What Supplements Do You Really Need?
I take supplements for that sole purpose… to supplement (not to make up for bad eating habits). I try to get as much of my nutrition from whole foods as I can. That being said, food just isn’t the same as it used to be. Even when eating a variety of clean food and healthy foods, it’s very difficult to provide our body with all the nutrients our body needs each day. But what supplements are really needed? It’s hard to sift through the barrage of articles and advertisements to figure out what we really need?
I don’t believe we really need ALL that much. Yes, there are people who are lacking particular vitamins or minerals and it’s important to talk with a nutritionist to figure out where you may be lacking. But the average person on a healthy diet doesn’t need all that much.
In order to get a little boost in the vitamins and minerals my body needs I take the following:
- 1 TBS flax seed or chia seeds (or a combo of both): I add this to my steel cut oats or my groats each morning.
- A whole food multivitamin
- Magnesium (I take this in the form of “Magnesium Calm” or as a spray when I feel like I may need it.)
- Fermented Cod Oil (a wonderful source of vitamin D and omega 3s)
Flax seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, fat, and omega 3 fatty acids. I rarely go a day without eating flax seeds if I can help it. I just make sure that the flax seeds are milled or ground. I often put whole seeds in the blender or coffee grinder, otherwise your body won’t be able to absorb them. Also, it’s best if flax seed isn’t heated (so I add it to my oatmeal or groats after it has cooled a little rather than mixing it in when it’s piping hot.)
Multivitamins: I always take whole food vitamins rather than synthetic. I like my nutrients to come from food (even in vitamin form). I recently came across the Mega Food vitamins. I switched to Mega Food from the ones I had been previously taking when I saw that the other ones contained soy.
I love that the Mega Food vitamins I take are:
- gluten free
- certified vegan (for my vegan friends)
- soy free
- dairy free
- non GMO
Magnesium: Many of us are often low in magnesium which is a mineral in the body. Our bodies need a 1:1 ration of magnesium to calcium. I get plenty of calcium from my diet but lacking in magnesium. One supplement I like to take is “Magnesium Calm“. It also helps get bowl movements going. So if you are stopped up this may be the supplement for you. I start small and slowly increase to 2 tsp at a time.
Magnesium deficiencies can cause all sorts of problems such as anxiety, muscle spasms, low energy, sleeping problems etc… Just check out this post by Wellness Momma to read about 10 signs of magnesium deficiency.
Epson salt baths are a great way to get magnesium into your body. Here is a post I wrote about how to do a nice Epson salt detox bath. But not every one has time for a nice leisurely bath every few days.
Most nights I just use my DIY magnesium “goodnight” spray. It quickly absorbs into your skin without having to take a long bath. It has just become an easy part of my bedtime routine.
Chia Seeds: I just discovered Chia seeds about three years ago and I am wondering where they have been all my life. Chia seeds have all eight essential amino acids. A 2 TBS serving of chia seeds has: 5 times the omega-3 content of a 1/4 cup of walnuts, twice the iron and magnesium as a cup of spinach, as much calcium as a half cup of milk, as much potassium as a third of a banana, and more than twice the fiber if a cup of oatmeal.
I like to add chia seeds to oatmeal, smoothies, and Greek yogurt. And here is a link to how to use whole chia seeds as an egg substitute.
Fermented Cod Oil: I take more of this supplement in the winter time because here in clod MN I don’t get out much during that time of year. I’m not exposed to the sun as much as I need to be so I am lacking vitamin D. Vitamin D is extremely beneficial supporting your body in fighting off colds and flu. Check out this article about vitamin D vs. the flu vaccine. Cod Live oil is also a wonderful source of omega 3 fats.
Oh, and one of the best ways to get probiotics is not in pill form. It’s from fermented foods!
Here are two recipes you might want to try (how I get probiotics without taking pills).
So there you have it. I don’t take any BCAAs or fat burners or much of anything else on a regular basis. Sometimes I will take Spirulina when traveling and I want to up my “greens” that I may not get much of. But otherwise I try to keep it simple and eat a variety of whole foods with lots of veggies and some fruits.
While I try to stick with whole foods. I do have a favorite whey protein powder for making shakes when on the run. Click here to read more about that if you are looking for a quality whey protein powder with no fillers or other yucky ingredients.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to comment in the section below. I am not a doctor and you should always consult a doctor when deciding to add supplements into your diet. However, I have done my research and I am here to discuss questions or concerns you may have.
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