food and not a drug. Alex chooses to chew these and seems to really like it. I just grab a palmful daily and wash it down with water or juice as does David. Chlorella is a sea vegetable which is grown on the coral reef island of Ishigaki in Japan. Chlorella contains protein, Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, magnesium, iron, potassium and chlorophyll. I purchase this from my local health food market.

Spirulina is another sea vegetable we eat daily. It is a single-celled blue-green algae which contains 10 vitamins, 8 minerals and 18 amino acids (both essential and non essential). Spirulina is a complete protein and is easy to digest so it's absorbed quickly. Spirulina contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) which is also found in Mother's Milk. Spirulina promotes the natural cleansing process of the body. We add it to green smoothies and fresh juices. Alex loves it with a mashed up banana and chia seeds, as his regular morning 'porridge'. Spirulina compensates for deficiencies in your diet and is readily available in powder form at your health food market.

I choose to use liquid chlorophyll in a glass of pure water each day. One teaspoon is all you need, Alex makes a mess out of it and David says he has enough greens in his life. (LOL). I like the way it tastes, with a mild minty flavour, it is quite refreshing in a cold glass of ice water on a hot day. Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins in the food we eat and the air we breathe. It is essential for metabolic functions such as respiration and growth. Chlorophyll works to strengthen and purify the entire body. It assists in the assimilation of various vitamins and minerals. This too is also readily available at any health food market.

These superfoods along with a raw living foods diet is how we get all the vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy, happy, joyful humans. If you aren't sure what supplements or superfoods to start with, I suggest you definitely begin with MSM and Spirulina, they will both greatly increase your health!

Spirulina Breakfast Porridge

Mash bananas with a fork in a bowl, add the Chia seeds and the Spirulina and continue mashing

* I keep a jar of soaked Chia in the cooler for daily use at my home. I place 1 cup of Chia seeds in a mason jar, fill with pure water, place onto your kitchen cabinet for 10-15 minutes shaking occasionally (don't forget the lid) and then place into your cooler for daily use. Chia seeds will last this way for 4-5 days in your cooler.

Alex loves this and it is a great feeling to have him consume most of his vitamins and minerals for the day, first thing in the morning.

Raw Love
Melissa Gilbert

Editor's Note: One ounce of wheatgrass juice

is the equivilent of two and a half pounds of greens! I take a two ounce shot of wheatgrass (often daily) - and this is also considered a "superfood".

You can read Melissa's interview in March 2008's issue of Timeless Spirit Magazine.

Melissa Gilbert is a Raw food Chef, a Certified Raw Food Nutritional Consultant, and a Raw Food Coach. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer and works with her client's nutritional goals as well as getting them established in an exercise regime.

Currently getting her Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition and taking classes to become a Hygienic Doctor, she is mother to toddler Alex, and wife to David as well as mother to 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.

In her spare time Melissa enjoys the great outdoors, mountain hiking, biking, snow shoeing, camping in the backwoods and sailing. A Shaman in training and Tarot card enthusiast, Melissa (and her family) practices Buddhism with Pagan influences. If you would like to learn more about Raw Foods you can reach Melissa via email or visit one of her websites: www.LoveRawLife.com, www.rawtoddleralex.blogspot.com, and www.rawmom.blogspot.com.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.