If you were at my house in the morning, you’d see me organizing and sorting supplements into piles for myself and my kids. It looks like a pharmacy on my kitchen counter in the midst of breakfast. And if we go out of town for a few days, you’d better believe I’m packing these little gems and sorting them into containers for each of us.
For me, I try to make sure I’m getting a majority of my nutrition and vitamins from my food. But sometimes, it doesn’t happen to the level I want, or I know I could benefit from a little bit more in a particular area. For me personally, calcium is a big area I miss out on as a lot of my diary is limited. I get calcium from other sources, but a supplement really helps if I go through a period of eating little to no dairy. Supplements are a great way to fill in a few of the missing nutrients that you may not be getting on a regular basis.
Plus as we age, our bodies may need a bit more of different vitamins or minerals. There are also some added lifestyle benefits to many of these as well. Some supplements will aid in your sleep health as well as the health and appearance of your skin.
The important thing to remember is that not all supplements are created equal. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals on the market and some contain more fillers and less of the good stuff. Do your research before you buy, and even consult a nutritionist, naturopath or doctor if you’re having trouble knowing what to look for.
Below are some of the best supplements you can take to enhance an already healthy lifestyle:
Probiotics were added to our daily routine a few years ago after a nasty winter of antibiotics for my then two year old. We needed to rebuild the good bacteria in her gut and we never stopped using them after that.
Probiotics are important for the health of the gut and the immune system in general (Study about Probiotics). They keep the good bacteria flourishing, which prevents the intestines from digestive problems as well.
There have also been links to probiotic supplements and the link between gut health to our mood and mental health. (Probiotics affects on mood and mental health)
While probiotics is widely used for improving the health of our internal digestion, it is also being used more in athletes to promote endurance during training (Probiotics and athletics).
Eating fermented foods and yogurts can help increase your natural intake of probiotics, but you can also find high quality supplements as well.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are pretty well known around the health world. They’re known to be a great addition to your daily supplements as most of us probably don’t eat enough foods that contain these Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
There are so many benefits to taking these supplements for both your body and brain. In fact many of the benefits have been studied and researched, so the evidence is backed by science.
Look for a high quality Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, which can make call the difference.
But if you’re looking to add a bit more to improve sleep or reduce inflammation, finding a high quality supplement can really help.
There are several different types of vitamin B complexes out there. B12 is naturally found in animal products and so many of us don’t get this vitamin enough in our diet. Our bodies also does not produce this vitamin on its own, which is one of the reasons it is supplemented.
Vitamin B12 is great for bone health, especially for women. It may even prevent osteoporosis. (Vitamin B12 for bone health) (Vitamin B12 for Osteoporosis) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12612156) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15619681).
It’s also an excellent way to support your hair, skin and nails. (Vitamin B12 for Skin) And let’s be honest, who can’t use that!? Studies have shown, however that if you already eat a well-balanced, nourishing diet, you’re unlikely to see any improvement to your skin, nail strength or hair health when taking Vitamin B12. (Vitamin B12 for Hair & Nails)
Another added benefit is that VitaminB12 is great for a boost of energy in the morning. (Vitamin B12 for Energy) B12 doesn’t necessarily give you prolonged energy, but a burst of energy as it’s ingested. It doesn’t store any energy in your body and is water soluble, so it travels rather quickly. But it may be good to give you a morning boost.
And how about a mood boost? Vitamin B12 plays a very important role in metabolizing and disbursing serotonin throughout your body. Typically, decreased serotonin production is correlated with a depressed mood. By increasing production with the help of B12, it can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. (Vitamin B12 for Depression)
But it’s important to remember that if you are on a strict vegan diet or eat little to no animal products, you may be missing out on this important vitamin. That’s when supplementing is a great idea.
Good old Vitamin D -- it’s nature’s cure for everything, right? As a Minnesotan, we definitely supplement Vitamin D in the winter. While we still get outside in the cold and snowy months, I want to make sure that the lack of sunlight and more time indoors isn’t affecting our bodies.
During cold and flu season is when our bodies need Vitamin D the most in order to support a healthy immune function. A study showed that just supplementing Vitamin D in children for 4 months during the winter reduced their risk of Influenza A by over 40 percent (Vitamin D for Influenza).
That reason alone is enough for me to supplement it for the whole family. But Vitamin D has other benefits as well. It’s also important for healthy bones (when paired with calcium). It can prevent osteoporosis.
Another reason you might want to add Vitamin D to your mix is that it helps regulate emotions and mood and can help with anxiety and depression. (Vitamin D for Anxiety).
Finally, it’s also been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Multiple Sclerosis (Vitamin D for Multiple Sclerosis) and heart disease (Vitamin D for Heart Disease) are two in particular.
While a healthy diet is really the most important, it may be worth it to add a few supplements into your routine to fill in the gaps. What supplements do you take?
Seeking a balanced life through healthy living and a healthy environment
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