4 Supplements You Should Take Every Day

January 2024 - Nutrition

Looking for new supplements to help stay well and feel great but getting stuck at the question: what should I be taking?

This is a very common question. I really enjoy helping people do a supplement review when they bring in a box or bag full of bottles or have lists of vitamin inventory to question. Heck, I even have a few boxes full of supplements myself.

So, what supplements are you really in need of? First ask, are you in health maintenance mode or are you in health recovery mode? What are you struggling with and what are your symptoms? While it is optimal to be proactive and have supports in place before an issue happens, as it’s always easier to maintain health than to get it back, there are times we have unwanted symptoms that tell us we are out of balance. When this “out of balance” happens, those symptoms give us hints to investigate the root cause and how to improve that area to remove the symptom.

My best advice ever was ‘one thing can change everything.’ It is true and I see it often! If we improve one key part of a root cause, it can have a ripple effect to resolve a number of things. That is where this detective work is so exciting!

Basic supplements that are helpful to most people on a regular basis are vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Extensive research and insights from myself and other nutrition experts consistently highlight their significance. Let’s delve into the specific details and advantages of these essential vitamins and minerals.

1 | Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient which means it cannot be produced by the body. Therefore, we must obtain it through our diet or supplements. It plays a role in both maintenance and recovery.
Benefits include:
• Powerful anti-oxidant to defend your cells against environmental damage;
• Helping to decrease the duration of colds and flu;
• Wound healing;
• Use in collagen production, helping improve the health of skin, bones and eyes; and
• More is being studied on vitamin C’s benefits in heart health and cancer.
If you feel a cold or flu coming on, taking 1,000 mg a few times a day can be a helpful addition to your immune system army.

Tip: Take vitamin C supplements with food—especially foods high in iron because vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron.

2 | Vitamin D3
Vitamin D has been extensively studied and consistently shown to provide enhanced protection against a variety of health conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, as well as infections and viruses.
Benefits include improved:
• Immune cell function including fighting against infection and viruses;
• Bone and skin health;
• Blood sugar balance;
• Blood pressure; and
• Nervous system/brain: mood, memory and learning.
Besides getting vitamin D from sun exposure, vitamin D3 can also be found in cod liver oil, fatty fish and in various levels/forms in different mushrooms.

Tip: Take vitamin D supplements with meals that contain fats so it can be fully absorbed.

3 | Magnesium
Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall health. It actively participates in more than 300 biochemical functions within the body. Due to its deficiency in many individuals, it is advisable to consider its supplementation to assess potential improvements in key health issues, such as:
• Regulating heartbeat rhythm;
• Neurotransmitter functions;
• Bowel regularity;
• Bone and skeletal health;
• Nerve, muscle and tissue function;
• Energy due to metabolism and enzyme function; and
• Improved relaxation and better sleep.

Tips: Take magnesium before bed to help relax and sleep. Magnesium chelated with glycine or bisglycinate is best for absorption, for issues with muscles, headaches, relaxation, etc. Magnesium oxide is best for constipation and acid reflux issues. Magnesium citrate may have a laxative effect.

4 | Omega-3 Fish Oil
Incorporating healthy fats into our diet is essential, particularly omega 3-6-9 fats. Omega-9 fats are considered non-essential because our bodies can produce them internally. Meanwhile, omega-6 fats can often be obtained in sufficient quantities from food sources such as meat, poultry, eggs and vegetable oils. However, omega-3s are essential and must be consumed through our diet. Therefore, prioritizing omega-3 intake is crucial for maintaining a well-balanced diet.

Getting a balance of 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6 helps to turn your body from a pro-inflammatory to anti
-inflammatory state, due to increased omega-3. Increased omega-3 intake is often beneficial with:
• Health and function of heart and cardiovascular system and cholesterol;
• Brain development and improved mood and memory;
• Cell membranes and the ability to move nutrients in and wastes out of cells;
• Children’s development in mood, attention and coordination, starting at pregnancy;
• Allergies and immune function; and
• Reduced inflammation—the root cause of all diseases—across all areas of the body, including countering arthritis or really any “-itis”.

Tip: Start with the recommended dose and ensure you are properly digesting fats for optimal absorption. A greasy film in the water after a bowel movement indicates the fats are not being broken down enough to absorb. Try stimulating your liver/bile with bitter foods and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon in drinking water. 

Lisa Aschenbrenner, rhn has been Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) since 2013. Her focus started with children’s health and development including digestion, illness, allergies, neurological, sleep and mood challenges. Her passion is finding the root cause of issues related to diet, nutrients and lifestyle using whole foods and great recipes for positive results.

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