For many years I’ve always believed that a well balanced diet provides just about all of the nutrients that we need to survive. I still believe that. I do however believe in order to thrive, there are certain vitamins and minerals that are not adequately available in our current food supply, so supplementing with good quality products will help to fill that void.
Before I jump into it please note that I do not promote or endorse any specific brands. The things I look for are transparency, clean ingredients, good reviews and companies that are third party certified. The last point is major. Being third party certified means the claims of the company and their products are verified by an independent third party. This is crucial in a multi billion dollar industry which is not properly regulated by the FDA. So let’s jump into my recommnedations.
This is the most important one. It’s very difficult to get adequate D from your food. Vitamin D is crucial for strengthening the immune system, boosting your mood, and lowering risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more. It’s also recommended to spend 20-30 minutes in direct sunlight everyday when the sun is at it’s highest point. I’ve noticed that athletes with great vitamin D levels (50+) tend to have better sleep and athletic performance as well.
Probiotics are another crucial supplement I believe everyone can benefit from. The gut stores 90% of your immune cells and is responsible for aiding in digestion – the enteric nervous system has a direct connection to your brain. Probiotics help to create an environment where good bacteria can thrive as well as balancing the ratios of the bad bacteria that are ingested through food and the environment. Keeping a healthy ratio of gut flora will help balance your mood, immune system and general sense of well being by being able to adequately absorb the nutrients consumed through food.
As our food and water supplies have been stripped of nutrients over the last century, trace minerals have also been stripped from our daily diets. They support your cardiovascular system and are necessary for the production of certain hormones. They also ensure the proper development of neurological functions and enzymes in the body. Did you know that if you ate 1 orange grown on American soil back in the 1920’s, in order to get the same nutrient profile today you’d need to consume 6 oranges?
This is another important one, especially if you are not consuming enough high quality red meat. B complex vitamins help prevent infections and promote cell health, energy levels, eye sight, brain function, digestion, appetite as well as proper nerve function. Certain B vitamins have also been shown to help with anxiety and depression.
This is my personal short list of supplements that I think all humans need to thrive. Experts might also throw in fish oil as there are receptor sites at every cell in your body. Personally I think if you’re eating 2 servings of wild fish weekly, you don’t need the supplement. I like to take a simple approach to thriving and along with proper exercise, rest and recovery, as well as nutrition I personally supplement with all of the above minus B complex because I eat a lot of red meat.