Do I Need To Take Vitamins And Supplements...

...Even Though I Eat A Healthy Plant-Focused Diet?

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PEERtrainer Note: This is part one of an interview with Graham Rigby, Vice-President of Science and Innovation at New Chapter. We really enjoyed our conversation with him and we hope you will find this conversation informative and helpful. As always, email us with your questions and feedback.

Jackie: Hello, I'm Jackie Wicks, co-founder of PEERrainer and this is a part of our Expert Series.

We're getting more and more questions about vitamins and supplements. "Should I take them?" "Should I not?" "If I eat a diet rich in nutrients, I don't really need to be taking vitamins, do I?"

The central thing is people are confused. Even I still get confused navigating through all the different choices and especially when I'm asked to pay more. It's hard to pay more for high quality vitamins when you're not even sure why you're paying more for it.

So, we decided to reach out to one of these high quality vitamin manufacturers, New Chapter, to get some clarity on why certain vitamins are different.

Just a tiny bit of background, I was introduced to New Chapter by the folks at Whole Foods who are incredibly helpful. They're so knowledgeable. They always take the time to explain different kinds of supplements and vitamins, without that condescension I've come across in some of the health food stores.

Just the other day, I was in a local vitamin store in Boulder, because I wanted to find out more about "astragalus", an herb that someone recommended to me.

I had pronounced it wrong, because I'd only seen it in the written form and the woman that I had asked was visibly pained by my pronunciation. Visibily annoyed by my ignorance, she quickly corrected me, she laughed a little and she actually turned her attention to someone else. Now, I never get that kind of puffery at Whole Foods, which is why I love asking them for help.

So today, I'm here with Graham Rigby, he's Vice-President of Science and Innovation at New Chapter, to find out why the Whole Foods employees in the vitamin section consistently guide us to this specific brand. So, welcome Graham. It's great to have you here with us.

Graham Rigby: Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Why Do We Need Vitamins?

Jackie: So my first question, I'm just going to dive right in. Why do we need vitamins? Because that was one of the most popular ones. If I eat a diet rich in nutrients and fruits and vegetables, I eat a real deal diet not just a few servings a day. Do I still need vitamins?

Graham: That's a great question, and one that we get quite often asked at New Chapter. Why should I supplement? Certainly, New Chapter believes that a whole food diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other whole foods is clearly the foundation and the staple for optimal health, but there are certain vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that the body needs and that aren't readily available in our food supply.

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