What vitamins/supplements do I take?
I thought I would start this blog by sharing what supplements I take, since people always ask me. I’ll let you know which ones you should be probably be taking as well (but always consult a doctor!)
Omega-3 Fish Oils: If you’re not taking fish oils, please, start! I know you have all heard about Omega-3s, especially now that packaged foods are beginning to jump on this bandwagon. Much research has shown fish oils to have the following positive effects: Less pain & inflammation (this is HUGE!), cardiovascular health, better brain function, and protection against stroke and heart attack. At recent classes taught by Dr Andrew Weil and Dr Barry Sears , the #1 supplement they recommended was fish oils. One IMPORTANT NOTE: make sure the capsules you buy are purified or molecularly distilled! Fish are filled with mercury, and if the oil is not purified, you’re basically taking a capsule of mercury laden “pond scum.”
Vitamin D: So trendy in the news right now. Did you know that Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin? It’s actually a hormone, which explains why it is so vital to development. Yes, it promotes calcium & phosphorous absorption for healthy teeth and bones. But it also regulates many cell functions, regulates inflammation and helps with brain formation. Pretty important. Vitamin D can be obtained primarily through sunlight, however most people do not get enough. If you live north of Atlanta, GA, even if you run around naked during the day, the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough to manufacture the D your body needs. Many foods, such as breads and cereals, are fortified with D, but we’re still not getting enough. So, go out and buy a Vitamin D supplement (Make sure it’s D3, not D2) and take upwards of 2000 IU, which is more than is recommended by the DRI. (The jury is out, but we may need more than 2000I IU!) Take vitamin D with fat, as this is a fat soluble vitamin…it needs fat for absorption! Ladies: We tend to be deficient in vitamin D, so next time you’re at the doctor have them check your blood for vitamin D deficiency. I just got mine tested…waiting for the results!
Folic Acid: Men, scroll down, this is for the ladies. We think of this as being especially important during pregnancy, as it promotes healthy cell production and lowers the risks of Neural Tube Defects. Many foods, such as breads and cereals, are now supplemented with folic acid. And eating foods such as spinach, beans, peas, and leafy green veggies will contribute to your folic acid intake. If you’ve had abnormal paps before, this could be a good one to take.
Probiotics: Most of us have heard about probiotics, especially since frozen yogurt chains are touting the probiotics added to their yogurt. To make sure I am getting enough of the live healthy gut bacteria (which is what probiotics are) I take a daily supplement. If you have stomach “issues,” like I do, I found that taking probiotics REALLY helps. Women, if you have a history of candida and/or just finished a round of antibiotics, taking probiotics will help restore the healthy gut flora.
Multivitamin: There is a debate whether or not to take a multivitamin. Personally, I believe it’s a good back up and acts like insurance to make sure you are getting your recommended intakes. However, vitamins and nutrients through real food in your diet are a much better source! You can’t eat a diet of cakes and cookies and take a multi and think you’re OK. Doesn’t work like that. My husband and I both take Andrew Weil’s big ol horsepill of a vitamin. Men: Make sure you’re multivitamin does not have iron…you get enough!
Iron: Again, ladies, a good idea is to get your iron storage levels checked. We need iron to help transport oxygen to our blood cells. Kinda important, right? If you feel spacy, light headed, tired, it could be low levels of iron. Especially when menstruating. Get this checked out, especially if you’re a vegetarian.
Vitamin B12: This vitamin is involved in almost every cell function in the body, with a key role in brain and nervous system functioning. A natural source of vitamin B12 is meat and some fish, so for the vegetarians and people who don’t eat much meat (like me), you’ll probably need a supplement. Some multi’s have this in their formula, so look out for that. I don’t know whether it’s a placebo thing, but when I wear my B12 patch I feel a jolt of energy and seem to be able to concentrate more.
Vitamin L: Vitamin Love, baby. Needed in massive quantities each day for a healthy mind, body, and soul.
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