I’m very much of the food-first philosophy. Get your nutrition through food first, and then look to fill in the gaps with supplements after this.
Sometimes we can over-rely on supplements to get our nutrients. This is harmful, as this will create false sense of reassurance, and may give us an excuse to eat a crappy diet.
Remember – there is so much more to real food than us as human have identified and isolated. For example, who have identified about 5,000 phytochemicals (natural compounds in plants which possess biological activities beneficial to human health), but there are still many to be discovered.
Supplements are meant to supplement your diet, not to replace a healthy diet.
With all of this being said, there are a few nutrient gaps in my diet. Let me tell you about what I supplement my diet with.
Supplements I Take Daily
I’m a runner, a vegetarian and a menstruating woman. Due to these 3 things, I’m at higher risk for iron deficiency.
Although I load up on iron-rich foods such as lentils, dark leafy veggies, nuts and seeds, I need a bit of help still to reach my iron needs.
The type of iron I take is Ferrous Bis-Glycinate. This type of iron is gentle on my gastro-intestinal system, and still has a high degree of bioavailability. I don’t experience any constipation with this type of iron.
Product: Nature’s Bounty Gentle Iron
Amount/Timing: One tablet daily with a meal (usually breakfast)
I’m very much into gut health and the impact of probiotics. Different probiotic stains are helpful for various conditions.
What do I take probiotics for? To manage candida yeast growth. Lactobacillus acidophilus is helpful for this purpose. This strain is found in Bio-K.
Product: Bio K Capsules -25 Billion
Amount/Timing: One capsule daily (breakfast)
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one vitamin that is very hard to get through food. Sunlight is the most efficient source of Vitamin D. However, as we know, too much time in the sun comes with it’s own risks. Also, In Canada, we don’t have consistent amounts of sunlight all year round.
Vitamin D is a very multi-purpose vitamin. It plays a role not only in bone health, but mood, heart health, preventing autoimmune diseases, cancer and the flu, to name a few.
Product: Jamieson Vitamin D3
Amount/Timing: Two 1000 IU tablets daily before bed
4. Omega 3
The typical North American diet is rich in processed foods and full of pro-inflammatory compounds. Fat plays an important role in modulating inflammation in our bodies, and an increase in dietary omega-3 fats in particular has been associated with lowering blood triglycerides (decreases risk for heart disease), helping alleviate symptoms of depression, boosting the effects of some anti-inflammatory drugs for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Always skip the omega blends that contain omega-6 fats, we already get way too many of these pro-inflammatory fats in our diets so you certainly don’t need to supplement with them!
Krill oil is naturally low in contaminants and contains a potent antioxidant. It provides EPA and DHA in both triglyceride and phospholipid form, which are well absorbed.
Product: Jamieson Krill Oil – 1000 mg
Amount/Timing: One softgel daily at dinner
Supplements I Take Occasionally
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer. Magnesium is found in a number of foods that I eat daily, such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, etc.
I occasionally experience muscle cramping and when I do, I take magnesium citrate before bed. An added bonus of this product is that it helps me sleep! I don’t take it daily because I find this product causes lose stools, and I do eat a number of foods rich in magnesium already.
Product: Natural Calm- Magnesium citrate
Amount/Timing: 2 tsp before bed
2. Protein Supplements
The majority of the time, I am to get my protein through real, whole foods.
Occasionally I will mix in protein powder into foods such as protein pancakes or muffins, for a bit of a boost.
What I use: Perfect Sports Diesel Whey Protein
Amount/Timing: 1/4 cup in most recipes
What supplements do you take daily and occasionally? I look forward to hearing 🙂