health and nutrition

6 supplements you should take every day

It’s no secret that supplements are necessary for optimal health.  Even if you are a super clean eating machine, you’re still not getting everything you need.  The best way to figure out what you are deficient in is by having a Micronutrient Test performed, which you can order online and send to the lab for results.  I definitely recommend everyone having this test done to see what their body is low in.

My daughter told me one time, “mom you take A LOT of pills.”  Unfortunately for me, she said this in front of another parent at her cheerleading practice and I’m pretty sure “mom you take a LOT of pills” sounds bad.  Of course, I rushed to correct her with “yes, mom really loves her vitamins and supplements” followed by an awkward, nervous laugh.  She’s right, though!  For many years I have been fascinated by nutrition and a bit obsessive about my supplements.

Here are 6 everyone should take, no matter who you are:

Multivitamin

This one is an easy no-brainer.  Cover your bases with a high quality multivitamin but pay attention to the label.  You’ll notice that a multivitamin can’t give you everything you need – supplement accordingly.

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is crucial for cell growth, bone health and immune system function, yet most Americans are deficient.  Signs you may be deficient: low bone density, fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, anxiety and depression.  Your body can make its own vitamin D with the help of sunshine, so make sure you get about 20 of direct skin contact a day with the sun.  Supplement by taking at least 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily.

B Complex 

This supplement offers you all of the known essential water-soluble vitamins except for vitamin C. These include thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12).  Since B vitamins play such a huge role in our energy levels, signs you might be deficient are weakness, fatigue, confusion and numbness or tingling sensations.  B vitamins are important for energy, mood, sleep, nerve function, detoxification, digestion, heart health, and more.

Magnesium

Once again, most people are deficient in magnesium, which can cause big problems.  Signs you may be deficient: muscle cramping, migraine headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and weakness.  Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for heart health; it is actually given via an IV after someone has a heart attack to increase their chances of living.  It also triggers the release of a fat burning hormone, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.  When shopping for a magnesium supplement, look for citrate, malate, orotate, glycinate (avoid oxide form, which is poorly absorbed).  Another way to absorb magnesium is through a long soak in the bath with Epsom salts or magnesium flakes.

Omega-3s

Omega 3 fats are important for healthy brain function, to support a balanced mood, for heart health and inflammation reduction (think heart disease and arthritis).  Make sure the Omega-3 you are buying is certified mercury-free, since the oil is sourced from fish.  Fatty fish is a great way to supplement without a capsule and another great source is chia seeds!  Omega 3 deficiencies are usually spotted in skin, hair and nail problems (“chicken skin” bumps on arms, brittle nails) inflammation and anxiety.

Probiotics

We are made up of 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, so technically we are more bacterial than human.  Bacteria play an extremely important role in our metabolism, digestive and immune system health so maintaining the right balance is so important.  We need to have about 20 times the amount of beneficial bacteria versus harmful, but where can you find good bacteria? You can find them in fermented foods like kombucha, kimchee, sauerkraut and yogurt.  Americans typically do not consume very many fermented foods (unlike many other countries) so it is important to supplement.

I don’t take all of my supplements in the morning (magnesium before bed actually helps me to sleep) but most of them.  There is a bit of a science to getting maximum absorption of different vitamins and minerals.  In this list, you should follow this rule:

with breakfast:

  • multivitamin
  • Omega-3
  • B Complex
  • Vitamin D

before bed:

  • magnesium
  • probiotics

When choosing supplements, make sure you opt for high quality.  That is really key.  For an easy way to get your daily probiotics, I recommend OLLY Quick Melt Probiotic Sticks which contain four of the most beneficial probiotic strains available:

The Regulator (aka Bifidobacterium Lactis HN019) for digestion, The Booster (aka Bifidobacterium Lactis BL04) which boosts the body’s natural defenses, The Multitasker (aka Lactobacillus Acidophilus NCFM) that helps support both digestive and immune health and The Superstar (aka Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG) one of the most studied probiotics in the world.

Each single-serving stick is packed with 10 billion live cultures. They are easy to take and very portable, making OLLY Quick Melt Probiotic Sticks an easy to be good to your gut whether you’re at home or on the go. Since they do actually taste good, adults and kids alike won’t mind getting their daily probiotics.  For a limited amount of time, OLLY Nutrition is offering free samples – for your free sample, head here!

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