Kelly Pomeroy, M.H.

Creating a blur of vitamin and mineral supplements a myriad of bottles line the aisles of health, discount and grocery stores, leaving most of us perplexed and confused.  “What do I take, why do I take it, can I keep it down?” Being sensitive to supplements in the past, inevitably I would up-chuck every vitamin and supplement within 5-10 minutes of taking them. A lot of good that did! It wasn’t until I looked to whole plant based foods to supplement my body that I received real nutrient uptake.

Vitamins and minerals, also called micronutrients, are essential to the body for normal growth, muscle response, healthy nervous system, digestion, production of hormones and metabolism of nutrients. In addition, vitamins play a role in helping enzymes break down and utilize food. Some vitamins are made by your body, such as vitamin D through sun absorption. Others need to be supplied by the foods we eat. Some vitamins are water soluble and go in and out of the system. Some are fat soluble vitamins that can be stored in fat tissues and the liver, when in abundance, for later use.  Minerals and trace minerals are essential in order for our bodies to functions and remain healthy. Vitamins and minerals work synergistically in the body for certain functions. How better to get the correct balance you need, such as calcium magnesium ratio of 2:1, than in the foods you eat.

       There is a saying that the sum of the whole is more than its parts. Let’s look at an apple for example. An apple in its whole state contains vitamin A, vitamins  B1,2,6, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc and trace minerals. We could take all of those ingredients off the health food shelf and put an apple in its place! More importantly, a raw apple has one other component that is essential in the utilization of these vitamins and minerals; it contains enzymes. All of these vitamins and minerals are needful and necessary, but if we do not have enough enzymes from the pancreas and the foods we consume to break them down for utilization, we will not receive what we could. It’s like being given gifts, but being unable to open them all. Enzymes open up and utilize the vitamins and minerals stored inside our food.  Consuming heavily processed and nutrient stripped foods may fill our belly, but it robs our body. One of the culprits is an accepted mindset that we are too busy to care for ourselves. We cut corners instead of cut back hours at work or reduce high expectations we place on ourselves and others. We leave no time to heal, eat nutrient rich foods, spend time with those we love and work through emotional upset. This mentality rushes us through life, causing us to miss out on what we need most.

When we find ourselves lacking, it’s not that plants don’t heal, it’s that we don’t get enough of what we need. Juicing can be a great way to give you high doses of fresh vitamins and minerals in their organic state with their enzyme components to help you uptake the nutrients. Smoothies are another great way to get nutrient dense uptake and fiber. So, when asking yourself  questions of what to take, why, and how, consider these answers:
“What do I take?”—Raw, whole foods and herbs
“Why do I take it?”—It tastes great and is the most bioavailable and nutrient rich option.
“Can I keep it down?”—Of course, because raw, whole foods and herbs have the enzymes necessary to break foods down so the body can absorb all the nutrients. So, get your juicer out! Below is a recipe for a surprisingly delicious, nutrient rich treat!
Kelly Pomeroy is a Master Herbalist, Student Adviser at The School of Natural Healing and mother of four fantastic kids.