My Top 5 Supplements
The typical American diet is highly refined and nutrient-poor, which means that many essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers are removed during processing. Even fresh, whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables lack nutrients due to modern farming techniques and genetic modification (GMOs). No matter how carefully you select your groceries, it can be very difficult to avoid processed foods, refined grains, added sugars, and GMOs. Even if you regularly eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you may still fall short of certain essential nutrients.
Can taking supplements make a difference? The answer may be more complicated than you think. Dietary supplements can be a good an option to fill the gaps in your diet, but relying too much on nutritional supplements can be expensive, cause side effects, and take away the motivation to pursue a healthy lifestyle. That being said, supplements can provide significant benefits if selected wisely and taken appropriately. Many supplements can also be used medically as an integrative treatment for certain diseases and conditions.
My Top 5 Supplements
The following supplements are my top 5 recommendations to improve overall health and wellness. Contraindications or drug interactions may exist for some supplements. Please always consult with your physician before starting any new supplements. Once again, supplements are not intended as a replacement for a balanced diet, exercise routine, pharmaceutical medications, or a healthy lifestyle.
1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)
The human body requires different types of fats to stay healthy. Different fatty acids we get from our diets include omega-3, omega-6, omega-9. Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids. Our body cannot produce these fats, so we must get them from food. Even though the body requires both types of fat to stay healthy, these two fats are not created equal. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plant foods such as nuts and seeds. Diets which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to lower triglyceride levels, higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Common sources of omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable, corn, safflower, and soybean oil. Omega-6 fatty acids are not unhealthy in themselves, but they tend to promote inflammation in large amounts. Therefore, a diet with a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is ideal.
Due to the popularity of vegetable oil and soybean oil in processed foods and restaurant meals, the standard American diet is very unbalanced in the types of fats we consume. The standard American diet is very high in omega-6 fatty acids. Eating more fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and albacore tuna, is a sustainable way to get more omega-3s, but it can be difficult to incorporate enough fish in your diet to achieve therapeutic effects. A high quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement can effectively fight inflammation, improve your lipid profile, and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Make sure to consult with your physician before taking fish oil supplements, especially if you plan on having surgery or if you take medication.
A fish oil supplement I recommend: SuperEFA Plus by Seroyal. On sale now at MedRoyal’s medicinary!
Keeping your digestive tract running smoothly is the key to effectively absorbing nutrients from the food you eat. It might sound a bit unpleasant, but research has found that a colon chock-full of healthy bacteria is linked to a lower BMI, a reduced risk of diabetes, lower levels of inflammation, and a healthier immune system. Probiotic supplements contain live strains of healthy bacteria or yeast which take up residence in the large intestine. Probiotics can also help recolonize the large intestine after a round of antibiotics. Dietary sources of probiotics include raw sauerkraut, miso, kefir, and some other fermented foods. Many store-bought probiotic supplements or probiotic products can be deceptive – they do not actually contain live bacteria, or the bacteria or yeast has perished due to poor storage conditions, making them useless. Do not waste money on an over the counter probiotic supplement which may likely be a dud – consult your naturopathic physician for more information on the highest quality, medical-grade probiotic supplements.
A high-quality probiotic I recommend: TherBiotic Complete by Klaire Labs. On sale now at MedRoyal’s medicinary!
Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods such as black beans, whole wheat, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. One of the most common uses of magnesium is in the form of Epsom salts. Epsom salt soaks are a wonderful way to reduce sore muscles, aches, and pains. But the different uses of magnesium supplements are virtually endless. Magnesium supplements can be taken internally to reduce muscle aches and tension, regulate electrolytes, reduce the severity of headaches, combat constipation, and improve calcium absorption for better bone health. Many different chemical forms of magnesium exist in supplements: citrate, oxide, glycinate, aspartate. And each form is best for different situations, so make sure to consult with a naturopathic physician to determine which form of magnesium is more suitable for your needs.
My favorite magnesium supplements: Mg-zyme by Biotics. On sale now at MedRoyal’s medicinary!
4) Vitamin D3
Vitamin D deficiency is rampant throughout the United States, even in this sunny state of Arizona. Modern indoor life and use of sunscreen and protective clothing makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Food sources of vitamin D such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products provide some, but usually not enough. Vitamin D deficiency may cause brittle bones, generalized weakness, and can even cause mood changes which may be mistaken for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or even depression. A high quality D3 supplement provides the active form of vitamin D. A liquid vitamin D3 supplement is easy and convenient to take and only requires a few small drops per day. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored within the body’s fat reserves. Toxicity can occur if vitamin D levels become too high, so it is important to have your current vitamin D levels tested before starting supplementation. Please consult with your physician prior to starting a D3 regime to find the correct dose for you.
A vitamin D supplement I recommend: Vitamin D Ultra 10K by Designs for Health. On sale now at MedRoyal’s medicinary!
A balanced and varied diet rich in whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables is the single best way to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally. However, nutrient deficiencies can occur, even in the most health-conscious people. Busy schedules, processed food, factory farming, alcoholic beverages, medications – all of these contribute to key nutrient difficiencies. Having a high quality multivitamin on board can help keep those key nutrients stocked.
My favorite multivitamin: O.N.E. Multivitamin by Pure Encapsulations. On sale now at MedRoyal’s medicinary!
If you have questions regarding any of these supplements, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation for you or your family member to assess your current nutrient status or find the best supplement for your needs, please give us a call at MedRoyal in Chandler, AZ, at (480) 783-0708.
Or email us at FrontDesk@MedRoyalAZ.com