Supplements you should consider....
Hey there Diva friends!
It's so easy when you are trying to be healthy to get overwhelmed by all the supplements available! I need this for my joint pain, this for my brain health, this one for my skin and this one for my belly!!! Trust me, I understand. As someone who is working on balancing my own hormones and recovering from years of damaged gut health from NSAID use and poor eating habits, I pop a handful of supplements every day and don't bat an eye!
But for the average person who is just looking to improve their overall health and doesn't struggle with any chronic or serious conditions, a handful of supplements multiple times a day is not appealing....and the question may arise, "can't I just get what I need from food?"
Yes. And no. Getting nutrition from food is optimal of course and any supplements you take should be of the highest quality and derived from whole food sources whenever possible! My first response to that question however, is that 99% of the American population is not eating a diet healthy enough to come even remotely CLOSE to providing the nutrition they need. Full of homogenized, oxidized vegetable oils, starchy/processed carbs, and sugar, a typical American diet can actually cause malabsorption of the nutrients you DO try to get in. But for arguments sake let's say you've hopped onto the Whole30 or Paleo/Primal bandwagon with me and your daily fare consists of grass-fed meats, pasture raised chicken eggs, fresh veggies, organic fruits, and high quality healthy fats....even THEN it's tough to get what you need for 2 reasons:
Why Take Supplements?
1) You simply don't get enough variety. Let's face it, we are creatures of habit! Unless you are the rare healthy unicorn that tries something new every time you go to the supermarket and you also love to cook creatively (bless you - can you come to my house?!), we typically pick up the same rotation of our favorite vegetables. For example, I eat kale, brussel sprouts, carrots, onions and peppers on the regular....but I hardly ever have rutabaga, parsnips, cassava, swiss chard, or spinach! This can be compounded if you have picky family members or kiddos to consider....So even as healthy as my family tries to be - it's flat out hard to get nutritional variety - at least on the level that you need daily.
2) We aren't just building our health, we are repairing it! Consider that even if you are the model of health in your nutrition choices now, for the first 20-30 years of your life you probably weren't. Most of us were raised (at no fault of our parents) on cereal, PB&J, commercial dairy products, and processed meats.....not to mention the fast food treat (even if it WAS only once a week!). Because of those foods (all processed!) we have given our systems a great load to bear. (For more information on how these foods have affected our overall health and our gut health specifically see my previous post HERE).
For that reason we spend the second half of our lives reversing symptoms, building up our health, healing our guts, and strengthening our brains, organs, skin, guts, and overall wellness. Essentially...catching up! Thankfully our bodies are survival machines that do the best with the building blocks they are given....so why not give them the strongest stone possible to build a wall of health instead of foam bricks or worse...nothing at all?
For those two main reasons I recommend that everyone take at least 3 supplements daily.
Which supplements are best?
1) Probiotics. Probiotics are KEY! Raise your hand if you have ever been on a round of antibiotics? You need a probiotic. Raise your hand if you have ever taken tylenol, ibuprofen, and NSAID of any kind? You need a probiotic. Raise your hand if you have ever experienced food poisoning, acid reflux, burping, belching, constipation? You need a probiotic. Raise your hand if you have ever taken Tums, or pepto bismol? You need a probiotic!*
* There area few instances where a probiotic could exacerbate an underlying health condition - while less common, if you bloat out after taking a probiotic or eating a fermented food like sauerkraut you may need further testing to rule out some bacterial overgrowth.
WHY? Because all of those things point to an imbalance in your gut microbiome. Your gut is like your second brain - lots of what happens externally or symptomatically in your body starts with your gut! (See my post on gut health here). Taking all those OTC medications can damage your gut lining and if you've ever taken an antibiotic....well....your gut microbiome is NEVER the same. Dramatic? Yes. True? Sadly. Antibiotics wipe out not ONLY the bad bacteria but also the good....and its tough for your body to recover from that. Like I said, it's a survival machine but have you ever come back from antibiotics and experienced side effects like constipation? Now you know why! If and when you need to take antibiotics it's ALWAYS beneficial to take a probiotic at the same time to replenish the good stuff! You can listen to a GREAT podcast on gut microbiome HERE.
2) Digestive Enzymes. Along the same lines as probiotics, digestive enzymes help you have a healthy gut. Enzymes help you break down your food and digest it properly. It makes it easier on your small intestines to then absorb the nutrients properly without causing inflamation and damage to your gut as discussed in my previous blog post! The right digestive enzyme can also help you avoid acid reflux and stomach upset. This is of course assuming you aren't using an enzyme to excuse poor eating habits!
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3) Remember how earlier we mentioned how hard it is to get all the good nutrition in that we need even when we are health nuts? Thats why I recommend everyone have a multivitamin. Preferably one derived from whole foods! A multivitamin is a great tool to cover your bases, make sure you are getting some vitamins in your system daily, even if you happen to get busy and eat the same thing every day in a row for the week ha! Who hasn't been there before?!
Where can I get these supplements?
Well, I could give you a list of highly recommended brands and individual supplements to take in pill form, OR, I could simply recommend Shakeology! Did you know that Shakeology includes probiotics, prebiotics (fiber that supports your probiotics so they can do their job), digestive enzymes AND tons of vitamins and minerals BECAUSE it's made from whole foods?! While kale may be in my diet, yacon root, bilberry juice, and moringa certainly are not! (except that they are because I drink Shakeology every day hehehe)
I'll be honest - as someone who was already on the path of eating whole, real, health conscious foods, a shake didn't appeal to me. But when I did my research I discovered that Shakeology is made from high quality whole food ingredients from around the world. The ingredients are wonderful, and the taste....well....I always say they must be hiding the fairy dust in the ingredient list because it's DELICIOUS. Chocolate vegan is my favorite!
Many people tell me that at $130/month for Shakeology seems pricey. I would say the quality of your supplements matter. If you purchase 3 high quality supplements you are getting close to the cost of Shakeology without the additional benefits of getting a tasty snack AND dose of quality protein. Health is always an investment - you can pay now for something to improve your health, or you can pay later when you are popping the RXs and hitting the docotors office weekly. Ask me how you can get a monthly discount on Shakeology to make it more affordable!
So to wrap up - if you're looking for better digestion, a healthier gut, and something tasty to get lots of vitamins in your day without chugging a kale smoothie....you DEFINITELY need to try Shakeology. If you have any questions, message me or comment below - but before you leave, I have to mention one more thing!
For $30 above the cost of Shakeology you can ALSO get a full year of streaming access to ALL the Beachbody at home workouts. You heard me - a full year! Click here for all the details. With ANY purchase comes access to my monthly challenges that include meal plans, encouragement, tips, live videos where you can ask me questions, and FUN!!!! We see results -are you ready to jump in yet?!
I love to hear from you! Comment below with questions, takeaways or topics you'd like covered in the future! :)
Bye for now! :) Here's to your health...