With so many supplements on the market it can be hard to decide what you should be taking to improve your health in the present and in the long term. My favourite supplements include:
Multivitamin – A high quality multivitamin is a great daily supplement that can provide added nutritional support to anyone no matter your age, lifestyle or how healthy you eat. Our food is very deficient in many vitamins and minerals compared to how it is used to be and our lifestyles are very different to how our ancestors lived. Multivitamins make a great way to fill in the gaps and to give our bodies the vitamins and minerals that we may be deficient in. It will also help with giving us added energy and boosting our immune systems all year round.
Vitamin D – why would we require a vitamin D supplement when we live in Australia, especially in North Queensland? Absorbing enough vitamin D from the sun can be difficult as we often cover up too much, wear sunscreen and don’t allow ourselves a solid 10-15 minutes to stand in direct sunlight exposing as much skin as possible. The darker your skin, the harder it is to absorb vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is pretty much required for every tissue in the body to adequately function and vitamin D is required to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Vitamin D is also essential for supporting your immune system and neuromuscular system. It is also essential for regulating mood and makes you feel happier and less depressed. Low levels of vitamin D pre-dispose you to a wide range of chronic conditions. Research now indicates that we need more vitamin D than originally thought and that diet and sun alone may not be enough to meet daily requirements.
Magnesium – magnesium is excellent for nervous system function as it provides a calming effect on the body. This helps our muscles contract smoothly, reduces anxiety and stress, aids digestion, promotes quality sleep as well as supporting various other body systems and functions. Stressors in everyday life in combination with poor diets are two main reasons why we require more magnesium than ever before to keep our levels within a healthy range.
Fish oil – fish oil is important for neurological and brain function and for reducing inflammation in particular. Our bodies are not capable of making Omega 3’s or Omega 6’s, however we often consume too many Omega 6’s as they are found in nuts/seeds and plant foods. In order to maintain the balance, taking a high quality fish oil supplement is ideal for the days where you are not eating fresh fish or foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds or hemp seeds to get your daily quota.
Probiotics – probiotics are fantastic for keeping your stomach happy and healthy by balancing out the good and bad bacteria. Having good gut bacteria means better digestion, better absorption of vitamins and minerals, improved skin health as well as keeping your immune system strong. We are exposed to various forms of bacteria and viruses daily and we are consuming more processed foods than ever before, all of which are the main culprits in throwing out this ideal balance.
Zinc – deficiencies in zinc are extremely common even though we eat a diet rich in animal meats due to factors such as; increased consumption of processed foods, medications becoming more accessible, and an increase in poor intestinal absorption. Zinc is a very important trace mineral that is essential for over 200 different enzymatic processes including; protein digestion, energy production, electron transport, RNA synthesis, bone metabolism, alcohol detoxification, and the normal absorption and action of vitamins, in particular B vitamins. It is also essential for a healthy immune system, reproductive growth, reducing acne, healing of wounds and burns as well as improve our sense of taste.