I’ve had quite a few questions recently from clients about supplements. I really try hard to get most of my vitamins, minerals, etc from food sources, but there are a few things I supplement daily for various reasons. Is there actually a way to make a post about supplements entertaining? I can’t think of how to do that, because it’s pretty cut and dry, so let’s get straight to the point. Below is a list of my favorite supplements and why I take them.
Why: If I could only choose one supplement to take every day, it would be a high quality probiotic. You can get a lot of good probiotics from eating fermented foods, but because realistically, I just don’t eat kimchi or kefir every day, I choose to supplement.
Gut health is one of my very favorite areas of research (expect a full post on this soon). I’ve worked with quite a few clients who suffered from severe digestive issues, ranging from IBS to chronic heartburn and everything in between, and I’ve taken a pretty dive into this over the past few years. Restoring the gut can be life altering for some people, and I’ve seen it happen firsthand plenty of times.
Over 70% of the immune system is comprised in the gut, so keeping it healthy and balanced is critical to fighting disease and infection. it also promotes normal GI function, helps regulate metabolism, and can keep your mood upbeat! Something a lot of people don’t know is thatat least 80% of your serotonin, the neurotransmitter that keeps you feeling happy, is manufactured in the digestive tract. The condition of your gut can have a profound impact on your overall health, so taking a good probiotic is a really easy way to add good bacteria into the digestive tract.
How: I take three Garden of Eden Primal Defense capsules a day on an empty stomach, and I use a probiotic with a 5 billion CFU count, which stands for Colony Forming Units. Sounds like a big ass number, but basically quantifies the number of bacteria in each capsule - 5B is pretty low as CFU count goes but I’ve got a strong stomach and a healthy gut, so it’s enough for me, although I have some of my clients take a higher count.
What: COD LIVER OIL
Why: Yum, right? But seriously, cod liver oil is one of the most concentrated sources of Omega 3 and a rare food-based source of Vitamin D (see Vitamin D, below). Many people don’t get enough Omega 3, a fatty acid that plays a critical role in cardiovascular, immune, hormonal, reproductive, and neurological health and also reduces chronic inflammationThe list of benefits of Omega 3 is lonnnng - but some highlights are that it can help lower bad cholesterol, lower the risk of autoimmune disorders, fight inflammation, and even help regulate mood. Yes please.
How: I take two capsules of Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil a day. Tastes like fish, but it’s a small price to pay.
What: COLLAGEN POWDER
Why: Collagen is a protein made of animo acids found in the skin, and it’s super buzzy in the wellness industry right now as a supplement for being pretty. While one double blind, placebo controlled study showed that it may be beneficial to skin elasticity, the jury is still out on how effective it actually is. I’m generally not a huge fan of trendy health products (or anything promoted on the Dr Oz show), but despite being marketed as a beauty product, there have been some claims that it can help with joint pain, something I deal with from years of dance, running, and other high impact activity, so I’m giving it a shot.
How: Once scoop of Reservage Collagen Replenish Powder with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C, in liquid (usually my coffee!), once a day.
What: VITAMIND D3
Why: Vitamin D has traditionally been a somewhat overlooked compared to it's vitamin siblings, but more and more research is coming out pointing to the incredible benefits of the D (get your mind out of the gutter). It's responsible for calcium absorption, lowering blood pressure, fighting against diabetes, and can be a potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth, but most people are deficient as it’s not easily found in food. While fatty fish, egg yolk and raw milk contain a little bit of the ‘D, it mostly comes from sun exposure, which prompts our bodes to produce it. That said, I’m extra low in D3 regardless of sun exposure, so I supplement it daily (+ skin cancer runs in my family so I keep my white-ass self out of the sun as much as possible).
How: Carlson Labs Vitamin D3, 1/day.
What: MAGNESIUM CHELATE
Why: Because it's amazing if you need to chill out. But also, Magnesium is critical to overall health yet one of the most prevalent deficiencies among American adults. Low magnesium can lead to a bunch of gnarly issues such as poor digestion, poor muscle absorption, nerve problems, poor kidney function, muscles spasms, even irregular heartbeat. Taking it can help reduce anxiety, and it will help you sleep like a baby! It makes me really sleepy and relaxed - I traded in my pot for magnesium years ago and haven’t looked back. (Note: magnesium is also really well absorbed through the skin, so if you have time for an Epson salt bath, light some candles and go for it)
How: I use Source Naturals, 2/ pills with food, almost always before bed.
Note: While I am a certified nutritionist, I’m not a medical practitioner. If you feel like you may need additional supplements, I always suggest doing lab work and complimenting it with a holistic practitioner or a doctor of functional medicine. This is just my own list based on my own personal needs - we are all biologically different so what is important for me might be different for you!