“What supplements should I be taking?” is probably the most asked question I get. Unfortunately, the answer is not as easy as listing a number of supplements. Diet, health conditions and medications can all affect what nutrients your body needs. If you have a great diet, are not taking any medications, and in good health, a few basic supplements may be all you need.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), adult Americans do not typically get enough of many nutrients including calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, D and E. This blog will address the basics, that most people can benefit from. If you have any health condition and are worried that you need something different, schedule a consult with one of our health experts. They can help pinpoint what your body needs for optimal health.
So here are 5 supplements for better health, that most people can benefit from:
Multivitamin: A good multivitamin and mineral supplement is necessary to fill in nutrient gaps. Correcting nutrient deficiencies is the first and most important step in preventative healthcare. Look for one that you can take throughout the day to maximize absorption. You use a multivitamin’s various components during the chemical reactions that occur throughout your body. So, maintaining constant levels assures a steady supply of these vital nutrients.
Bone nutrients: Calcium isn’t the only mineral that is necessary for bone health. Magnesium, vitamin D-3, boron, strontium and zinc, are also important in maintaining strong bones. Unfortunately, a multivitamin/mineral will not usually contain enough calcium to support bone health and a separate supplement is a good idea. Like the multivitamin, spread the dose throughout the day.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is integral to the health of your immune system, blood vessels, muscles and nervous systems. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, especially if you live in a northern climate or are dark-skinned. Vitamin D may also play a role in preventing certain cancers, including colon, uterine, breast and endometrial cancers.
Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital to health and are not manufactured by the body. The standard American Diet is largely devoid of these important oils. EFAs benefit many different areas of the body, such as skin and hair, bones and joints, eyes, as well as the cardiovascular and nervous systems. A deficiency or imbalance of essential fatty acids can lead to depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and inflammation of various tissues (conditions ending in –itis; i.e., arthritis).
Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that inhabit the entire digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts. Healthy bacteria aid in the absorption of nutrients, discourage bad bacterial growth, and act as part of the immune system. Imbalances in beneficial bacteria can occur from taking various medications (steroids, antibiotics and birth control pills), and also from traveling. Taking probiotics can enhance digestion, immune function, and skin health.
Photo from here, with thanks.