As a practitioner, I typically avoid giving supplement recommendations until I know a person, their health history, and their individual needs.
But I’ve often been asked by people if there are some universal supplement recommendations, a few things that I think almost everyone should take.
And in my practice, I find myself recommending some of the same basic supplements over and over because the vast majority of people need and will benefit from them.
So, I thought I’d make this great information public and share the love! Here are my four supplements (almost) everyone should take!
One of the scariest issues facing modern Americans is our high risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other “modern” health conditions. Despite what you may have been told, these have only a little to do with your genetics and a LOT to do with your diet.
One reason for the major uptick in cardiovascular illness in the United States is the rise in chronic inflammation. Some inflammation (like when you break a bone) is a good thing, but most Americans, especially those who are overweight, are what we call chronically inflamed, which means their bodies are in a state of high alert all the time.
This chronic inflammation damages the body, and as a result issues like insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure follow.
One of the reasons for chronic inflammation is a lopsided intake of fats. There are many kinds of fat, but the ones we care about for this explanation are the unsaturated fats. In each unsaturated fat there are Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Both of these are important in the diet, but the ratio matters. What we currently find is that most Americans eat A LOT of Omega 6 and very little Omega 3.
Why? Because we all switched to vegetable oils! We were told that canola oil, vegetable oil, margarine, soybean, peanut, and corn oils were healthier choices for our heart than saturated fats. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Now every restaurant you eat at, every processed food you buy has these Omega 6 fats.
The best source of Omega 3 fats is from fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Most of us don’t eat nearly enough of these to combat the massive amounts of vegetable oil we take in from restaurant and processed food, and maybe even food we cook at home.
That’s why I always recommend a quality fish oil product to my clients. Fish oils contain EPA and DHA, which you will see on the bottle. Ideally, you will look for a fish oil that contains at least 750 mg of EPA in your daily serving. At my office we sell a fish oil that we’ve formulated ourselves and is highly pure. If you can’t make it here, I like this fish oil you can purchase on Amazon.
70% of our immune system lives in the gut. That’s why we call it the center of your health. Most of us don’t eat enough fiber, vegetables, or fermented foods to take care of our guts. To top it off, we often consume too much sugar, processed food, diet sodas and fried foods that mess with the balance of our guts. Many of us struggle with diarrhea or constipation due to food sensitivities or other reasons, and most of us have been exposed to antibiotics that kill both good and bad bacteria.
To combat this we need to be taking a daily probiotic. There’s various kinds and some are stronger than others. For my clients with minimal or no digestive issues who just need a basic daily support, I use ProbioMax Daily, which we sell in the shop and isn’t available online. For those of you who can’t make it to the store, this is a comparable probiotic on Amazon.
For those with more digestive issues, a higher quality more therapeutic probiotic is in order. This is needed in conjunction with other nutrition services and changes.
Especially with fall and winter on the way, a good Vitamin D3 supplement is important for your overall health. Check out my post on boosting the immune system (find it here) to find out how Vitamin D plays a major role in our overall health.
Suffice it to say that without adequate Vitamin D levels we are much more likely to get sick and stay sick longer. If you’re the person who always catches what is going around, it might be worth considering adding Vitamin D to your supplement regimen.
We get Vitamin D primarily from direct sunlight. If you wear sunscreen, spend most of your time indoors, or don’t get 30 minutes of direct sunlight to a large portion of your body everyday, you may be deficient in Vitamin D.
Continuing to take Vitamin D as Vitamin D3 every day will help keep you from getting sick with colds, the flu, and upper respiratory illness. We sell Vitamin D in our shop in several forms, including liquid drops you can add to anything. Here’s a Vitamin D product I like that also includes Vitamins A and K2, two compounds necessary for Vitamin D to be properly absorbed.
On another note, if you take a multivitamin, which I mention below, check to be sure it doesn’t also contain D3. If it does, you may be getting too much so check with your nutritionist.
Last but certainly not least, the humble multivitamin! Multivitamins have gotten a bad rap over the last few years, but I think that’s undeserved. A good multivitamin simply helps bridge the nutritional gaps we naturally create in American diets.
Our soil doesn’t contain the same nutrients it once did, which means our food doesn’t either. Add to that the fact that most of us don’t meet our daily allotment of vegetables and good fats and it is very likely we aren’t getting all the nutrients we need.
With multivitamins the emphasis has to be on quality. This is something you are taking everyday and is providing the nutrients you need to bridge the gaps in your diet. You don’t want it to pass right through you. And in many cases, you get what you pay for. This goes for all supplements.