Healing Food Allergies and Chronic Illnesses: Baby Step # 6 |Real Food Supplements|


This week’s Baby Step is Real Food Supplements.

Our bodies are pretty depleted by the time we start feeling ill. They are run down and need a long-term nutrient boost while healing.

Supplementing with nutrient-dense foods is the best way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals while keeping the body balanced. (Tweet This)

Our Superhero Foods Aren’t So Super Anymore

A big problem we face is that food doesn’t carry the same concentration of nutrients that it used to. Over-farming, non-sustainable farming practices, and chemical pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers are stripping the soil of what we need most.

What’s the point of cranking out more food if it doesn’t have enough nutrients? Food means nothing without life-sustaining nutrients.

Choose local, organic, and biodynamically-farmed foods when possible. These will have the most vitamins and minerals. Triple bonus points if you can grow some of your own using sustainable and organic methods!

Check out some of my gardening posts if you have the space but don’t think you can grow anything. If there’s a will, there’s a plant you can’t kill!

Ditch the Synthetic Multivitamin

…or feel free to keep making the most expensive urine on the planet. Did you know that your body does not know what to do with most of the “vitamins” in those pills? It treats them like the toxins they are and 30 minutes later…neon pee. Awesome.

Nobody has money to waste these days. Let’s spend it where it counts. Mommypotamus did a great job on the good, the bad, and the ugly of synthetic multivitamins. I would like to focus on what we should be doing, so hop on over and find out about why they are a bad idea.

Acerola: high in Vitamin C

My Top 5 Recommended Supplements

With all the changes you are already making in the Baby Steps series, it will still be important for almost all of us to add in some extra oomph here and there.

Click on a supplement name to see the detailed post.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil– for a balanced source of Vitamin A, D, and essential fatty acids (EFAs): DHA, EPA, and omega-3

  • Vitamin A toxicity is rare in this product unless prolonged, mass doses are taken. Moral? Don’t do that.
  • It is especially important for diabetics and those with compromised digestion to supplement with an animal source of Vitamin A because their bodies cannot readily convert the precursor to Vitamin A, carotenoids, found in vegetables into actual Vitamin A used by the body.

Whole Food Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and plays such an important role in the body that it should be a strong focus of our healing routines.

Vitamin K2 – important for bone and teeth health and the source of Dr. Weston Price’s ‘Activator X’

Magnesiumused in over 300 body processes and requires extra doses in times of healing and bodily stress

Iodine – iodine is another necessary nutrient, especially for the thyroid, and is important to add into the diet through unrefined sea salts, seaweed, seafood, and salt water fish If you have severe imbalances that cannot be corrected by food over time (applied diligently over 6 months), I suggest working with a certified holistic doctor or nutritionist to correct those imbalances.

A Final Thought on Nutrient Supplementation

“I need to have 3 cups of bone broth today, because it is healing for my body,” sounds much better than “1 cup of bone broth usually equals 600 mg of magnesium, so I need 3 cups to equal the RDA of 1800 mg.” [Don’t go by those numbers. I made them up out of whole cloth.]

The point is think of supplementing as additional nourishing foods and not numbers. This will give you a healthier relationship to food.

For the most part, you don’t need to analyze each food to know the exact nutrients it contains unless you are dealing with specific deficiencies that need to be treated. Even when this is the case, you should still think of the extra nutrients as a second cup of rose hips tea after a stressful day or an extra spoonful of cod liver oil to ward off a cold.

Don’t think of nutrients as some goal number that the government has deemed the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). It further removes our real relationship to food.

Nutrients – mainly protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals – are the fuel and tools that our bodies use to support and repair themselves. Think of them as the FOODS YOU NEED TO EAT.

A synthetic multivitamin washed down with coffee and a pastry does not provide fuel your body and will definitely not maintain it.

Speak to a licensed practitioner skilled in holistic nutrition (whole-listic: an important distinction from the practice of Western medicine) for those with compromised organ function or a specialized health concern like pregnancy, nursing, or severe illness. Special care needs to be taken in certain health cases.

This post is part of Allergy-Free Wednesdays

Photo Credit: colindunndani m.


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

14 thoughts on “Healing Food Allergies and Chronic Illnesses: Baby Step # 6 |Real Food Supplements|”

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  • I loved the bit about expensive, neon pee. It made me LOL. I just read that bit in the GAPS book. Thank you for your posts. I find them helpful.

    • It makes me shake my head that I did it for so many years! “Oh, I must not need those vitamins if my body is flushing them out.” :head smack:

      I’m glad the posts are helping! You are on your way mama. 🙂

  • I found your website today and I am really enjoying it! One question though, I believe in the importance of Iodine in a diet, but have some concerns about where it is being sourced. I am allergic to seafood (think anaphylaxis) but seaweed is ok. However, with the nuclear disaster in Japan, facts are coming to light that the Pacific Ocean is highly contaminated. What are your current thoughts on Pacic Ocean products? How else can get Iodine?

    • Even for those with good detoxification systems, I’m concerned with the amount of radiation that is coming from Japan. Right now, I source my seaweed from inland Canadian lakes (purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs) and supplement with Lugol’s solution.

    • Without a practitioner providing your personalized dose, I would recommend following the package directions. An omega 3-6-9 supplement isn’t needed by most people, because we usually get plenty of omega 6 and 9 fats in our diet. Including more fish, especially small fish like sardines and anchovies, pasture-raised and 100% grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised organic poultry in your diet will increase your omega 3s through food. If you need a targeted source, a fish oil supplement is a good choice. Check your bottle of cod liver oil to see if the dose is high enough for your needs.

      Higher levels of K-2 will come through high vitamin butter oil, organ meats, pastured poultry and eggs, and hard cheeses, or a supplement. When Vitamin D levels are low, as much sunshine as possible (even in winter), mineral balancing, and a supplement are usually in order.

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