Supplements - Why, Which, When

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When I went for a check up a few years ago, my doctor told me I can get all my vitamins and minerals from food. I'm eating a whole, fresh, unprocessed foods diet, so I should get a healthy supply of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, I thought.


Alas, food we eat is not the food our grandparents ate - the soil is depleted due to industrial farming, food is transported long distances, often stored for a long periods of time, we are over stressed and undernourished. We spend most of the time indoors, are afraid to eat wild plants that are highly nutritious (what if I poison myself?) and let us not forget the convenience or junk food we often grab due to lack of motivation, time, or both.


That's where supplements come in. Obviously, no supplement can replace high quality diet so make sure you eat a whole foods, unprocessed, seasonal (and sourced locally when possible) diet. And when you're purchasing a supplement, consider it as part of your diet - high quality, additives, colors, fillers, and allergens free are the best options.




Supplements - Which, When?


What follows is a list of vitamins and minerals that I take daily. I'm following the recommended basic nutrient plan (except the multivitamin because I've found a better option - read more below) outlined by Dr.Mark Hyman a well known functional practitioner (find it here).


Vitamin D3


When was the last time you checked your Vitamin D3 levels? Not many people do and yet, vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic with up to 80 percent of modern day humans deficient or suboptimal in their intake and blood levels! Get your blood level to 45 to 60 ng/dl. Easy when you live in the south of France, difficult when you live in, let's say Belgium. Take the right type of vitamin D— D3 (cholecalciferol), not D2. The recomended amount is 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, once a day with breakfast. My favorite Vitamin D3.


Omega 3 fatty acids


Many clients in my Mind Body Eating Coach practice get scared when I tell them they should eat more fat. The perception of ''fat will make me fat'' is still pretty common no matter how many articles about health get published. That is why recommending Omega 3 fatty acids can be better option for people afraid of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity, lower cholesterol by lowering triglycerides and raising HDL, reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots, and lower the risk of heart attacks (source see above). And how much and when should you take it? 1,000 to 2,000 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (should contain a ratio of approximately 300/200 mg of EPA/ DHA), twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner. My favorite Omega blend.



Magnesium


I first noticed magnesium deficiency when I woke up during the night with excruciating cramps in my legs. As with vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency is very common. Unfortunately many experience diarrhea when taking too much magnesium. If this occurs, just back off on the dose, and avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, or oxide. They are the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements but are poorly absorbed. Switch to magnesium glycinate. If you tend to be constipated, use magnesium citrate. 100 to 200 mg of magnesium, twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner is a sufficient dose but if you are suffering from cramps (e.g.during menstruation) you might need more. Again, your body is the best doctor if you listen to it. My favorite Magnesium supplement


Collagen


Youthful skin, healthy hair and nails, less inflammation, freedom from joint aches, and a healthy digestive system. Who wouldn't want it? Although your body naturally produces collagen, it's good to support your body a bit, especially if you are over 30. Foods like bone broth are wonderful options but I'm not really into drinking bone broth in summer. That's why I always put collagen powder into my morning smoothie. Collagen powder is one of the easiest ways to ensure you are getting the proper amount of collagen that your body needs, every day plus, it's so simple! My favorite collagen powders: Collagen powder and this one!


Multivitamin? Not for me as I've found a better option. The thing is that many people think multivitamins are substitutes for eating well. They expose fruit in baskets on their kitchen counters as a beautiful decoration but they are not really eating them. But you have to eat the real deal otherwise your body doesn't recognize it. That's why I'm eating the real deal. Juice Plus+ - the next best thing to fruits and veggies.


Many of us are trying to eat healthily every day and we all know that it is not always easy. I mean, have you every tried to juice every day and enjoy it? Heck, I failed! Juice Plus+ is like juicing but without the hassle. It contains the best parts (that means all the parts) of 30 types of fruits, vegetables and berries in capsule form. So you can now get the benefit of valuable phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals without being worried how to get them on a daily basis.


Again, there's nothing better than a whole foods diet but supplementing might be worth it if you want to support your body on its healing journey.

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