Navigating Supplements (Part 1)

There is SO much buzz on every media outlet about supplements.  Honestly, the most important thing to know is that supplements should, well supplement your existing nutrition.  No supplement should take the place of real food; your body needs the nutrients from natural, real foods.  

Which supplements are the most important?  How do I know which ones I should take?  Believe me, it can definitely be overwhelming!  And there is no one set answer for every person.  Adding supplements to your plan will depend solely on YOU – your goals, current health condition, current fitness level, etc.  Let’s look at a few basic supplements that everyone should consider adding, according to the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Health, just to name a few!   

1. Multi Vitamins:  Obviously these are most important for everyone to insure that we are making the most of our nutrition and getting all the vitamins and minerals needed.  It can get complicated due to so many brands and variations of vitamins out there.  Be sure to look at reviews and to select the formula best suited for your personal needs (age, energy level, nutritional needs).

Remember that the main purpose of a vitamin is to fill in any nutritional gaps.  There are several reasons to take a multivitamin every day:  

* They promote healthy aging;

* They are good for your heart; 

* They reduce cancer risk;

* They boost your immune system;

* They support eye health;

* They support healthier hair, nails, and skin

2. Omega 3 Fish oils:  You’re likely asking what’s all the fuss about Omega 3 fish oils? What do they do for my body?

Well, here you go!  Omega 3 fish oils are a substance that can be found in the bodies of fish. However, eating fresh fish is no longer recommended. The mercury levels that are prevalent in almost all fresh fish these days can be very detrimental to your health. However, companies have manufactured fish oil that is mercury free by processing the oils that naturally occur in the fish. Omega 3 is a type of fat that is essential for human health. Omega 3 contains two fatty acids that benefit the human body greatly, which are known as DHA and EPA. 

These fatty acids have been linked to helping prevent heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. DHA is also required by the human brain. Low levels of DHA in the brain have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and an increased chance of being stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the regular and repeated consumption of Omega 3 fish oils can greatly help affect the quality of your life for the better. 

The American Heart Association recommends the use of fish oils to help your hearts performance as long as you keep your dosage under 3 grams per day, suggesting an amount roughly between 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day. Clinical trials conducted have shown that Omega 3 fish oils can reduce cardiovascular events including heart attacks, strokes, and even death.

 Also, research has shown that fish oils can help decrease the risk of arrhythmias, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and even slightly lower blood pressure! With all these facts, there is no doubt that the regular and responsible use of Omega 3 fish oils from supplements can be of great benefit to your health.

3. Probiotics:  These are foods or supplements that actually contain living microorganisms that either improve or maintain the “good” bacteria in our bodies.   The benefits of probiotics are amazing!  Remember, gut health is essential to our overall health and wellness.

* Probiotics can help prevent or treat diarrhea caused by infections or antibiotics

* Probiotics can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome;

* They can boost our immune systems;

* They can reduce allergies and inflammation

If you suffer from any of the following, try adding a probiotic into your daily regimen:  

* allergies and asthma

* you’ve had food poisoning

* one or more mood disorders

* you’ve recently been on antibiotics

* you get sick often

* chronic skin conditions such as eczema or acne

4. Vitamin D:  Of course, we would all love the opportunity to linger outdoors and soak up all the natural Vitamin D from the sun!  Depending on our jobs, where we live, seasons and weather, this isn’t always possible.  And certainly not possible to the extent that we can absorb the amount our bodies need.  This vitamin is needed for building and maintaining healthy bones, and our bodies can only absorb calcium when Vitamin D is present.  Vitamin D also regulates many cellular functions.  A deficiency of this vitamin can cause fatigue, nausea, muscle weakness, and depression.

Always check with your physician, get a full physical and have a full panel of bloodwork done to check for deficiencies. It is a very wise investment to hire a nutitionist or personal trainer to help you figure out exaclty how best to help you reach your goals and match your nutrition and supplements to an exercise plan. I would love to help you! Please reach out to me via the Contact Me link on this site!

2 thoughts on “Navigating Supplements (Part 1)

  1. Fit Teacher Mom Post author

    Hello Ann! I have two, actually. I like AdvoCare’s, and the Florastor brand. Our pediatric gastroenterologist recommended the Florastor for kids when Daniel was little. It’s really good for adults as well



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