“Which supplements should I be taking?” is a question i get asked ALL the time, and as a holistic nutritionist, recommending ‘good quality’ supplements is part of my job.
There are always two parts to my answer:
Let’s dive into this a little deeper.
Although, some people need specific supplements to help with whatever issue they’re currently facing (which, if you were my client, it would take a personalized assessment for me to determine), there are certain supplements that I believe pretty much everyone should be taking.
“Can’t I just get my nutrients from my food?” is another great question I get asked.
Many, many years ago, the answer for that question would have been “yes, if you’re eating a variety of foods” (they would have all been grown off the land, of course and nothing processed or packaged in a box.)
But, it is very difficult in this day and age to create optimal health without some help. Let me explain.
I think we could all agree that our foods have changed. Right? They are being sprayed with pesticides, Roundup, insecticides and herbicides that we can’t see but we are ingesting.
Our food is highly processed and sugar is added to almost everything, which is creating cravings for even more sugar and refined foods. Most of us are walking around with a sugar addiction without even realizing it.
Food has been genetically modified and the soil is depleted in minerals.
We overuse antibiotics, hormones and drugs in our livestock, which we then ingest and wreak havoc on our bodies. Industrialized farming has increased.
In a nutshell, life is unfortunately more toxic, and it’s having unimaginable effects on our health. Our environment as a whole is a much different place than it was 50-100 years ago.
Disease and obesity rates have risen dramatically and younger and younger people are being diagnosed with diseases that used to be reserved for the elderly.
I don’t say all of this to send you into a panic. My goal is to make people aware and to provide solutions to the reality of what is.
Several of the supplements that I’m recommending below have helped me immensely in my journey towards better health. They’ve helped improve my gut health, boosted my energy and my immune system, and have helped improve my emotional health as well.
I used other supplements along my journey as well, but those were specific to what I needed at the time.
None of these helped ‘on their own’ but were used in addition to healthy changes that I made to my diet and lifestyle (and by the way, I’m continuing to make changes. It’s a work in progress for all of us! That’s a bit of a relief, right?)
These recommendations are in no way a substitute for a poor diet, but can help fill in the gaps between what we ARE eating and what we SHOULD be eating.
If you are taking any prescription medications, you should discuss adding in supplements with your pharmacist and/or medical doctor prior to taking any.
I chose as few supplements as possible to give you the best results. These are the fundamentals for you and your family to give you daily support.
Years ago, I used to look for the lowest price point, but after studying nutrition and supplements, I realized that I had been literally flushing 80-100% of the supplements I was taking down the toilet!
Just remember that you get what you pay for, so don’t skimp when it comes to any supplement you may ingest.
These are the good bacteria that live all along your digestive tract. They support digestion, help to ensure the bad bacteria don’t take over and they keep the immune system healthy (70% of your immune system is actually located in your gut).
Many health issues can be overcome simply by keeping a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
Several things affect the bacteria balance in your gut:
The use of antibiotics wipes out your good bacteria, which is why you should ALWAYS take a good quality probiotic after a round of antibiotics.
Other lifestyle factors such as stress and poor diet lead to less than optimal levels of good bacteria. Most people are severely deficient in probiotics.
If you seem to get every illness that’s going around, you get digestive issues like gas, bloating or constipation, or you just don’t feel the level of vitality you would like to feel you likely need probiotics.
You can include foods like raw coconut kefir, raw kimchi, sauerkraut etc to your diet, but if you’re not doing this on a daily basis, I would supplement with a good quality probiotic.
Multi-Probiotic 4000 by Douglas Labs
HMF Intensive (vegan)
Probiotic 50B by Pure Encapsulations (dairy-free)
Vitamin D is crucial for so many different processes in the body, and the majority of us are severely deficient in it.
We get vitamin D from direct exposure to the sun (sans sunscreen).
Most people are either slathered in sunscreen, live in a more northern climate or don’t get regular sun exposure every day. It’s important to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight each and every day on your skin.
Low vitamin D levels in North America and Canada are now being linked to an increased risk and rate of diseases such as:
• Cancer • Depression & behavioral issues such as ADD and ADHD • Multiple Sclerosis • Osteoporosis • Heart Disease • Infertility • Rheumatoid Arthritis & Osteoarthritis • Fibromyalgia • Alzheimer’s • Obesity • Insulin resistance and diabetes
Some common symptoms of low vitamin D are:
• Fatigue • Muscle pain, weakness & cramps • Chronic pain • Weight gain • Restless sleep and/or insomnia • Poor concentration and memory • Frequent illness • Headaches
*look for a liquid vitamin D3 supplement with no other added ingredients, and not a tablet or capsule.
Vitamin D3 Liquid by Pure Encapsulations
Vitamin D3 by NFH
These fats are called “essential” because your body cannot make them and they need to be consumed in the diet.
We need a certain ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 and most people over-consume omega 6.
The bad fats are found in vegetable oils and low quality vegetable oils are found in most packaged products. The bad fats in the body lead to inflammation, causing a whole host of health problems.
Supplementing with fatty acids high in omega 3 is crucial for most people to bring the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 back into balance.
If supplementing with a fish oil, it is imperative to choose a high quality fish oil or Juice Plus+ Plant Based Omega Blend to avoid toxins like heavy metals.
Juice Plus+ Plant Based Omega Blend can also help to lower cholesterol, balance hormones, improve joint health and function, reduce inflammation, improve cognition and memory, improve eye health and give you clear and glowing skin.
Adding healthy fats to your diet every day, in addition to using Omega supplements, is important to your overall health. Our bodies need good fats!
Some healthy fat options are flax seeds, walnuts, hemp hearts, raw nuts & seeds and their butters, avocado, olives and coconut oil. These will provide you with a wide spectrum of the essential fatty acids your body needs for optimal health.
Juice Plus+ Omegas (without the fishy aftertaste because it's plant based)
Omega 800 by Genestra
Quell Fish Oil by Douglas Labs
Juice Plus+ Whole Food Nutrition
The average North American is getting 1.5 servings of nutrient dense vegetables per day which is falling short of the 13 daily servings recommended for basic health.
When I first heard about this Non-GMO WholeFood Nutrition, my immediate response was that I eat enough fruits and vegetables. But then I realized that most of the fruits and veggies I eat are being sprayed and that I’m ingesting that - eek.
I also realized that it’s tricky to get not only the servings, but the variety required each and every day.
I decided to take Juice Plus+ because so many of my nutrition friends were taking them and were already using them in their practice.
What helped to seal the deal for me was that it’s not actually considered a supplement. It is Whole Food backed by clinical evidence.
I look for gold standard research and Juice Plus+ is NSF, Non-GMO and Health Canada Approved.
If you find you’re not getting your recommended servings per day, and need to boost your micronutrients (decreases cravings when these deficiencies are corrected) click here for more information.
Juice Plus+ is non-GMO, whole-food based nutrition; including juice powder concentrates from over thirty different fruits, vegetables, and plants, to help enhance a healthy diet. Juice Plus+ helps bridge the nutrient gap between what you should eat and what you actually do eat every day.
I take pride in personally placing my clients’ orders, ensuring it arrives at their front door for them and their families to enjoy with ease and simplicity. You can contact me at mayanne@wellnesswithmayanne to place an order or order it from here.
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Until next time,
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.