In case you are not a chemist or super pumped about researching labels then consider these recommendations that fit your lifestyle!
Should you take supplements? While it is completely possible to get everything you need from food it is not likely. Since no one eats perfectly all the time it may be necessary to supplement your nutrition to avoid common deficiencies. While it is better to eat whole foods and improve your dietary intake, almost all my athletes and clients find the need to supplement. Needs arise when you know you have a deficit not likely to be met with food, when you travel or are in restricted food or calorie circumstances.
These five recommendations are my top considerations because they are safe and most likely needed. So consider these five supplements for starters. Brands are too numerous to list and to review, therefore I am not listing them.
- Fish Oil– The minimum recommended EPA and DHA intake is 900 mg per day. The average American gets only 300 mg per day. Fish oil helps with so many other aspects of health like dry eye, skin issues, joint health, inflammation reduction, heart health, weight loss and healthy cell membranes maintenance. Oftentimes, 2 – 3 grams (2000 -3000 mg) a day, taken at various times throughout the day, may be recommended for optimal health and is way more than the minimum intake of .9 grams.
- Probiotics– Probiotics are friendly bacteria living in our digestive tract and unique to each individual. These bacteria help digest and absorb nutrients plus influence our overall health and immunity, metabolism and body composition too. Aim for consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, miso, some cheeses, kefir, and sauerkraut. It is also a great idea to supplement with a probiotic that contains 8 – 10 probiotic strains daily to feed healthy gut bacteria and keep everything balanced.
- Greens Powder – Do you consume at least 5 fruits/vegetables a day? *Less than 4 percent of 18 – 24 year olds, less than 9% of 25 – 34 year olds, less than 16% of 35 – 49 year olds and less than 24% of 50 – 64 year olds consume 5 or more veggies and fruits a day.Greens supplements are vegetables, fruits, algae and grasses compacted into powdered form and can help with the daily allotment of fruits and vegetables. Traveling with a greens powder is especially effective when you are faced with limited food options. We know that fruits and veggies are good for us and appear to reduce cardiovascular disease, cancers, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, eye disease, asthma, COPD, and osteoporosis.Try adding your greens powder to your protein shake or stews or casseroles to boost nutrition.
- Protein Powders – Most of your protein should come from actual food sources, but it is also acceptable to get 1 – 2 servings from supplemental powders. One serving size of protein for women is 20 – 30 grams and men is 40 – 60 grams. Exercising or active individuals are advised to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.The most common protein powders are from whey, egg or vegetarian blends. You can even find protein powders made from hemp or crickets! Pick a high quality brand without a lot of extra ingredients. A super shake is blended food with protein powder and is a great way to get additional protein.
- Multivitamin– Take a multivitamin to reduce the risk of nutrient deficiency and provide “insurance” for days when we do not get enough of a complete or varied diet. Optimum amounts of vitamins and minerals are usually higher than the minimum daily allowance. Find a great quality brand and use it daily or at least on days when foods are limited. Some vitamins like A, D, E & K are fat soluble and need to be consumed with dietary fat for absorption. These vitamins are stored in the body’s tissues for a long time. Water soluble vitamins/antioxidants like all the B complex and C vitamins are not stored in the body’s tissues and should be consumed regularly within the RDA or optimal daily allowance.
We absorb nutrients from foods better than in supplemental form but when necessary these supplements can help you reach the optimum requirements for health, energy and good body composition. Not all supplements are appropriate for everyone so please contact me for more information or consult your medical professional or a registered dietician. Thank you to Precision Nutrition for much of this information!
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