Basic Supplements & Nutrients to Consider

5 Sep

It is impossible to build the walls and roof of a house without first laying a proper foundation. The better your diet is, the more whole/ real foods you eat, the LESS supplements you will need. Pills should never be looked at as your first source of nutrition. 

A healthy diet is your foundation and supplements are to complement your diet to ensure you receive adequate vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Supplements are just that- to supplement a healthy diet.


1. Wholefood Vitamin Mineral Complex

Vitamins are essential to life. The late Albert Szent-Gyorgi MD Ph.D Nobel prize winner stated, “The whole idea of a vitamin is a paradox, everyone knows things we eat can make us sick, it seems senseless to say something we have not eaten could make us sick. But this is exactly what a vitamin is: a substance that can make us sick or even die by not eating it.

Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth, development, and metabolism. Vitamins are produced from living material such as plants or animals, and minerals come from the soil. Vitamins contain no calories, they cannot make you fat; they are not the fuel, but more like the ignition switch that sparks the fuel and keeps the engine running. When vitamins are not present in sufficient quantity, metabolism ceases or is impaired.

Recommendations: Look for a multivitamin supplement from a REPUTABLE company.  Do A lot of research!! You want a multivitamin that is all natural and labeled as ‘whole food’. Read the label and see what is in what you plan to take!!

After reading Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and listening to his recommendations , I tried his multivitamin and I really like it. I am not an affiliate of his, but I do really respect his work, there is a ton of science behind it.  I highly recommend his books and his multivitamin. You can read what he has to say about a multi HERE. Because of a gene mutation I have (read about it HERE), it is harder for my body to absorb certain vitamins so I currently take Optimal Multi by Seeking Health. Fuhrman’s & Seeking Health’s multi both use Folate instead of Folic Acid.

2. Essential Fatty Acids – EFAs

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the body and must be obtained through diet. Fatty fish, such as cod, tuna and salmon are the best source, but they can also be found in some plant sources and in flaxseed, walnuts and soybeans. Most people do not eat enough of these foods to obtain optimal amounts of omega-3 nutrients and will need to supplement.

  • EFAs are important for cardiovascular, immune, reproductive and nervous system health.
  • A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as fertility, conception, heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, menstrual tissue and the immune system.
  • Needed for the proper inflammatory responses throughout the body.
  • Promotes healthy brain function and may have anti-aging benefits for the brain.
  • EFAs are utilized by cell membranes, where oxygen and nutrients are exchanged.
  • Can support positive effects on cellular reactions during extreme physical challenges.
  • EPA and DHA are well known for their ability to maintain healthy cognitive function, their potential to support healthy moods and their positive impact on joint comfort and flexibility

Watch out for low-cost, low-grade fish oil supplements, which may contain traces of dioxin, mercury, PCBs and other environmental contaminants. Many fish oil products are made with fish from potentially contaminated, close-to-shoreline waters, so it is important to look for one of the highest quality, freshest wild salmon caught from deep, icy cold, pristine waters of Alaska. Alaska is a known leader in seafood sustainability and has the most highly protected, cleanest fish stocks in the world.

Dr. Don Colburn had a great idea- he said to open your fish gel and if it smells or taste rank – it it rank- do not take it.

Chia seeds, Flax Seeds and Flax oil are all  great vegan sources of Omega 3’s.

3.  Calcium/Magnesium/D3 

Magnesium: Many people are deficient in magnesium which vital mineral that the body uses for hundreds of reactions. Every cell in the body needs magnesium in some way, and it is vital for bone, tooth, muscle and joint health as well as for optimal sleep and stress reduction. One of my favorite magnesium products is Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm. It is a beverage you sip on like a tea before bed. It makes me sleep like a baby and my jittery – restless leg disappeared  (my legs did not disappear, the jitters did) when I started drinking it. I use this type of Magnesium because it is a highly absorbable blend of magnesium carbonate and citric acid, which in combination with water, creates ionic magnesium citrate. It is also good because you can start with a small amount and work your way up slowly with it. ** update I got inconstant about drinking Calm at night so I switched to a capsule form (it is just easier for me to remember this way) from Seeking Health- Optimal Magnesium.

Vitamin D3 is essential to maintaining and building strong bones, according to “Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition.” Without vitamin D3, calcium cannot be absorbed by the bones, ultimately rendering the mineral useless. Vitamin D3 supports the immune system and improves its function. Vitamin D3 can assist your immune system in fighting off common illnesses, including colds and the influenza virus, by ensuring that your immune system is working at its highest potential. Without this necessary vitamin, you are likely to experience a greater severity and occurrence of common illnesses. I supplement with 2000 IU to 5000 IU everyday. In addition, I try to make sure I am out in the sun for a limited time each day, which also gives me Vitamin D. Make sure if you purchase Vitamin D you get D3 as cholecalciferol . I use a liquid D3 in Olive Oil from Seeking Health.

Calcium supplementation is something some people need and others do not, depending on individual diet and needs. Calcium is key in the building of new bone. And bone development occurs every day of your life. Just as you shed skin cells and grow new ones to replace them, your body naturally removes old bone and replaces it with new. Gradual bone loss begins in adulthood and becomes more serious after age 50. In women, the hormonal changes of menopause — and the drop in estrogen levels that occur with it — can greatly worsen the imbalance. The bones naturally lose mass, becoming more brittle.

Because calcium isn’t produced by your body, the amount you have depends on supplements or the foods you eat. It is actually quit easy to get calcium through diet. Most people associate only dairy with calcium. While there is a lot of calcium in cows milk, once the milk is pasteurized, this calcium is not well absorbed or utilized in the body. Foods that are high in Calcium include sesame seeds- 1000mg of calcium per 100g serving; chia seeds -631mg of calcium per 3.5 oz serving; dark leafy greens – 100-150mg of calcium per 100g serving; flax seeds – 256mg of calcium per 100g serving; quinoa  – one cup cooked has 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein; beans- most beans have 42mg of calcium per 100g serving; broccoli- one cup has 74 mg of calcium.

You need approximately 1000 mg – 1200 mg of calcium per day, preferably divided in 2 doses, take with meals if you are supplementing.

4.  Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Oxidation  is the destructive effect of oxygen (and other oxidizing agents) on the molecular components of our cells. Just as oxygen can cause metals to rust and corrode, it can pull electrons from organic molecules rendering them defective and useless Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals.  Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer are all contributed by oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.

Antioxidants block oxidation reactions and offer protection to the membranes and other parts of cells. Vitamins C and E are capable of “quenching” free radicals by donating electrons to them. Other micronutrients that act as antioxidants are the mineral selenium and pigments called carotenoids. These include beta-carotene in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables; lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and pink grapefruit; anthocyanins in blueberries and other blue and purple fruits and vegetables; and lutein, zeaxanthin and other carotenoids found in carrots and leafy greens. Green tea provides important antioxidants called catechins, and red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant from the skin of grapes. Chocolate contains similar compounds (polyphenols) to those in red wine and green tea.

We need dietary antioxidants every day. You do get some antioxidants in your foods if you eat well, but I as insurance against any shortage, I recommend taking a daily supplement to give you a steady supply of these protective compounds.

  •  Antioxidant Drink Mix: I love  FoodScience of Vermont Superior Reds.  I use this in my morning protein shake everyday. It has high ORAC berries to support brain, heart, liver, immune system health and energy levels. It is made from nutrient rich berries, fruits, and potent plant extracts in combination with DMG HCI, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Phosphaidylserin, Resveratrol, Lycopene and Lutein to support immune system function. There are other brands of antioxidant drink mixes that similar -research, research, research though- because some are not worth buying- always make sure you get a quality product!!!.


5.   Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that makes up the structural material in the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. But unlike sugar and starch—the other two kinds of carbs—fiber stays intact until it nears the end of your digestive system. Fiber molecules are held together by chemical bonds that your body has trouble breaking. In fact, your small intestine—can’t break down soluble or insoluble fiber; both types just go right through you. If you are detoxing or cleansing your body (as you regularly should be!!!) fiber absorbs these toxins and helps your body eliminate them quickly. Adults need 25-35 grams of fiber per day!


There are two types of Fiber: Soluble and Insoluble, and you need both!! 

Soluble Fiber is fiber that dissolves readily in fluids to form a gel-like material in your digestive tract.This gel can trap certain food components and make them less available for absorption. These fibers have been linked to lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and regulating of blood glucose levels as it slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstreamSoluble fiber is found in oats, beans, barley, and some fruits. 

Insoluble Fiber is fiber that does not dissolve in liquids. Its structure is thick and rough so it zips through your digestive tract and increases stool bulk and cleaning house so to speak. If you are losing weight fiberous foods have a fulling effect. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, oat bran, nuts, and many vegetables.

The truth is, God actually handled all of this. Most whole, real foods, in the state they were created by Him, contain a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. The inside of apples, for example, provide soluble fiber and the skins are mostly insoluble fiber.

So you need to get fiber from your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber. . Arrowhead Mills Organic Golden Flax Seeds have 9g per 3 tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds have 5g per tbsp. Flaxseeds and Chia sees are also chock full of EFAs!! I grind some of these seeds and use them in my shake every morning.

Recommendation: Eat sensibly, but keep up with your fiber intake and make sure you are getting both types. Spread your fiber intake through the day. DO NOT eat 12 bowls of oatmeal for breakfast and think “fiber intake, check”. Favor whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure the carbs you eat are fiber-rich—this means produce,seeds, legumes, and whole grains—to help slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. “The more carbohydrates you eat, the more fiber becomes important to help minimize the wide fluctuations in blood-sugar levels,” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut. 

Keep a record of what you eat at (for free) for a while and get a good idea of how much fiber you are getting (as well as proteins and fats).

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am NOT a medical Doctor. Please see my FULL DISCLOSURE HERE. 


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