The 4-Week Plan to Break Supplement Addiction

Stop relying on supplements to boost your energy and immune system and power up through your diet.

Posted on | By Dr. Mike Dow
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Dr. Oz Discusses Supplement Addiction (2:45)

Addicted to Supplements?

In moderation, vitamins, herbs and supplements can offer powerful health benefits. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If you’re taking too many supplements, follow these simple steps to adjust your supplement intake to a healthy level.

How many supplements or vitamins should I be taking?

Stay on any supplements or vitamins recommended by a health care professional for any conditions you may have. And, stay on up to about three extra supplements or vitamins which often includes a multivitamin and an omega-3.  Any supplements or vitamins above and beyond that are your excess vitamins or supplements.

Week 1: Reduce your excess vitamins or supplements by 25%.

Week 2: Reduce your excess vitamins or supplements by 50%.

Week 3: Reduce your excess vitamins or supplements by 75%.

Week 4: No more excess vitamins or supplements.

Replace the Feel-Good Chemicals

When looking at your list, what are the health concerns you are taking these for?  Then, start to get your needs met by getting what you need from:

  • Food
  • Exercise
  • Relationships
  • Activities

For many, the concerns are energy and immunity. Here’s an example of some foods and activities to get what you are craving in a natural way, without the cost of excess supplements. 

Immunity

  • Include one vitamin C superfood per day (e.g., kale, raspberries, strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower).
  • Include one zinc superfood per day (e.g., lentils, garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, shrimp, turkey, quinoa).

Energy

  • Include one vitamin B-12 superfood per day (e.g., eggs, sardines, salmon, tofu, milk, shrimp, yogurt, oysters, mussels, clams).
  • Include one vitamin D superfood per day (e.g., salmon, milk, sardines, tuna, eggs).
  • Include one folate superfood per day (e.g., spinach, Brussels sprouts, turnip greens, romaine, asparagus, broccoli, lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas).

Lower Your Cortisol

Do a three minute meditation, three times per day.

  • Instructions: Set a timer for three minutes. For the first part of the meditation, begin by just noticing your thoughts and feelings. What are you finding in the “stream” of your mind today? Greet whatever you find with acceptance. Next, move onto the breath. Again, just pay attention to your breath. See if you can notice every subtle sensation you find. Notice how the breath rocks you from the inside out like a mother rocks a baby. Finally, expand your awareness around your breath to simply include a sense of your physical body as a whole. Notice what it feels like to be “in” your body.  At the end of the three minutes, just notice how this quick break has dissipated stress – and therefore boosting immunity – while also boosting energy by making your more present.

In addition to this, exercise 45 minutes per day. Because nothing energizes like exercise!

This plan was created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. See how Joanne stopped her supplement addiction with these steps. Plus, try these taco-seasoned chickpeas and this energy drink to get more of your vitamins in your daily diet.

Article written by Dr. Mike Dow