Once upon a time, the “rule of thumb” to attain and maintain good health was to eat proper foods, get plenty of exercise and if need be, diet occasionally to make up for excesses. As technology advanced however, a variety of new products emerged (e.g. vitamins, supplements) devoted to providing minerals and nutrients for the body and this changed the equation.

The ingestion of minerals and nutrients is especially important for numerous reasons. First, in the course of life, minerals are lost in our bodies and it is critical that they be replaced for it to function properly. Second, the soil in the ground today is depleted of minerals as compared to the past.

Thus, it is imperative that we fill this nutritional void. Finally, minerals and nutrients are vital as fuel for energy, to keep our glands and organs operating optimally, to prevent premature aging - and even to keep the body beautiful.

Is it enough then for us to just to take the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients? The answer is no. Equally important is the source that they derive from. It is paramount they come from natural or organic sources, not from products that are manufactured, processed or synthetic (with additives and fillers). Those from natural sources can be easily absorbed, digested and assimilated by the body’s cells. Those from processed sources cannot.

Further, it is most helpful to begin integrating natural supplements into your diet as soon as possible - even as early at two years of age. The longer you take vitamins and minerals, the more your body will have in reserve for use. Insufficient levels of nutrients and minerals will lead to poor health on all levels; not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well. Also, when one part of the body is deficient in nutrients, it will extract them from some other part.

One of the purest forms of all natural, organic products are those made of herbs. There a myriad of supplements that are important to the health and well being of your body. A few examples, include:

• Vitamin C - This is very important for a variety of body functions. It boosts the immune system, enhances the health of your hair, nails and skin and also enhances the beauty of each of these areas. If one is just beginning a regimen of taking vitamins, minerals or nutrients, taking vitamin C is probably the best place to start.

• Iron - Taking an iron supplement is very important to women, especially in relationship to their menstrual cycle which causes a loss of a large amount of blood containing iron.

• Vitamins E, K and B12 - The female reproductive system is greatly taxed and these vitamins help to strengthen, nourish, rejuvenate and tonify the glands and organs of this system. Without nutrients to provide fuel, you may not have the energy for sex which translates in a low sex drive or poor libido as well as possibly infertility in females.

While taking supplements to provide the necessary minerals and nutrients to be body is key, it isn’t the beginning and end or what you need to attain and maintain good health. Augmenting natural supplementation with a clean, healthy diet is equally important. What should this consist of? There are many options, including the following.

A diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and seeds is one excellent plan for good health. These types of foods will provide you with a healthy balance of vital nutrients, such as minerals, trace elements, vitamins, B-vitamins, phyto-hormones, amino acids (protein), essential fatty acids among others. One other key ingredient they provide is fiber which aids in colon and intestinal health, especially peristalsis (bowel movements). Having a clean and well functioning colon is a key to good health.

You must also consider what you should avoid as well. Good examples are foods that are acidic and mucus forming. Therefore, you must avoid, whenever possible, dairy products, refined grains, processed foods or meats. It should be noted as well that meat and dairy production Is very detrimental to the earth and harms the environment. Once again, processed foods are to be avoided because they lower the body’s pH level and rob your body of what little nutrients it may have.

It is imperative that health-conscious people - who really care about their health and make it a priority in their lives - have the determination and dedication to follow through to do what is necessary to enhance and protect it.