Whether you think you have a healthy, nutritious diet or not, you can likely benefit from incorporating a few supplements into your daily routine. They can help fill in the gaps in your nutrition, and make sure your body has all the vitamins and minerals it needs to perform at it’s best!
Here are the four types of supplements you should consider incorporating into your regimen everyday.
Your body needs roughly 40 different micronutrients to function optimally, which includes various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are found in varying degrees in different types of whole foods, which is why it’s so important to have a diverse diet rich in real foods (such as vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein and eggs, and healthy fats).
However, for most people, it’s difficult to get enough of all these different types of whole foods into your diet, which is why we believe nearly everyone can benefit from a high-quality multivitamin. Of course, a multivitamin should not replace a healthy diet, only fill in the gaps!
How to choose a multivitamin:
Go for one made from whole foods (otherwise, it’s likely made from synthetic, lab-created ingredients). It will indicate “plant sourced” or “whole food based” on the label. We really like mykind Organics Organic Plant Calcium by Garden of Life as well as Summit Organics (from the June 2018 CLEAN.FIT box).
Avoid those with more than 100% daily value of most vitamins (except maybe vitamin C) - your body can’t absorb more than a certain amount of most vitamins at a time, and too much in some cases can be toxic.
As always, read your labels! Try to avoid fillers/binders such as magnesium stearate, stearic acid, potassium sorbate, titanium dioxide, or carrageenan.
More and more evidence shows that overall health is determined by the balance (or imbalance) of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotic supplements contain strains of live, “good” bacteria, and benefits of taking them include: boosting immunity, helping with digestion, promoting good skin health, preventing allergies, and much more.
It’s important to note that you should ideally also be taking prebiotics - which are essentially food for the good bacteria.
How to choose a probiotic supplement:
It’s important to make sure the bacteria inside is still “alive” - so the probiotics found in the refrigerated section at your grocery or health food store are generally ideal, although there are other shelf-stable ones that are good too (such as Garden of Life).
You’ll see varying amounts of probiotics in different supplements (we’ve seen as high as 90 billion). There isn’t a consistent recommended amount by experts, but we suggest if you’re just starting to take them, 15-30 billion per day should be plenty.
To save money, you can look for a type that has, say, 50 billion+ per dose, but requires two capsules per dose, and just take one capsule a day! For example, Mood+ probiotics by Garden of Life.
You can get probiotics from eating fermented food as well (albeit in smaller doses) - try kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi.
You probably know calcium is important for your bone health, but did you know it’s also used by your body for important functions such as helping your heart beat, neurotransmission, and helping your blood clot? Yep, which is why it’s super important for everyone to get enough of - both men and women! Learn more about the importance (and benefits) of calcium in our recent blog post.
You can get calcium in your diet by eating leafy greens, almonds, tofu, canned sardines and salmon, figs, and beans (just to name a few), and of course - milk. That said, it’s hard to get the recommended 1,000 mg of calcium a day through diet alone, which is why a supplement is a good idea for most people.
How to choose a calcium supplement:
Go for one that comes from plant-based sources. Many of the mainstream calcium supplements are made from limestone and other rocks, and we think that the plant-based ones have the added benefit of other healthy nutrients!
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, so be sure the supplement includes it as well.
You can only absorb about 500mg of calcium at a time, so consider splitting your supplement into in a morning and evening dose.
We are HUGE fans of turmeric and all the incredible benefits it provides. The active compound in turmeric is an antioxidant called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and thus decrease the likelihood of chronic inflammatory diseases, like allergies, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and even cancer. Talk about a superfood!
How to choose a turmeric supplement:
Look for organic turmeric (or a curcumin supplement from organic turmeric). Turmeric is a root vegetable, which means that if it’s not organic, it can absorb pesticides and other ingredients from the soil.
You can easily incorporate whole-food sources of turmeric in your diet. Try replacing your morning coffee with a Goldenmilk latte, or using a liquid supplement (such as Zatik Naturals from the March box) in your morning lemon water, evening tea, salad dressings, or anything else you can think of.
Your body can absorb 2000% (!!) more cucumin when consumed with black pepper, so make sure to incorporate that as well - and look for turmeric/curcumin supplements with black pepper as well.
We are huge fans of Zyflamend - it’s daily immune boosting supplement that has turmeric as well as other superfood extracts and is incredibly powerful - Sloan Kettering hospital even gives it to cancer patients to help boost their immunity.
Important note - we aren't doctors over here, so you should chat with your medical professional before changing or starting any new health regimen. :)
Got any other supplements that you think are crucial? We’d love to hear! Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We never recommend any product that we haven't personally tried and loved! We may, however, earn fees from qualifying purchases as part of the Amazon Associates program.