Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I hope you’ve all had an utterly fantabulous weekend. I spent mine ploughing my way through a couple new books, Sexy by Nature by Stefani Ruper and Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD. I’ve wanted to read Grain Brain for months now after listening to several interviews with Perlmutter, and wouldn’t you believe it last week it was on sale on Amazon.ca for 50% off! I couldn’t in good conscience pass this opportunity by as it is for business purposes 😉 I’ll be sharing a little review of it at some point this week. I’ve also been following Stefani Ruper over at Paleo for Women for quite some time and I don’t think it would be hyperbolic to say she has had one of the most profound impacts on my health through this one article right here. Without going into details, because that will be the subject of another post, when I saw she had written a book and that it was on sale (weeeee!!!) I had to buy it. I’ll be writing another more complete post about her book and her incredible impact on the field of female health and nutrition later this week, but I love what she does so much I just had to share it right meow! Anyhoo! Time to stop rambling and get to the point of today’s post, which is answering a question from a reader who’s wondering what I take daily to support my optimum health and nutrition goals. So without further ado, let’s dig in!
With so many supplements out there what would you say are the basics for someone who is already pretty healthy with no fundamental illnesses or imbalances? Basically, I wanna know what’s in your cupboard. Thanks! –Sonya
Well Sonya, what’s in my cupboards meowadays has been drastically downsized in the last few months, which has actually saved me more money than I’m willing to admit. Frankly I love experimenting with supplements and such, something that can be quite fun but also incredibly financially draining. I think it stems from my curiosity and my disbelief that some of these products can in fact do the things that are claimed on the label. Throughout my journey up and down the supplement aisles of various health food stores throughout the country I’ve settled on a pretty basic supplement regimen that I think most people could safely incorporate into their life.
- Vitamin D
- Called the “Sunshine Vitamin,” vitamin D is manufactured in the body from cholesterol when we’re exposed to sunlight and actually functions in the body more like a hormone that a vitamin.
- Though it is most famous for its role in bone health and calcium usage, its functions in the body are numerous and incredibly important and include for example, the following:
- Immune system function
- Muscle health and function
- Cardiovascular health and function
- Brain development—prevention of depression, anxiety, etc.
- Helping cells in your body communicate with one another.
- Check out more information from the Vitamin D Council.
- I take about 4000-5000IU/day during the winter and slightly less in the summer depending on how much sunshine I’m getting.
- Fish Oil
- Fish oil is a great source of EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that play a crucial role in regulating the inflammatory response in the body.
- If you’ve been eating a Standard American/Canadian Diet then you have likely been consuming far more omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, which can promote inflammation in the body. Adding a high quality fish oil to your diet will help rebalance the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in your tissues, thereby promoting a healthier inflammatory response.
- Regulating the inflammatory pathways in the body is key to managing conditions such as eczema, acne, arthritis, colitis, type II diabetes, and many more.
- Read more information about healthy fats and oils here, here, and here.
- This mineral is one of my favourites and no wonder! It plays a crucial role as a mineral cofactor in over 300 enzymatic functions in the body that regulate diverse biochemical reactions such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, energy production, and blood pressure regulation.
- Magnesium deficiency has been linked to:
- Muscle twitches and cramping
- Muscle tension and soreness in areas such as the neck, back, and jaw pain.
- Insomnia, anxiety and depression
- PMS symptoms
- Fatigue and weakness
- Constant thirst despite drinking ample fluids
- Taking a magnesium supplement orally and/or via an Epsom salt bath can help alleviate many annoying symptoms and issues.
- The magnesium I take, MagSense, also contains:
- L-glutamine: which provides fuel for the cells lining my digestive tract ensuring they have adequate nutrition to regenerate and rebuild.
- Active B Vitamins: to help with metabolism and energy production.
- Selenium: a cofactor in important antioxidants in the body
- Malic acid: when I discovered malic acid my life was forever changed. I tend to clench my muscles when I’m working or stressed out, which leads to a lot of aches and pains, but ever since discovering this miracle supplement they’ve improved so much it’s crazy. MA has been shown to help reduce chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia pain in sufferers and I notice when I’ve missed taking it. Malic acid also helps with energy production in the body
- Vitamin C
- This vitamin plays a crucial role in immune system regulation and helps support our bodies during times of stress via its relationship with the adrenal glands.
- It’s also required for the growth and repair of tissues in the body:
- Healing wounds and forming scar tissue
- Forms a protein required to make skin, tendons, ligaments, & blood vessels.
- Repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth.
- Vitamin C plays an important role as an antioxidant in our bodies to help prevent or mitigate free radical damage.
- Deficiency symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Bleeding/inflamed gums (gingivitis)
- Decreased ability to fight infection and heal wounds
- Dry and splitting hair
- Easily bruised
- Possible weight gain due to slow metabolism
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Swollen and painful joints
- It can often be hard to get adequate amounts of vitamin C from food sources due to its sensitivity to heat. I recommend supplementing with a high quality source of vitamin C.
Additionally, I will sometimes take a multivitamin if I’m feeling like I’ve had an off day or just need a little extra boost, but I don’t typically take one every day since I do try to get as much of my nutrients from my diet as possible. That being said I do like to have a stash on hand just in cases.
Because I smoked for so long and partied like a wild animal for much of my late teens and early twenties, my liver needs a little extra love so I like to cycle on and off various liver supporting herbs, especially if I start feeling rundown. I love tinctures (alcohol extracts) and will typically cycle through burdock, milk thistle, and dandelion root. Right now I’m using something a little fancier, Flora’s Flor-Essence Herbal Tea Blend for Detoxification Support and I’ve found it to be quite wonderful so far. I would suggest contacting me or another healthcare practitioner before diving into the world of herbal supplementation because they can have quite a powerful effect on the body.
If you’ve been a reader of mine for any length of time you’ll likely notice that I also put maca and ashwagandha in tons of my recipes because I’m kind of a stress junkie with a history of hormonal imbalance. These two are a little more specialized for me in particular; however, I do take the powdered food-grade forms so again, likely something you could incorporate into your diet if you’re feeling run down or your hormones are out of whack. Contact me if you’re unsure whether either of these supplements would be beneficial for you.
Finally I round out my supplements with a great protein powder to make healthy smoothies when I’m on the go. I use Vegessentials because I find it super easy to digest and it contains a great nutrient profile, but you may want to play around. Just avoid shitty soy protein and cheap junkie whey proteins with tons of fillers and sweeteners because those mother effers will do more long-term harm than good. Check out Joy McCarthy’s post on the 6 ingredients to avoid in protein bars/powders.
Phew! Another behemoth of a post. I’ve really got to learn how to be less verbose. But I guess that’s just not me 😉 Do you have any supplements you would add to this list? Or any that have made an amazing difference in the way you feel? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading friends! Have a wonderfully whimsical day!