Vitamins and Supplements Are Just One Part of a Healthy, Balanced Life | News | San Luis Obispo


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  • BE BALANCED According to Dr. Peggy Papathakis, professor of nutrition at Cal Poly, the best way to tell if you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need is to take a look at your diet.

COVID-19 has ushered in a new wave of interest in immune system strength and health supplements – and that market is only growing.


“The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with dietary supplements witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic,” the research organization said. Fortune Business Insights find.

The market grew nearly 27% in 2020 alone, according to Fortune, and is expected to grow from nearly $72 billion in 2021 to more than $128 billion in 2028.

Whether you are an athlete looking to recover faster and achieve your fitness goals, or someone with dietary restrictions and concerned about nutrient deficiencies, supplements can benefit many people. But with all the wellness marketing campaigns trying to win over consumers, it can be difficult to analyze the ads and determine what your body will actually benefit from.

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FITNESS FOCUS Coast Nutra, which started in Santa Maria and expanded to downtown SLO, sells supplements aimed at helping people achieve their lifestyle and fitness goals.  - PHOTO COURTESY OF CÔTE NUTRA

  • Photo courtesy of Coast Nutra
  • SHAPING Coast Nutra, which started in Santa Maria and expanded into downtown SLO, sells supplements aimed at helping people achieve their lifestyle and fitness goals.

That’s part of why SLO County resident Hector Escalante Jr. opened his store, Nutra Coast: to help people make research-based, informed decisions about supplements – what Coast Nutra calls “nutraceuticals” – to achieve their fitness goals. Products offered by Coast Nutra include protein powders, green superfood supplements, and amino acids, among others.

“Supplementation is meant to be an add-on,” Escalante Jr. said. “We want customers to know that supplements alone will not get you the end result. activity levels. [and] nutrition.”

Escalante Jr. first opened Coast Nutra in Santa Maria in late 2019. The pandemic hit soon after, but that didn’t stop him from opening a second storefront in San Luis Obispo in 2021.

“Particularly during the pandemic, immunity, health and wellness have become a huge focal point,” he said. “Our counties, SLO and Santa Barbara counties, are very health-focused.”

For a holistic approach to supplementation, Coast Nutra partners with local gyms and trainers, encouraging customers to pursue an active lifestyle. The store is synonymous with transparency.

“We give full product descriptions for every product we have, with all the details. We focus on California brands, all 100% transparent, third-party tested, safe for sport,” Escalante Jr said. “We don’t integrate the big corporate brands, so there’s no commonalities [in products] between us and GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World.”

Having worked as a coach for 15 years, Escalante Jr. said that experience informs his approach.

“We focus on the goal: what are we trying to achieve and how can we contribute to it?” he said. “What did you take, in terms of products? Then we focus on the brands we offer that would be similar or better for your health, because we don’t offer brands that have fillers or proprietary blends, anything useless bric-a-brac.”

Fitness is just one niche in the supplement industry. Supplements can also be used to target nutritional deficiencies in people with certain medical conditions or dietary restrictions. But Dr. Peggy Papathakis, professor of nutrition at Cal Poly, said new times that people should focus first and foremost on what they eat.

“It totally depends on the person: stage of life, illness,” she said. “If you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and whole grains, a plant-based diet with some animal products, dairy, other proteins, there’s usually no need for a supplement. ”

But not everyone, of course, is able to eat foods from all of these categories.

“If you’re lactose intolerant and don’t consume dairy and don’t drink any of the alternative milks, calcium and vitamin D are very suitable supplements,” Papathakis said. “If you’re like me, I have osteopenia, then supplementing with calcium and vitamin D is very important.”

One of the most common deficiencies in the United States is iron, Papathakis said. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who menstruate, don’t eat meat, or donate blood frequently are most at risk of iron deficiency anemia. Blood tests can help measure iron levels.

“If you measure ferritin, your storage iron, if it was low, that would show you that you’re low in iron,” she said. “Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States – about 10 or 12 percent of the population.”

Papathakis added that many people don’t eat enough oily fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for the brain.

“It’s good for your eyes too, all your membranes,” she said. “We are made up of cells, and our cells all have membranes, and those membranes are all made up of lipids or fats.”

The easiest way to tell if you’re getting enough nutrients, Papathakis said, is to look at the quality of your diet.

“Do you eat three to four servings of fruit a day? Do you eat three or four servings of vegetables a day? Are you eating whole grains, maybe five or six servings a day? she said. “I think people who eat well feel better.” Δ

Contact editor Malea Martin at [email protected]


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