Nutritional Supplements 101

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Are supplements necessary? That’s a great question, and while it’s preferred to get nutrients from food, it would likely be cumbersome, expensive, and potentially impossible to do without extensive knowledge. With so many on the market, it can be tough to sort through the madness and know which are the most important. 

Why do we need supplements?

Due to factors like heavily processed foods, toxins in our environments, stressors (mental, emotional and physical),  digestive disorders, weaker body systems (genetic predisposition), contaminated meat supply (antibiotics and hormones ), GMOs, and depleted soil, nutritional supplements can be very important to advance our health. They fill in nutritional deficiencies while also helping the body to pull out the toxins and chemicals that hinder our most vibrant health.

I find four supplements key in my practice to creating optimal health. Note: I do not recommend using more than four supplements at a time, especially without the guidance of a healthcare professional. Typically, as healing occurs in the system, fewer supplements are necessary.

1. Multivitamins

Especially if you are not being guided by an individual health practitioner, then a food-based, high-quality multivitamin is highly recommended. This will ensure that all of your bases are being covered.  Remember, even when the body is short of only one micronutrient, it will not function optimally, and other systems will be compromised. A multi is the body’s insurance policy.

RNL favorites include:

Best Multi: Orthomolecular’s Alpha Base

Best multi on a budget: Mega Food

Best multi for quick energy: New chapter

Best for PMS: Adapten All

2. Fish Oil

The body cannot produce its own omega-3 fatty acids, therefore, we must consume them through our diet. If you are not eating wild fatty fish three times a week along with seeds and nuts, then it’s necessary you supplement. Omega-3s are needed for maintaining blood pressure, regulating cholesterol, assisting with nerve transmission and weight loss. Fish oil is also important for proper prostaglandin function which regulates inflammation, pain, and swelling, making it a powerful anti-inflammatory. Sufficient omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to play a role in maintaining good cardiovascular health and are essential for healthy egg implantation, prevention of miscarriage, and for fetus development. Research also shows fish oil may help arthritis, depression, and intestinal inflammation.

To choose a good fish oil, make sure the EPA and DHA collectively add up to 1000mg

My favorites for quality: New Chapter Wholemega & Rosita Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Best fish oil on a budget: Carlson’s Cod Liver

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are essential to maintaining good digestive health. I recommend taking them a few times a year for a bottle at a time, or if you’ve consistently if you have had digestive problems or were not breastfed. Probiotics help restore order and balance of good bacteria in the gut and crowd out the bad bacteria, which is often in abundance in the Standard American Diet (SAD) today. These good bacteria are an essential part of a healthy immune function, healthy digestion, and are linked to weight loss.   Probiotics have the power to improve our moods because we produce more serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for our sense of well-being and satisfaction) in our guts than in our brains. This is why many people who have digestive problems are often times depressed.  Exciting new research also shows probiotics may help with allergies as well, especially when taken during pregnancy! Taking a multi-strain probiotic, and not just acidophilus is important.

My favorite for quality: Just Thrive

Best probiotic on a budget: PB 8 (also found in health food stores)

4. Greens

Greens are our supplement for cellular cleansing and clean up in the body. Greens supplements provide the type of greens we are less likely to eat normally, like spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and wheat grass. They also contain a high dose of food-based antioxidants to clean up environmental damage, free radicals, and toxins. Greens will help shift our bodies biochemistry faster so we start actually craving the good stuff. Greens are one of the biggest game changers for my clients, particularly when it comes to increasing energy.

Our favorite: Healthforce Vitamineral Greens 

If you prefer a capsule to powder form: Healthforce Caps

Digestive enzymes: Are great used short-term as digestion (as well as leaky gut and/or candida) heals. They can help with nutrient absorption while decreasing bloating, gas, and constipation. Our favorite: Digestenzymes 

Vitamin D Deficiency (only if lab work shows you are low): Take with food since it is a fat-soluble vitamin. Our favorite: Orthomolecular 

Immune Health: Wellness Formula by Source Naturals or New Chapter Lifeshield Immunity

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Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. Real Nutritious Living, LLC shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.

Author: Melissa Schollaert

I'm Melissa—Holistic Health Coach & loving mama. My passion is to help others thrive through strategic eating (not dieting), living a toxic free life & creating healthier families.

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