Knowing which supplements to take each day is not an easy task. From amazing label claims implying that what’s in the bottle is essential for any illness under the sun, to Instagram influencers making their must-have brew, it’s easier said than done knowing which pills are worth taking.
As a registered nutritionist, I am looking for nutritional supplements to fill nutritional gaps that can arise due to an unbalanced diet. Although I generally don’t recommend a multivitamin supplement for everyone, I recommend targeted supplementation with certain nutrients, especially if a person restricts or avoids certain food groups. (Related: Dangerous Side Effects of Not Using Carbohydrates, According to Science.)
The use of certain dietary supplements is not risk-free. And seemingly harmless common dietary supplements can in certain cases be associated with risks. For example, a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that after evaluating nearly 200 randomized controlled trials, it was shown that supplementation with higher doses of niacin (with statins) and the antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E. an increased risk for all causes of death.
When assessing which supplements you will be taking on a daily basis, consider the recommended dosages, possible drug-nutrient interactions, and whether your body really needs that nutrient. It is best to get the green light from your doctor before you start taking any supplements, no matter how natural and harmless they may sound.
If you are planning on adding a daily supplement to your healthy lifestyle, here are seven that I encourage people to think about and discuss with their health care providers. While they may not meet the needs of every individual, they fill common nutritional gaps and can help people easily achieve their health goals. Read on, and to learn more about how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Eat Right Now.
Preventing urinary tract infections is not for everyone – but if you’ve ever experienced the inconvenience of having a urinary tract infection, you would probably appreciate any means of keeping another infection at bay. This infection is one of the most common clinical bacterial infections in women, with approximately 50-60% of women developing this infection at some point in their lives.
Using cranberries to keep your urinary tract healthy isn’t just an old woman’s tale. These tart berries contain a natural compound that prevents the harmful bacteria from clinging to the wall of the urinary tract, preventing infection (and the pain that comes with it).
There is enough data to support this relationship that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a qualified health claim on cranberry supplements that said, “Consuming 500 milligrams of cranberry supplements a day can help , the risk of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) in healthy women. The FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. “
Taking a cranberry supplement that also contains D-mannose, a natural sugar (also found in cranberries) that has also been linked to reducing the risk of UTIs, such as Zhou Cran Defense can give your urinary tract a 1-2 punch in the UTI prevention department.
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Most Americans don’t eat the recommended amount of oily fish, which leaves them with some potential nutritional gaps – especially DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3s are linked to most of the documented health benefits of omega-3s, including an increase in insulin sensitivity, a reduced risk of developing coronary artery disease, and even a beneficial effect on symptoms of depression.
Including a krill oil, like Kori krill oil, can help fill nutritional gaps, especially if you are not a fish lover.
Krill oil may offer better absorption than fish oil because it provides omega-3 EPA and DHA in its natural phospholipid form.
Continue reading: The best fish to eat, according to a nutritionist
Certified sustainable, Kori krill oil also naturally contains choline, an essential nutrient that supports brain and nervous system health, and astaxanthin, an antioxidant that gives krill oil its red color.
Calcium and magnesium are two minerals that are incredibly important to our bone and heart health. Unfortunately, many of us fail when it comes to foods rich in calcium and magnesium (especially dairy products).
Including a combination of calcium and magnesium, such as, Pure Encapsulations Calcium Magnesium can help keep your bones in tip-top shape. Bonus? Taking magnesium in the evening can also have sedative effects that can help you get some restful zzz’s before bed, just like the # 1 best for a better night’s sleep, says a nutritionist.
Choline is a nutrient that hasn’t received as much attention as it should. Known for helping brain health, adequate scores have been associated with better memory and processing. In fact, some data goes as far as suggesting that choline supplementation can reduce the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
Found in foods like egg yolks and liver, about 90% of the American population does not eat enough choline. So, unless you fall into the minority category, take a choline supplement like that Douglas Labs Choline Bitartrate can be a good step in protecting your brain health.
If you want to protect your eyes from the harmful blue light emitted by the sun and your beloved screens, you need to make sure that you are consuming certain carotenoids – namely, lutein and zeaxanthin.
These carotenoids accumulate in the back of your eye and essentially act like a filter to protect your visual center from damage.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in certain colorful fruits and vegetables. With only 1 in 10 Americans consuming the recommended amount of products each day, it’s not difficult to assume that they are also not getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are also found in colorful foods like egg yolks and pistachios.
If you don’t eat the rainbow, like a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement, like Zhou Screen Eyes Gummies gives you a boost in carotenoids to keep your eyes sharp. And taking it daily will help you maintain healthy levels in your eyes.
For women of childbearing age (approximately 16-45 years of age), experts, including the American College of Gynecology, recommend 400 mcg additional folic acid. Some people may need a higher dose because of their risk factors.
Folic acid deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of having a baby with birth defects. Therefore, an important step in a healthy pregnancy is to make sure your pre-pregnancy levels are at the same level.
And when you tell yourself that you are not actively trying and therefore not having to worry about pregnancy outcomes, you know that unwanted pregnancies can (and will) happen. In fact, in the United States in 2011, a whopping 45% of pregnancies were unplanned.
So if you are in this demographic, take 400 mg of folic acid daily, e.g. Folic acid from nature, is incredibly important along with a balanced diet.
Some people’s bodies cannot break down folic acid, so they need to ingest a methylated form of this nutrient called methylfolate. Your doctor can tell you whether folic acid or folate is the best form for your personal needs.
Thanks to our indoor lifestyles, our need to wear SPF sunscreens, and often living in cities surrounded by sun-blocking skyscrapers, our bodies don’t get the sun exposure it needs to make essential vitamin D.
Yes, vitamin D is made in our skin when it is exposed to the sun. But our lifestyle prevents our bodies from producing enough to meet our needs, and as a result, many of us are deficient in this important nutrient.
Around a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. And lower amounts of this nutrient have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, depression, and infection.
Especially in the cooler months when we are not in the sun, we like to take a vitamin D supplement Now Nutrition Vitamin D, is a good idea to maintain a healthy level.
A word of caution: do not take this vitamin in mega-doses unless you are under the supervision of a doctor. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, your body will not get rid of excesses.
And for more, check out surprising side effects of not getting enough vitamin D, Science says.