Yes, there are 4 supplements I think you should take.
I can hear all the excuses already.
“But Lara, I eat a super healthy diet. I juice, I eat organic and make sure I get healthy fats and protein from food in my diet.”
That’s awesome! Keep up the great work. But regardless of how clean your diet is, I still think everyone can benefit from taking 4 basic supplements everyone should take.
Before I get to the Fab Four, let me explain…
Supplements are an insurance policy. On their own they don’t guarantee health, they need to be coupled with a healthy diet and lifestyle to maximize their effectiveness. Otherwise, you’d have to measure everything you’re eating, keep track of it and make sure your’re getting enough of the dozens of vital nutrients you need to take daily.
And as if that wasn’t a big enough pain in the rump, you also couldn’t guarantee the exact values of nutrients and phytonutrients you’re getting from your food. Due to variations from one variety to another, soil quality, farming practices, transport, cooking method etc it’s difficult to verify the exact amount of each nutrient you’re getting.
Frankly, I’m not a fan of this kind of tracking. Sure, keeping a food diary can be helpful. But tracking your intake daily to this level of detail is time consuming and frustrating. Besides, your daily need can sometimes fluctuate due to changes in environment, health or other factors.
Much more practical approach is to get on a regular routine of essential, daily supplements.
Here’s my Fab Four: supplements everyone should take:
Probiotic– More and more research is emerging proving just how important proper gut bacteria balance for everything from proper digestion to immune function. Deficiency of good bacteria has been linked to increased allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease, leaky gut, brain fog, depression and dementia. Be careful when picking one up at the pharmacy- many of them have not been produced or transported in controlled temperature which could compromise the strength of the little bugs.
Multivitamin– Not all multis are created equal. Most are balanced, however many are made with ingredients that include soy, wheat, sugars, food coloring or preservatives. Some are also better than others at providing calcium, vitamin D or iron (though not everyone needs iron). Furthermore, some claim to have plant derivatives that frankly have not really been tested by any independent studies to prove that they are actually effective.
Vitamin D– Vitamin D is one of the ones we can actually make ourselves when we’re exposed to enough sunlight. Unless you’re occupation allows you to spend a lot of time outdoors, and you’re not wearing sunscreen (which is a whole other conversation we need to have!) then chances are you should up your intake with a supplement. And if you’re blessed with darker skin pigmentation then you’re especially at risk for deficiency, since people with darker complection have reduced vitamin D production. Research on Vit D in the past decade has exploded siting mechanisms attribute Vit D in immune function, neurological function, cancer prevention and dozens of other areas.
Fish oil– this one is a controversial one. For the full story on how fish oil and omega 3 fats are beneficial you can check out my blog on inflammation. Ensuring you have a healthy omega 3 to omega 6 profile is essential for reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar and preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And finding a good source is imperative. Since fish oil can be contaminated with mercury, and farmed fish can have altered fatty acid profile (meaning the omega 3/6 is imbalanced so it cause inflammation instead of preventing it) it’s vital that you choose your source carefully. Read more on this here.
Of course depending on what your lifestyle, diet, age and genetic needs may be, there might be other concerns you might need to address. For that I would suggest you speak with a nutritionist to determine a good supplement protocol.
I’m available for supplement audits by phone or Skype. Contact me to learn more and to set up an appointment.