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One of my goals for 2018 is to live a HEALTHIER lifestyle. I’ve been on a journey to wellness and nutritional healing in 2017, and I am always striving to learn new practices that I can implement. There are many aspects to this, and if this is one of your goals, you are probably thinking along the lines of preventative measures—meaning, you want to support the various systems in your body so that they do not become ill. This has been a total paradigm shift for me. It has been a lot to learn, but it is so worth it for mine and my family’s health! All of the supplements recommended in this post are things that I have implemented already, and I have seen amazing results! I have also included where these nutrients are naturally found in foods, so that we can be sure to include these foods in our diets. However, if you are already deficient in these the vitamins, minerals, and oils that I have listed, you will need to take a supplement to give your body what it needs daily. I have also included affiliate links where you can purchase these products on Amazon.
What is the purpose of a probiotic? You see, your gut (your digestive tract) is its own microbiome, filled with over 100 trillion bacterial cells. Some of these are actually good bacteria, which help your body extract vitamins from the food you eat, help you maintain mood stability, and boost your body’s immunity, among other things. However, some of it is bad bacteria, which can wreak havoc on your body—we’re talking acne, mental health issues, and digestive issues, to name a few. This can happen when your gut bacteria get out of whack. What can cause this disruption? A lot of the foods we regularly eat today are NOT gut-friendly. Also, the overuse of antibiotics and overexposure to toxic chemicals can disrupt your gut microbiome. What is the solution to supporting your gut health? While there are a lot of steps you can take to restore your gut health, (such as including fermented foods in your diet, like kombucha, kefir, and sauer kraut) another great place to start is getting the right daily probiotic. When choosing a probiotic, it is important to consider not only how many microorganisms it contains, but also how many strains of bacteria it has. The more, the better! Taking a high-quality daily probiotic will restore the good bacteria to the lining of your digestive tract—which in turn will do nothing but help all the other systems in your body.
(If you are having serious digestive and/or psychological issues, I highly recommend looking into the GAPS diet. It is a very strict diet that can do WONDERS for your gut health. You can order the GAPS diet book by clicking here:
2.) Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzyme supplements also can play a significant role in helping your body’s digestive system. The role they play is that they help speed up specific chemical reactions in your body, specifically with the absorption of nutrients from food. Research shows that many illnesses can be in some ways traced to malabsorption of nutrients due to lack of digestive enzymes. Enzymes and probiotics go hand in hand in ensuring your best gut health.
3.) Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is an oil that comes from the liver of cod fish, and it has been used for centuries due to its many amazing health benefits. It is very nutrient-dense, and it is a source of many essential vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have linked cod liver oil with the following benefits: lowering cholesterol and high triglycerides, preventing diabetes and heart disease, lowering risk for autoimmune disease and osteoarthritis, lowering high blood pressure, and treating depression. It is also interesting to note that most Americans have an over-abundance of omega-6 fatty acids in their diet, and a daily cod liver oil supplement can help balance that with its extra omega-3s.
4.) Fish Oil
Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish, such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring. Like cod liver oil, fish oil is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Here is an eye-opening fact: Did you know that, according to a Harvard University study, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is the sixth highest killer of Americans? (source: Dr. Axe) Both fish oil and cod liver oil contain the omega-3 EPA, which is an essential oil that your body cannot produce by itself—meaning, it must be obtained directly from what you consume, and our bodies require it for health.
Here is an excellent link on the differences in fish oil and cod liver oil, on why we need both, and which fish oil and cod liver oil supplements are the best: https://www.ondietandhealth.com/5-differences-between-fish-oil-and-cod-liver-oil/
Calcium, magnesium, and zinc are essential minerals that your body needs to regulate many different functions. I listed these three as one item on the list, because they work together and they need to be taken together. Calcium lays the foundation for healthy teeth and bones, as well as healthy muscle and nerve tissue. Magnesium is also stored in the bones, but it also affects hundreds of chemical processes in your body. Nearly everyone is magnesium-deficient. However, it is important to take calcium and magnesium together, because the two are interdependent. Calcium is needed for contracting the muscles, and magnesium is needed to relax them. The ratio of calcium to magnesium that you take daily is also important; it should be about 2:1, calcium being greater. Zinc is an important piece to this trio of minerals because it helps with the absorption of the other two. Zinc also assists with metabolism, immunity, cell division, and protein and DNA synthesis.
6.) B-complex vitamins
B-complex supplements usually contain the 8 B-vitamins: B1 (thyamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin). Each of these vitamins plays a different part in affecting the overall health of your body. They are found naturally in leafy greens, beans, legumes, eggs, whole grains, and leafy protein. Some people take a B-complex supplement to boost energy, improve memory, stabilize mood, boost immunity, and improve the health of their skin and hair. Pregnant and breastfeeding women especially need vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid.
7.) Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, because it is absorbed into the body primarily through exposure to the sun. We need vitamin D to help calcium to be absorbed through the intestines, because otherwise it will be excreted through the kidneys. However, many people living in North America have a vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include frequently getting sick, fatigue, moodiness, hair loss, and muscle aches. Long term vitamin D deficiency can lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, osteoporosis, and various autoimmune diseases. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you definitely need to consider taking a daily supplement.
Collagen has become one of the most popular go-to anti-aging supplements in recent years. However, collagen is not merely a fad. There are decades of research to back up the effectiveness of the daily use of collagen, not merely for anti-aging, but for various other benefits. So what is collagen? Collagen is a special type of protein that forms a chain, which acts as a “glue” that forms the structure of your body. Your body naturally produces its own collagen, but it produces less and less as you get older, which causes the signs of aging. However, not only does it prevent wrinkles, but it can also prevent joint pain, osteoporosis, and stretch marks. It can help promote gut health, healthy hair growth, it can grow stronger nails, and it can help balance your hormones.
This collagen supplement comes in powder form, and is great to mix right in with your coffee, smoothies, or other drinks, and doesn’t affect the flavor.
9.) Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as absorbic acid, and it is one of the safest and most effective supplements that you can take. Your body cannot produce vitamin C on its own; therefore, it must receive it from food or supplements. It is a powerful antioxidant and it is absolutely essential in your body for the synthesis of collagen. It can help protect your body against viruses and common illnesses such as cough and cold, it lowers hypertension, boosts immunity, repairs wounds, and can help treat diabetes.