If you’ve been reading the blog for some time, you’ll know I’m not at all a fan of typical multivitamin supplements. Namely because of what is in them, specifically the folic acid, vitamin D, iron, vitamin A, and beta carotene (but you can read all the specifics of why here). Synthetic supplements have a very poor track record proving positive user benefit, making your monetary investment a real waste.
So why not instead invest in specific real foods that contain a wide variety of real food nutrition?
Today I’m sharing one of my favorites, and it’s super easy to make. I mean, did you know you can put herbs in a fresh press, add water and drink the next day to improve your health? This type of strong tea left to steep for many hours is called an infusion and can be used like a daily multivitamin, made from REAL food!
This simple recipe starts with dried nettle leaf (like this) and oatstraw (like this). Simply combine about 1/2 cup of each herb into a 3-6 cup french press or large mason jar. Pour 3-4 cups boiling water over the dried herbs and leave for 8-12 hours (or overnight). Consume the next day or within 24 hours to get the benefits of this food sourced liquid multivitamin! Oh, and watch out– whole food nutrients are MUCH more potent than synthetic vitamins will ever be!
Nutrition Facts from Susun Weed:
Oatstraw– “Reduces high cholesterol, increases libido, and strengthens the nerves. A cup of oatstraw infusion contains more than 300 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of many other minerals. Its steroidal saponins nourish the pancreas and liver, improving digestion and stabilizing moods. Oatstraw is best known however for its ability to enhance libido and mellow the mood. Do be careful whom you share it with, or you may find yourself sowing some wild oats. In Ayurvedic medicine, oatstraw is considered the finest of all longevity tonics” (S. Weed, 2002).
Nettles– “Builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you’ll jump up and exercise” ( S. Weed, 2002).
Skip The Multivitamin, Choose Real Food Instead
According to a 2013 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the debate about supplements should be over:
“In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.” 
A 2007 study in JAMA had similar findings:
“Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.” 
Stop taking supplements that you don’t need
Instead, we collect data on their own nutrient levels and use a combination of food and food-sourced supplementation (with tiny doses!) whenever possible to support any identified deficiencies. And then let your otherwise healthy diet do the rest of the work.
Here’s a few other tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid GMOs and non-organic foods that are contaminated with herbicides that are known to chelate mineral levels (specifically iron, cobalt, molybdenum, and copper) . Eating organic and avoiding GMOs is the best way to reduce your intake of synthetic herbicides like Glyphosate.
- Use testing to identify any nutritional deficiencies and use food + very small amounts of supplementation if needed for short periods of time to address any deficiencies.
- Always listen to your body in the process and pay attention to how you feel whenever you introduce new foods or supplements.
Ready to get your own custom food + supplement plan? Click here to get started.
Weed, Susun S. “Healthy Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way.” Menopause-metamorphosis.com. Susun Weed & Ash Tree Publishing, 2002. Web. 20 May 2012.