November 21st, 2018
Want to know what supplements the practitioners are recommending? Read this!
There’s a lot of us out there who are looking to achieve optimal health. We don’t want to go on a fad diet, we don’t want to stop eating dessert from time to time, and we don’t want to exercise 7-days a week. Optimal health definitely requires, first and foremost, a good diet: whole foods, lots of water, more veg and less meat. But sometimes, we just fall short.
I get asked a lot of questions around commonly seen symptoms: redness on the skin, fatigue, dull hair, and not-so-good digestion, and more. Today, I’m here to tell you some essential vitamins and supplements to incorporate into your diet — by reading this post, you’ll avoid paying to see an alternative healthcare practitioner because, I promise, these are the top and most commonly recommended supplements!
1.Probiotics —> We’ve heard a lot about these guys lately. They’re mentioned on popular yogurt ads, and even some companies promote their own strain of probiotic bacteria in their yogurt as their promise to make and keep you “regular!” I hate to say this, but most yogurt on the market is more sugar than it is good bacteria. And with more sugar, we’re actually feeding the bad bacteria in our gut. Your solution is to stop buying into large company’s marketing regimes and to make your way to your local health food store to buy a good quality probiotic. Probiotics are necessary for optimal health because they optimize digestion. Gurus in alternative healthcare believe know that good health begins in the gut. Gut health is responsible for everything from regular digestion and absorption of minerals, to immunity, to mental health (yes, there lies a gut-brain connection!). In our gut, there are two kinds of bacteria: good and bad. These guys are always combating each other for a “spot” in our gut. The good guys actually help to digest food, while the bad guys feed off of un-digested food. The more good guys we have, the better our digestion, but the more bad guys we have, the more digestive problems we have (like bloating, gas, you name it!). The point is, if you want optimal digestion (duh- who doesn’t), then you want to take a probiotic.
- Dosage: this depends on just how many bacteria your unique body needs.
- Brand: depends on the dose and strain of bacteria – but I generally love HMF by Genestra.
2. EFA supplement —> Do you suffer from redness? Dry, itchy skin? Dull, lifeless hair? Say no more. EFAs (aka essential fatty acids) are what our cells need in order to function, optimally! Every cell in our body has a membrane made up of fat, which is why consuming good fat is necessary. Strengthening this membrane means that water is held in place (creating nice plump, nourished cells!) and nutrients are better absorbed. EFA are amazing hormone regulators. This means literally everything from metabolizing glucose (sugar) to helping with symptoms of depression. A specific type of omega-3 EFA is EPA (or eicosapetaenoic acid), which we know so well as fish oil. This specific type has been known to reduce inflammation. Inflammation presents itself as redness of the skin, acne, sore joints, allergies, you name it. Most of us are definitely not getting enough simply because we’re not consuming enough foods that contain this wonderful fatty acid.
- Dosage: high does EPA if you are sufffering from redness
- Brand: Genestra, NutriSea
3. Magnesium —> Magnesium aids in energy production and synthesis, creation of boney matrix (aka strong bones), and is involved in important conductions in your body (aka nerve impulses, muscle contractions, heart rhythm). It’s also involved in blood vessel dilation – yep, heart attack prevention, migraine, constipation, period cramp relief, you name it! In fact, this mineral is involved in over 300 bodily processes, so it’s no wonder alternative and functional healthcare practitioners are penciling this into your plan! If you’re deficient in magnesium, you likely have muscle twitches (think eye twitches!), feel anxious or depressed, are crampy, and maybe even have a heart palpitation from time to time. A lot of us are likely to be deficient in it because we’re not consuming enough magnesium-rich food sources. What if I told you that real, raw dark chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium on the planet!? My favourite brand is Giddy YoYo (opt for the 70% or more kind); there are a ton of deeeeelicious flavours to get your hands on (found on any of the 3 websites linked below). Of course, don’t forget about your greens, nuts and seeds, and eat the skin of your potato always! Likely, you’ll still need it supplemented, though.
- Dosage: 2x per day – Magnesium Bisglycinate Sensitive formula
- Brand: CanPrev
4. Vitamin D – in the winter! —> We all know that Mr. Sun is the biggest source of vitamin D, which makes those people enduring long winters more likely to be very deficient. This is why vitamin D is one of the most recommended vitamins, especially in the winter. This vitamin is integral for our immunity, the strength of our bones and teeth, and even has the capacity to improve depressive symptoms. The vitamin has also been found to have anti-cancer effects. There are 2 forms of vitamin D, though. Opt for vitamin D3 – the cholecalciferol kind – since that’s the form that is ultimately produced by our skin when we’re exposed to sunlight.
- Dosage: a minimum of 1000 IU
- Brand: Doesn’t quite matter, so long as there are no additives and you get D3! I prefer the liquid form because it’s so much easier to take.
5. A greens supplement —> Most of us probably aren’t getting enough greens (I mean, are you?!). And apart from its good source of greens, a greens supplement will also provide a wide variety of herbs, vitamins, and minerals that promote detoxification and digestion. Herbs like dandelion, milk thistle, and ginger and often added to these formulas to help rev up the liver. You may think that detoxification needs to happen twice a year, for one week, and involve drinking juices and nothing else, but this is not necessarily the case. A greens supplement can provide the body with a mild, daily detox (as can a good, clean diet). Your liver will love you! My favourite (taste wise) so far has been Genuine Health’s green+ supplement. Feel free to add these to your morning lemon water or smoothie!
- Dosage: just one scoop of the scoop they provide in the container!
- Brand: Designs for Health, Genuine Health