I’ll admit, I’m not a big pill pusher.
I am wary of any health professional that pushes something on everyone, and in response to not wanting to be ‘that person’ I’ve taken a very passive approach to supplement recommendations. I also hate, hate HATE taking pills myself. It wasn’t until I was pregnant just this last year that I was able to get on a consistent supplement regimen myself! Thankfully, knowing I needed to nourish my son was enough of a motivator to get me over my aggravation of swallowing pills and get the habit going. I’ve finally gotten over it, and am able to get my daily doses most if not all days of the week. Even though I’ve not pushed them upon others, I honesty believe we all need to be supplementing our diet. My own lack of consistency and concern for appearing to be a pill-pusher led me to be quieter on the subject than I should have been. I’m just coming to realize this now.
It’s a sad truth given the state of our lifestyles and our planet that supplementation has become necessary. For more in depth reasons why I believe you should be supplementing your healthy diet, check out this post I wrote on Why You Need Supplementation. There are several supplements that I believe almost everyone needs to be taking. They are as follows:
1) Vitamin D – here’s the deal. Unless you are supplementing with Vitamin D there’s a 90% chance you are deficient. Even if you live in Florida. We are not outside often enough and liberal use of sunscreen have caused our sun-stimulated vitamin D production to drop off significantly. The foods we consume which are fortified with Vitamin D are not supplementing enough to prevent deficiency. You’ll want to ask for a Vitamin D3 test from your doctor or Naturopath to determine your levels; don’t be surprised if it’s recommended you supplement with 4,000-10,000 IUs.
2) Basic Multivitamin – Given that the topsoil is sitting at the bottom of the ocean and most fields are only fortified with a few minerals and given that we all tend to gravitate to the same ten to fifteen foods and don’t get a wide variety of foodstuffs it’s safe to say that we’re probably low on one or more nutrients supplied by a multivitamin. Don’t go out and buy a one-a-day form Costco, though. You’ll want to make sure what you are taking is actually absorbable. Choose pharmaceutical grade supplements from companies such as Thorne and Pure Encapsulations. My personal favorite is from Thorne; they supply a form of folate that is absorbed even if you have a MTHFR gene mutation (up to 60% of the US population is believed to have this mutation); ensuring your vitamin is doing all it can to stave off high homocysteine, depression, and PMS.
3)Probiotics – I personally take a high dose probiotic (25-50 billion CFU) along with regular consumption of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, etc) to keep my gut flora balanced and happy. Depending on your own digestive health and lifestyle, you may wish to do one or the other. The role of probiotics in overall health is just beginning to be explored. In the future we will be able to recommend certain gut bacteria for certain conditions; in the meantime I believe it is best to get a wide variety from many sources. Choose a probiotic with varying species and begin at 25 billion CFUs. Probiotics which are kept refrigerated are often of higher quality and viability than those stored on the shelf. If you prefer to eat your live cultures you’ll find several recipes for Kombucha here, here, and here. As I get more skilled on my kraut and cultured veggies I’ll be posting more recipes on this blog and in our newsletter.
4) Omega-3 Fats – you can choose fish oil, fermented cod oil, or krill oil. I’m not yet sold on just one. Some of my mentors believe that krill oil is better absorbed, so smaller doses can be taken (some research indicates this); others prefer krill due to the overharvesting of fish species. Fish oil is more readily available. If you have no chronic inflammation taking 2-3 grams of omega 3s from fish oil daily is a great place to start. If you have chronic inflammation you’ll want more – talk to a healthcare practitioner for appropriate dosing. If you are on blood thinners or preparing for surgery it is important to consult with a healthcare professional about your omega-3 supplementation.
5) Magnesium – like vitamin D, most of the population is magnesium deficient. Lack of green leafies and poor soil quality is, I believe, the largest contributor. 200 mg, of a chelated form of magnesium (I like magnesium glycinate) is a great place to start and will not disrupt bowels. Prepare to find yourself sleeping better and more relaxed throughout the day! Adding these to the diet can go a long way in creating a body that has all the tools it needs for abundant health. If you have any questions about these supplements or wish to have a conversation about which may be right for you comment below or consider scheduling a complimentary consultation with one of our nutrition coaches!