Confused about vitamins? Not surprising given the overwhelming selection out there. How do you know what to give your children and what you should be taking too?? I have a basic five (and bonus ones) that I like to recommend to people to help build a strong foundation for optimal health.
- Magnesium It’s responsible for over 300 activities in our bodies. We do not get it any substantial quantity in our food anymore due to depleted soil levels. It’s particularly helpful for people who experience sleep disruption, migraines, restless leg syndrome, irritability, anxiety and muscle pain. It greatly helps with relaxation and promoting deeper sleep. People who have a quick startle reflex are often deficient in magnesium. One client’s daily leg cramps went away after two day of taking it! Too much will loosen everything up - including your bowels. I’m partial to Magnesium Glycinate because when magnesium is bound to the amino acid glycine - it’s absorption and efficacy is significantly enhanced and helps maximize the benefit.
- Vitamin D a.k.a the sunshine vitamin. It’s produced naturally in the skin when you are exposed to ultraviolet light. Supplementing vitamin D may be one of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve quality of life. Proper levels help decrease the risk of developing chronic medical conditions like brittle bones, cancer, autoimmune disorders and may help depression. In North America, vitamin D levels are quite low regardless of age, all year round. Even in the summer the average North American is not lying on the beach because we have been taught to avoid the sun. The best way to know your levels is to get a simple blood test and supplement accordingly.
- Omega-3’s your body does not make them so I firmly believe they should be supplemented across the board. Omega—3’s are healthy oils that fight inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root of many diseases including heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis and cancer. Eating lots of omega-3’s is a great idea in the form of wild salmon, sardines and anchovies. The reality is most people do not eat enough or with enough regularity. Omega-3’s can improve mood and help depression — particularly when used with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Studies have proven that Omega-3’s enhance memory and cognitive function as well. Bonus: they also help skin by improving smoothness and a healthy glow!
- Multivitamin Take a good broad spectrum multivitamin. Multi’s contain trace amounts of various vitamins and minerals that the body requires to function optimally. They are not used to treat a specific condition but act as a preventative. Your body accumulates their benefits over time. Benefits include supporting the body’s natural processes such as metabolism, liver detox, digestion, nerve transmission and cartilage maintenance. They help the body stay efficient, prevent nutrient deficiencies and support specific life stages.
- Probiotics - these friendly bacteria naturally reside in our body to help balance our gut biome. Probiotics help prevent disease by halting the spread of harmful bacteria within the gut. They also help preserve the intestinal lining and in effect, boost the immune system and aid in the digestion process. They manufacture vitamin K, B vitamins and help prevent candida overgrowth. Stress, diet, aging and many other factors contribute towards an imbalance in the gut. A high quality probiotic supplement will keep your gut working well to boost your immunity and increase your energy. Always follow an antibiotic treatment with a course of probiotics to re-establish your gut flora.
Bonus points For Taking These:
- Calcium - not just for bones and teeth..it plays many important roles in the body. It helps regulate blood pressure, nerve transmission and facilitate proper blood clotting. It also promotes fat burning and can help reduce PMS symptoms.
- B Complex - each of the B vitamins are essential for different functions - like making red blood cells, regulating sleep cycles and metabolism - so it’s important to supplement. Most people need more than a multivitamin provides depending on stress levels, energy needs or medications.
A few general notes on introducing a supplement to your daily regime.
1). Is the formula the right dose for me?
2). Am I at a specific life stage such as pregnancy or menopause? Do I need additional ingredients such as enzymes or greens?
3). what time of day do I plan on taking the supplement and does it need to be taken with or without food?
4). Am I taking the supplement regularly or occasionally/temporarily?
You can find my top picks for these products on my shop page nourishme.ca/shop.