We live in a time where the quality of our foods decreasing, pollution is on the rise, we don’t cook at home, we don’t eat a balanced diet AND we are more stressed and getting less sleep than ever!
Daily supplements act as a way to “fill in the gaps” of our nutrition deficiencies, improve our immunity, help us with cravings and provide us with more energy.
But in a store filled with supplements, how do we prioritize what’s the most important?
First, let's get a few things straight about supplements...
1. They are not a substitute for good nutrition.
It doesn't matter the supplement, the promises they make (who's trying to sell it to you) or how much you pay for it, there isn't a supplement out there that will replace healthy eating.
They are called "supplements" for a reason.
Always start off with increasing quality veggies, fruits, complex grains and proteins (quality and sustainable if animal proteins) to get the purest forms of vitamins and minerals, then fill in the gaps aka supplement, with supplements.
2. More isn't better
You CAN overdose on vitamins and minerals.
3. If you are on medications, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR before taking supplements.
There are some that will have an effect on you with your medications and not all supplements "play" well with each other.
4. One a day vitamins aren't effective for most people
The high dose of vitamins and minerals in one a days are typically best for those who are already pretty "on it" when it comes to their nutrition and just want a "top off'. The biggest flaw is that you can't possibly put all the nutrients you need in one single pill a day nor can you absorb it all at once. Multiple dose supplements taken at different times of the day are much better for time release during the day and for absorption in general.
5. All vitamins are created equal.
NOPE! Many lower quality multivitamins are comprised of a lot of fillers and colors, and there is a huuuge difference in how the vitamin and minerals are comprised and extracted (synthetic vs whole food) and the quality of those ingredients.
Now that's cleared up, what are the most important supplements to take?
Luckily, you don't need an arsenal for good health, you just need 2 important ones to start (remember to check with your doctor first before taking any supplements!). Here's what I recommend.
Whole Food Multivitamin: To ensure that the ingredients are coming from as close to nature as possible, choose a whole food multivitamin. Because the vitamins and minerals are coming from whole foods, these supplements contain the most complete sources of nutrients for your body, work better with your body for absorption, and are also easy on the stomach. You can take them without food in the morning with no issues!
What to look for:
Omega 3 fatty acid/Fish Oil: Most of us don’t eat the required 2 meals per week of a wild caught fatty fish to get our Omega 3’s through foods. Vegetarian/Vegans have to plan carefully to get in Omegas from flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, winter squash and seaweed. We don’t just need Omega 3’s but also DHA, which are found in most fish and seaweed. Omega 3 with DHA has been shown to help with cardiovascular risks, metabolism/fat loss, hypertension, arthritis, stroke, prostate cancer prevention, and Alzheimer’s.
What to look for:
That's it for your top priorities. These two should cost you less than $50/mo. Remember you are paying for quality!
In the next post, I'll go over additional supplements that are great to take as well!
Please leave any questions or comments below!
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