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What Supplements Should I Take?

(DISCLAIMER: FIRST AND FOREMOST: I would ALWAYS recommend getting checked out by someone before starting new supplements!)


I love supplements! I think they are almost always necessary for anyone following the standard American diet. Could we get rid of most of our supplements with a perfect diet? Probably! Are you going to do that? Probably not. So for now, let's go over my favorite 'bridging the gap' supplements for different people.


Let's break down these supplements into different categories:

Inflammation, Women's Health, Cortisol, Common Deficiencies, Gut and Liver Health


INFLAMMATION

Do you have a body? Congrats, you have some inflammation! I think we throw out the word 'inflammation' like it's candy. But the catch is, is you NEED some inflammation to survive! How else would your body get anything done? Now, the key is that we want to lower your chronic inflammation. This is general inflammation from poor diets, sedentary lifestyles, etc.


Fish Oil: Love love love fish oil! It is great for inflammation, brain health, joints, and so much good stuff. The 2 main parts of fish oil are EPA + DHA, which are the types of fatty acids that have the benefits. I think fish oil is a top 3 supplement I would recommend to just about anyone. Studies show it can reduce chronic pain, depression, increase joint movements and lots more. Aim for at least 300mg of EPA and 300mg DHA in your supplement


Turmeric: Turmeric is this beautiful neon orange root, famous for curry. But did you know, that inside turmeric is a compound called curcumin, which helps protect the body by neutralizing free radicals? This is a helpful way to combat general inflammation. They make supplements that help extract this curcumin and add some black pepper to increase absorption. I recommend Turmeric for people with joint pain, or 'achy' joints, or general wellness.


 

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Women's health is my passion! I love working with women to help support hormones. There are some common deficiencies I see:


Magnesium: DUH! Magnesium is a powerhouse when it comes to hormone health. But, you have to take the right kinds. Different types of magnesium will have different effects in the body. Here is a general list

- Magnesium GLYCINATE: Mood regulation and sleep

- Magnesium THREONATE: Cognitive function

- Magnesium CITRATE + OXIDE: Gut movement

- I love finding blends of magnesium, so finding ones with different types helps the overall effect. I usually recommend Magnesium Glycinate the most. I like to tell people to take it before bed to help with sleep


B Vitamins: Taking a B complex supplement can help with numerous deficiencies. I recommend them to anyone on birth control or any sort of synthetic hormones. They help with cell growth, support metabolism, ease stress, positively effect moods, and provide energy. Any B vitamins you take need to be METHYLATED! And if you don't know what that means, I'd love to explain :)


Hormone Support: I do NOT recommend hormone support until you have been tested. High estrogen and low estrogen can look similar symptomatically, but we treat differently. Here are some common herbal supplements I like

  • Estrogen Dominance: DIM - A compound naturally found in cruciferous vegetables that helps bind estrogen and detox it from the body. Read more about Estrogen HERE

  • Progesterone Support: Chaste Tree/Vitex: Herbs to help the body's own progesterone production


 

CORTISOL/STRESS

As stated in this blog post about cortisol, this is a hormone imbalance I am comfortable treating without further testing. Symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, increased abdominal fat, running on E, are some common things we see with adrenal health. Here are some of my favorites:


Adaptogens: These are specific herbs that help reduce the stress response in the body. These include: Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Maca, Ginseng, and Holy Basil. Disclaimer, always cycle your adaptogens (take them for 2 weeks, take 1 week off), to help keep your emotions regulated.


L-Theanine: This is a compound found in green tea that has been shown to help calm down brain waves, meaning it can help with a stress response and promote relaxation. I love recommending this before bed, as it helps ease your brain to sleep.


Phosphatidylserine: This is a phospholipid and component of cell membranes, having protective effects on the brain and nervous system.


 

COMMON DEFICIENCIES

There are just some common deficiencies we find!


Vitamin D: You are at risk for a vitamin D deficiency if you are Caucasian, a woman, or live somewhere without sunshine all year round. Vitamin D deficiencies can manifest in many different ways, such as fatigue, mood changes, cramps, bone/joint pain. I think taking a daily Vitamin D supplement is great for a lot of people, or at least during the winter months. There are some associations with S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) and vitamin D deficiencies.


Zinc: Zinc is a fun mineral that helps with immune function, testosterone levels, hair/skin/nails and much more. The foods highest in zinc aren't the most common foods people eat, like oysters and seafood, so supplements can help bridge this gap as well. If you take Zinc daily, I do recommend pairing it with Copper, as taking chronic zinc supplements can deplete zinc over time.


DO I RECOMMEND A DAILY MULTIVITAMIN?

Yes... and No.... I think a lot of multivitamins use cheaper versions of the vitamin, don't contain enough to be effective, or don't contain the right type of vitamin/mineral. If you are going to take a multivitamin, it would be worth investing in a high quality product. I think that if you eat even somewhat clean, you will get most of your vitamins and minerals from your food. Some vitamins and minerals are harder to get, so that is why there are some that I recommend taking.


My 2 cents: If you can afford to take a high quality supplement (I personally sell the Pure Encapsulation one), then by all means, it can sure help you! But is it worth $30 a month to maybe get 5% better? That is up to you. If you feel better when you take it, then please continue, but there are other things that I tend to tell people to focus on.


 

GUT + LIVER HEALTH

We can't talk about one without the other!


My favorite liver supplements include: Milk thistle, dandelion root, and ALA. BUT, I think that diet plays a more important role than supplements. Increasing diet choices like fatty fish, berries, and healthy fats, while reducing high fructose and alcohol, can do much more for you than a supplement. Nonetheless, I do love recommending liver herbs for those that need it


L-Glutamine: Have you heard of leaky gut/increased intestinal permeability? Basically, from either antibiotics, stress, or other gut conditions, the gut lining can become weaker/not as tight, allowing things to 'slip through', causing intolerances, reactions, and inflammation. A common supplement that can help rebuild this lining is L-Glutamine, an amino acid. Bone broth is high in this compound, which is why it is one of my favorite gut healing foods.


Digestive Enzymes: These are fun! Digestive enzymes are compounds your body naturally makes to break down your food. Like lipase breaks down fat, amylase breaks down carbs, etc. Sometimes these can be off, not working like that should, or are working overtime. I love recommending digestive enzymes to those who bloat, have loose stools, or constipation, to help give their gut a break, allowing better digestion, which in turn allows better nutrient absorption.


Probiotics: Okay, this is where some of you might disagree.. I don't love the idea of a daily probiotic supplement. I think probiotics are great short term after antibiotics/times of stress/times of illness. But the goal of probiotics is to help build up your natural levels of probiotics, then help sustain it with pre-biotics. Pre-biotics are foods your bacteria eat to help them flourish, such as artichokes, oats, bananas, and onions. I would 100% prefer you to eat naturally fermented foods, like sauerkraut, yogurt, cottage cheese, kimchi, kefir, pickles, sourdough, or pickled foods, than take a pill. We aren't even sure that a lot of the probiotics on the market even do what they say they are going to do, or can survive your stomach acid. Also, there are hundreds of types of bacterial strands in our gut, how do you know that you are taking the ones you are deficient in without a test? SO... if you are going to take a probiotic, find one with at least a couple billion CFUs and 15+ strands to help hit a lot of your bases, take it for a month or so, then try your hardest to eat more prebiotic and probiotic foods. Phew!


 

MISCELLANEOUS


Prenatals: I always recommend women who are trying to conceive, could conceive, or are pregnant, to take a high quality prenatal. Again, make sure it is METHYLATED! I love the Thorne brand!


Joint Support: I am a big fan of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, as well a fish oil.


I would love nothing more than to talk to you about what supplements I recommend!





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