'Should I be taking supplements?' - is a common question I get asked very often, and the answer always depends on a variety of factors.
It depends on the current state of your health, your unique nutritional needs, concerns, diet and lifestyle.
Men and women have different needs. A woman in her 20's has different concerns than a women in her 60's. Vegetarians will need different supplements to omnivores. And people who live in sunny parts of the world will have different requirements than those who spends most time indoors under artificial lights... etc.
However, there are some basic nutritional requirements that most of us need, regardless of our bio-individuality. Although the ideal way to get these nutrients is through a wide variety of food, in our modern life it is often difficult to consume all the necessary daily requirements. This is why supplementation can be very helpful in filling these nutritional gaps.
So here's a few supplements that that are generally recommended for most of us:
Vitamineral green. This is one of my favorite supplements because it is actually a food, not a supplement. This product in particular contains a potent combination of nature’s most healing, nutritious and cleansing foods.
A generous tablespoon mixed with 1/4 c coconut water + 1/4 water will provide the body a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chlorophyl and many more nutrients.
Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid that we can only get trough food, typically fish and other sea food. Omega 3 contributes to the reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimers & arthritis. It also provides incredible benefits for the heart and the brain.
Choose krill oil or fish oil from high quality brands that have high purity standards to avoid mercury and other contaminants. Check the label - it must provide EPA and DHA.
Vitamin D3, the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because sun is the best source of it. Since many of us spend long winters indoors and summers covered in sunscreen, we are generally deficient. Even if we are exposed to the sun without protection, it is usually not enough. D3 is responsible of hundreds of functions in the body and it’s deficiency is associated with cancer, depression, obesity, premature aging, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, infertility and other health issues.
It is highly recommended to take a high quality supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) - check this one here.
Vitamin B12 is an essential component of blood formation, DNA synthesis and the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and it is ONLY found in animal products. B12 deficiency consequences may range from weakness, fatigue, anemia, to memory loss and other neurological problems. B12 deficiency can be caused by a vegan or vegetarian diet, leaky gut or damaged stomach lining, alcohol, and long term use of drugs/pharmaceuticals.
B12 deficiency can be prevented by eating enough animal products. If you are a vegan,vegetarian or you have some of these symptoms consider taking vitamin B12 supplements in the form of methylcobalamin.
Probiotics, the friendly bacteria that populate our gut. These guys have the crucial job to boost our immune system, detox the body, absorb minerals, improve mood and mental health. The best way to keep your little friends happy is through fermented foods. If this is not possible for you, or you have taken many antibiotics in your life (which have wiped off all bacteria, good and bad) you need to repopulate with the friendly bacteria your body needs though a probiotic supplement.
Choose one that contains at least ‘ billions’ of cells like this one.
That supplements are not substitutes for the whole foods that contain them. They should be taken to fill in the daily nutritional requirements and to compensate for the challenges that come up in our modern lives - such as contaminated fish, vegetarianism, mineral-deficient soils, traveling, eating out too often, etc.
A few notes when considering supplements:
- Supplements are not created equal. Many of them out there are too processed and made from poor quality ingredients such as synthetic colors, flavors, binders, fillers and other additives. Choose plant/food based supplements with as few ingredients as possible.
- Buy from high-end health food stores.
- Choose high quality, organic, non-GMO, food-based supplements. This is an investment in your health so this not the place to go cheap.
- Some brands I like are Garden of Life, Carlson, Jarrow, Rainbow light, Health Force, Flora and New Chapter.
- Consider taking some blood tests to asses your deficiencies so you can supplement efficiently.
- Consider talking to a health coach to assess your current diet and lifestyle to find the gaps that need to be filled and get a supplement plan specific just for YOU. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk ;)
This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.