The 5 Supplements Everyone Should Be Taking
Everyone? Yes, everyone.
I recommend these big 5 to ninety-nine percent of every client that I work with - and for a good reason!
Why do I recommend supplements? Because our food isn't nearly as nutrient dense as it used to be. True organic food is hard to come by nowadays with cross-pollination and GMOs. Decades ago, our soil used to be richer in nutrients, but with our modern agricultural methods, we have stripped a bulk of those nutrients from both the soil and the food that we eat.
Every once in a while I will get individuals who argue with me about taking them because they believe we should be able to obtain everything we need from food alone. And I agree! I wish it was easier than it sounded, but it is tough to get all of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from food alone without some help from our supplement friends. A better way of thinking about supplements is to consider them the food gap fillers. If we're eating the healthiest diets we possibly can (which I hope you are!), they should act as the buffers to top off your micronutrient cup.
Supplement # 1 - Probiotics
Good ole' probiotics. My favourite - no really, if you want a bloat free belly, you'll want to keep a bottle of these gems in your purse. Forget the lipgloss, helloooo probiotics :)
Probiotics is a term that is starting to get tossed around more frequently and more and more people are starting to open up to the idea or taking them. Finally! Probiotics should be your go to supplement for almost everything.
- Gut issues? Probiotics.
- Breakouts? Probiotics.
- Bloated stomach? Probiotics.
- Sugar cravings? Probiotics.
You get the point, they're important. Probiotics are live microorganisms that we take in either through fermented foods or supplements. They help to balance the friendly bacteria found in your digestive tract and healthy levels of the bacteria. If you're lacking gut loving bacteria, you're likely experiencing digestive issues like bloating, gas, allergies, food sensitivities and suffering from breakouts. None of that sounds like fun.... So, let's change it!
I personally take a probiotic with a number lower colony forming units (CFU's) because I eat fermented foods on the regular. I like to rotate between a few brands to change up the CFU's, bacteria strains and to test our new brands (for you guys!).
Here are my go-to probiotics brands depending on the purpose I am using them for. If you're someone who has been on copious rounds of antibiotics, I recommend supplementing with a higher CFU probiotic, but if you're in need of an everyday probiotic and eat fermented foods regularly, save your pennies and choose a brand with a count ranging from 5-10 billion. Follow the instructions on your label for the dosage and timing of your probiotic - I recommend taking it on an empty stomach right before breakfast or at the end of the evening
Supplement #2 - Magnesium Glycinate
Did you guess it? Good. Magnesium is second on my recommendation list as there are very few people getting enough of this micronutrient in their diet. Nearly eighty-percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. That's crazy!
I recommend taking magnesium glycinate over a citrate, malate or oxide as it is more bio available and easier to absorb and uptake. Start by taking 150-450 mg and hour or two before bed. Supplement on the higher end if you are an athlete, suffering from insomnia or muscle aches, spasms or cramps.
I love Pure Labs Magnesium Glycinate as it's local to Ottawa and free of fillers.
Supplement #3 - Vitamin D
Now vitamin D is a seasonal supplement that I take on and off. We get far more sunshine in the summer than we do in the winter. Thankfully we have a few hot and sunny days every once in a while here in Ottawa, but on the other hand we also have some nasty dark and cold winters. I do my best to spend at least 15 minutes outside in the sun on a daily basis to produce vitamin D. If you tend to spend most of your time indoors or cooped up during the winter months, I strongly recommend starting to supplement as low levels of vitamin D have been linked to weight gain, depression, restless sleep, fatigue and joint pain.
Vitamin D is one of our fat soluble vitamins which means that we need some help from healthy fats to fully absorb the micronutrient. When shopping for a vitamin D, make sure that it is mixed with either coconut oil, medium chain triglycerides or another healthy fat in order to uptake the vitamin D properly.
Supplement #4 - omgea 3
Yeah, yeah Lindsay, I get my omega's from my salmon..... My response, "and that's a great start." Omega 3's fight inflammation and can be found in fish, fish oil, flaxseeds...etc. You might recognize them by the name of ALA, EPA & DHA. Our bodies cannot make ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and therefore have to get it from our food. We can however convert some ALA into EPA (eicosapentaeonic acid) but we still need to make sure that we are getting both EPA & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from our diet. So in addition to eating fish, nuts, seeds and eggs, I recommend taking an omega-3 supplement. These inflammation fighting foods help to lubricate joints, fight depression and improve memory and cognitive function. Yep, they do all that!
Supplement #5 - Greens Powder
Don't worry, I'm ready for the comments arguing about this recommendation, but hear me out. I want to go back to the point I made earlier about these supplements being the nutrient fillers that we use to fill in the gaps in our already clean diets filled whole foods, clean proteins and healthy fats. Consider your greens powder your energy supplement. First off, it's packed with rich, colourful, anti-inflammatory superfoods such as kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, wheat grass, spirulina and so many more. If you're not already besties with your broccoli and greens, you'll want to make sure that you're sneaking a scoop of greens into your smoothies or water in the morning.