LIVE WELL

3 Supplements You Should Be Taking

3 Supplements You Should Be Taking
Omega-3:  

As I’ve mentioned before (and will probably do many more times), this is a crucial fat. If you are currently eating a healthy well-rounded plant-based diet, you are probably just about okay in this department. However, if you aren’t consuming a lot of walnuts, flaxseeds, or chia seeds, you should consider supplementing this important nutrient.

Most people eating the Standard American Diet have a rich supply of omega-6’s floating around in their systems, found in products like eggs, corn oil, and soybean oil. While omega-6’s (and omega-9’s) are necessary in the body, there can be an issue if the balance of 3’s:6’s is off, mainly inflammation. An ideal ratio would be 1:1. Between 1:2 and 1:4 would be acceptable. You would be surprised to know that most people in our country are at around 1:15 for this ratio.

I recommend taking about 600 EPA/400 DHA of fish oil daily. This is easiest done in liquid form. See detailed recommendations here and purchase here.

Probiotic:

Did you know that 80% of your immune system is found in your gut? Keep your defenses up by taking a probiotic to populate it with tons of happy, healthy bacteria. Probiotics help your digestive system function optimally by assisting in the digestion of certain carbohydrates, nutrient absorption, and fending off bad bacteria.

A daily probiotic is my first defense against colds. It has served me well the past 2 years, only getting sick once (and for a very short time at that).

I take Vitacost Probiotic 10-20.

Vitamin D:

This one is crucial, but a great number of people are deficient. Chronic fatigue and low bone density are symptoms of a deficiency. However, the only true way to know if you’re deficient is to get a blood test to check your levels.

We can easily get vitamin D from moderate unprotected exposure to sunlight (usually about 15-20 mins), but the time limit changes according to your skin and where you live. Common sense: if you’re pale or live in Florida, you need less and if you’re darker or live in Washington, you need a little more. If this isn’t possible (it’s winter, you live somewhere without sun, or like most working folks you are stuck in a building during all daylight hours), take a supplement. You can choose between D2 (vegetarian) or D3. This is another place where I recommend you take the source from animals: D3. Our bodies don’t convert D2 to D3 as efficiently as they just absorb the readily available D3.

You need to be careful here with supplementing. It is fat soluble so you must take care not to overdose. Your system doesn’t dump the excess. Experts say that it is safe for adults to take 1000 IU of D3 daily. I take this one.