*Before introducing any supplement to your diet, you should always consult with your doctor first.*
Ideally, one would be able to get enough vitamins and minerals from their food alone. However, given different diets, preferences, food allergies, and goals, this isn’t always possible.
Here are the supplements that I choose to add to my daily diet and why…
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Omega 3
More and more research is being published on how critical vitamin D is, and also how common deficiencies are. This is why Vitamin D is first on my list. It helps the body absorb calcium, improve bone health and may decrease chances of developing cancer, osteoporosis, MS, high blood pressure and other diseases. You can increase your intake naturally by eating egg yolks, fatty fish, fortified foods such as dairy and cereals, and getting 10 minutes of sun exposure each day.
Vitamin B complex
There are 8 different B vitamins (BI, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12), each with different effects and benefits.
- B1-Thiamine: Sometimes referred to as an “anti-stress” vitamin. It helps strengthen the immune system and breaks down carbohydrates to be used as fuel.
- B2-Riboflavin: Helps break down proteins, carbs and fats in your food so the body can use it as fuel.
- B3-Niacin: Deficiency of this vitamin can result in skin inflammation, dementia, and diarrhea. It can help treat high cholesterol by boosting HDL cholesterol (the good one!).
- B5-Pantothenic Acid: Needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- B6-Pyridoxin: Involved in the process of making serotonin (the “happy” chemical) which maintains mood balance, and norepinephrine (the “fight or flight” chemical) which helps ensures your body reacts efficiently to stress.
- B7-Biotin: Known commonly for its role in healthy hair, skin and nails.
- B9-Folate: Necessary for strong blood. Some studies have found taken before pregnancy and during early pregnancy to help reduce the chances of certain birth defects.
- B12-Cobalamin: Helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells.
Essential for the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Some research has shown the vitamin to help shorten the duration of cold symptoms if taken before the onset. Oranges, bell peppers, kale, strawberries, and kiwi are all very high in Vitamin C.
Most commonly known for its ability to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and improve cholesterol levels, but can also help decrease muscle soreness, enhances insulin levels (which improves fat burning in muscles), and speed exercise recovery. Flaxseed, fatty fish, chia seeds, and walnuts are sources of Omega 3.
We all have probiotics living in our digestive system that are necessary. Taking a probiotic supplement adds to the total count in our intestines which helps enhance immune system, prevent allergic disorders, and move food effectively through your gut. You can increase your intake of probiotics by adding foods such as yogurt, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and sauerkraut to your diet.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
Branch Chain Amino Acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are building blocks for muscle growth and repair. Some studies have shown that supplementing with BCAA’s (if on a fat loss plan) to be an effective means of preserving muscle.
Some research has found supplementing with glutamine (if on a weight training program) can help restore immune function, decrease inflammation, and accelerate muscle recovery.