Take your vitamins

Jessica Sprowl

Students can use supplements to take precautions against winter sickness

There are so many vitamins and herbs out there, it may be difficult for people to decide which ones to use.

Gina Krieger, co-owner of Seven Grains, an all-organic food store in Akron, does not believe people realize all the different options available. And many believe their diet is already healthy enough.

“They (vitamins and herbs) are important to us because we no longer get the nutrients we need anymore from our food,” she said.

Most people do not eat right and do not realize it, Krieger said. Antioxidants are the natural way for plants to ward off insects. When plants are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides over and over again the plants will not produce antioxidants anymore.

“What most people need is an all-natural, basic, multi-vitamin,” she said.

Krieger also said she believes most people do not realize the difference between all-natural vitamins and synthetic vitamins.

“Synthetic vitamins are cheap for a reason,” she said. “You really don’t get anything from them.”

The synthetic vitamins are created in a lab, and the body cannot recognize them. Because the body cannot recognize the synthetic vitamins, they will not be broken down and utilized successfully, she said.

Mac Holbert, owner of House of Herbs in Barberton, also believes synthetic vitamins are not as good as all-natural vitamins.

“If you cannot pronounce the ingredients on the back of the vitamin bottle, they are probably synthetic,” Holbert said.

Then there are USP food-based vitamins, Krieger said. USP food-based vitamins are all natural and are mixed with a base of “greens.” Greens are anything high in chlorophyll.

The best vitamins to take, however, are whole food derived vitamins, Krieger said.

“Whole food vitamins are literally extracted from a food source. They (whole food vitamins) are nine times more potent than a USP vitamin,” Krieger said. “And they can be taken on an empty stomach because it is just like a real meal, unlike other vitamins.”

What most young adults need more than anything, though, is protein, fiber and more water, Krieger said. Also, taking extra vitamin B will help relieve stress.

Krieger believes one of the most helpful herbs for someone to take is andrographis. Andrographis is a Chinese herb that is great for the immune system, and unlike other herbs it cannot be taken on a regular basis. The herb can be taken every day without breaks in between.

If anyone wants to find out what is lacking in his or her diet, just go into any health store and ask, Holbert said.

“All vitamins and herbs have a purpose. They’re just for different things,” Holbert said.

To be healthy, Holbert said everyone must still eat and sleep right.

“There’s no magic pill for any problem,” he said.

Contact features correspondent Jessica Sprowl at [email protected].