I commonly hear people comment, “I don’t need to take vitamins, I’m a healthy eater.” Or vice versa, “I take vitamins so I don’t need to eat healthy foods.” Unfortunately, both of these opinions are incorrect. Vitamins are called supplements for a reason, they are meant to supplement an already healthy diet, not replace healthy foods. Vitamins and supplements help ensure that our body is always getting enough of the nutrients that we need on a daily basis. Below are the supplements that I take every day, and recommend as a good compliment to an already healthy diet.
1. Multivitamin – If you are only going to take one type of supplement, this should be it. Vitamins are needed to run every process that occurs in our body. A deficiency of any one vitamin can lead to our body not functioning at its optimum level. I recommend that you take a multivitamin that includes 100% the daily recommended doses of Vitamin A, C, D, E and each of the B vitamins. Calcium and Magnesium are two very important minerals that should also be included in any good multivitamin. I also recommend that you don’t take a vitamin that is only a single pill each day, but broken into 2-3 doses each day. This keeps your body from overloading on a vitamin at one time, which may lead to your body flushing it entirely from your system. Finally, iron should be included in any supplement taken by a female in their childbearing years. Men and post-menopausal women should not be taking supplements with iron.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Commonly known as fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help decrease the risk for a number of diseases. First, they help lower triglycerides in your blood, which decreases the risk of heart disease. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been found to be helpful in cases of depression, asthma and ADHD. Omega-3’s have also been found to be important in prenatal health, since they are important to the neurological development of infants. Finally, preliminary research shows that omega-3 fatty acid may help protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia. The two most important forms of omega-3’s are DHA and EPA, and you should take a combined 1500 mg of EPA and DHA daily. Remember, to check the label before you buy though, the bottle will usually advertise a high amount of total fish oil, but the amount of EPA and DHA is what is important.
3. Coenzyme Q10 – Coenzyme Q10, CoQ-10 for short, is a highly effective anti-oxidant that is very important for heart health. Research has shown that CoQ-10 is effective at lowering blood pressure as well as treating other heart issues such as congestive heart failure. Research is currently ongoing, but it is believed that CoQ-10 may have anti-cancer properties, help the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease as well as relieve chronic migraine headaches.
This is only a few of the beneficial supplements that can help our bodies function optimally. There are many other supplements that can help with issues such as high cholesterol, headaches, and digestive issues. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss them with your doctor. And remember, these are not designed to replace a healthy diet, they should be used to enhance one.