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Primal Problems and Supplements

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  • Primal Problems and Supplements

    I went primal about 3 months ago, mostly to try and gain some weight. So at first it was really great. I mean, after the 2 week wheat withdrawal, I had an upswing in appetite, my bloated stomach (which I didn't even know I had) disappeared, energy went up, and just all kinds of goodness ensued.

    Que 2 weeks ago, problems began. It just kind of started going downhill. It started with my appetite going MIA again, getting plain exhausted during the day when I haven't done much, having trouble getting out of bed, and not being able to deal with even the smallest stress very well. Then I started getting foot cramps, sometimes twice a day. And then my teeth began to really hurt every time I eat something, and even when I didn't. I figured it was my old teeth sensitivity (which I had not had in years). And then I started freaking out and wondering what was happening to me.
    Finally, my dad offered me a zinc and magnesium supplement one night and I felt much better the next day tooth pain wise.

    So I took myself over to my local GNC and bought a big bottle of multivitamin. I've only been on it for 3 days, but I swear it was like taking a magic pill. I just started feeling better the next day, energy, mood, APPETITE, the works.
    I should probably say here, that where I live organic and grass-fed are thin on the ground, and if I do find them, they're almost prohibitively expensive. I try to eat as healthy as possible with conventionally grown stuff (never thought I'd miss whole foods so much), and I was already taking cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements daily.

    So my question is this: Should I continue eating a strict primal diet with conventional foods that seems not to provide me with everything I need nutrient-wise and keep taking supplements with it? Or should I add things that are not so primal to it: like properly prepared legumes, non-gluten grains, etc to make up for the clearly missing minerals/vitamins I need? Because I have to say, I had not felt this awful even when I was eating a lot of grains and well prepared legumes (which despite their anti-nutrients, may have provided more nutrients than they took out?)

    Frankly, in an ideal world I'd rather be able to get my nourishment from food rather than be dependent on a bottle of multivitamin. Are there things that I should be adding to my primal diet? I already eat frequent salads, bananas, avocados, eggs, (plus the regular meats, fish & shrimp, vegetables (besides the salad stuff, mostly green beans, carrots, and potatoes), cheese, and fruit).
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  • #2
    It's going to be hard to find certain things like magnesium in real foods now. They just aren't in the soil enough to actually make it into the plants anymore. You can find them in greater quantities in certain foods, but not like they were generations ago.

    I'm all for using food to supply our needs, but I think sometimes we need to be realistic about the quality of our foods and what our needs are at the moment. Right now, you're still probably working things out in your body and doing some healing. Your needs might be higher, and I don't see a problem with using a good quality supplement. Maybe later on you won't have to, and maybe you will. It depends.

    I will probably take magnesium supplements for the rest of my life. I need a pretty good dose of it or I get migraines and nightly leg twitches. That's just how my body is now. No big deal.