One of the biggest arguments for taking nutritional supplements is that our food supply is much less nutrient-rich than in the past. This, combined with the vast quantity of insults our bodies have to deal with in the modern age, it's no wonder most of us are nutrient deficient. Things like environmental toxins in the air, water, food, poor quality sleep, chronic stress, etc., all contribute to our overall body burden.
When left unchecked our bodies start to prematurely break down and we age faster, have much less energy, brain function suffers and in a nutshell, we become weaker instead of resilient like we are programmed to be. This tends to promote sickness and disease instead of preventing it. We get used to feeling “okay”, or “so-so” instead of awesome, and sadly come to accept this as normal. It is not even close to normal.
You may laugh at the above picture but I see this fairly frequently as an Elementary P.E. teacher. I just had a student fall asleep in class the other day and were I able to run a nutrient panel on her, I have no doubt whatsoever she would be lacking in some key nutrients (and sleep). Most of us feel like this after lunch too. Again, it is not normal to feel tired all the time. This can almost always be “hacked”, as it were.
So what supplements should you be taking? Much of this is bio-individual which is where testing can help a lot, but there are some key nutrients we all need regardless. They are fundamental to being healthy and involved in hundreds of metabolic processes every single day. Foundational supplements like these are an excellent starting point if you do not know where to begin.
n a recent podcast I was listening to, Dr. Mark Hyman shared that nearly 80% of us are deficient in Vitamin D3:
“C*V*D has highlighted the consequences of this because when you look at the data on C*V*D, if you’re low in vitamin D you’re 70% more likely to end up in the hospital in the ICU and die. If your vitamin D level is higher, your 97% protected from ending up in the hospital and dying.”
He also went on to talk about how Vitamin K2 should be used in conjunction with Vitamin D as they work harmoniously together to promote bone health and cardiovascular function. Vitamin D is a huge player when it comes to immune health, obviously. This one has been in my stack for a long time now. I make sure I spend time outside, supplement, and test my levels regularly.
Based on extensive testing of patients for over 30 years now, Dr. Hyman has also found that around 90% of people are deficient in Omega 3 fats. Wow! Most of us simply do not eat enough wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, etc. Omega 6 fats are important as well, but too many people have drastically high levels from cooking with seed oils like Canola and eating out far too often among other things.
Top reasons to get enough:
Helps prevent heart attacks and strokes
Increases blood flow to the brain
Reduces body inflammation (massively important)
Raises good cholesterol (HDL)
Improves memory and mood
Likely helps with rheumatoid arthritis
Blood sugar regulation
Every single cell membrane in the body is made out of these essential fatty acids. 60% of your brain alone is made out of Omega 3’s. Like I said earlier, this is a no-brainer (pun intended:)
The last of the threesome I want to talk about today is Magnesium. Once again, nuts, seeds, avocados, and wild-caught fish can help, along with a ton of leafy greens that most do not eat like spinach, collard, mustard, and even turnip greens. This mineral is critical to over 300 bodily functions, and over half of us are deficient on a regular basis. Some top benefits include:
Better sleep as it helps calm nerves and relaxes muscles
Lowers blood pressure
Digestion of food
This is another supplement that I have taken for years now, and along with the above two, I will for a lifetime. There is just too much data out there to argue against these 3 pillars of optimal health.
Of course pre and pro-biotics can be important, as well as many other things if you are looking to age well, feel stellar, prevent disease, and well, kick-ass in your life. I will discuss some key ones for those looking to dig deeper in my next article coming up in May. The science is very exciting in this area, and there is much we have learned.
As a Functional Health Coach, I use targeted supplementation with my clients based on their lab results. Due to my practitioner affiliation with the Fullscript dispensary of nutritional supplements, I am able to provide excellent discounts for my clients, as well as anyone else who is interested.
For example, everyone who registers with Fullscript will get 20% off any supplements for life. From time to time there will be sales up to 30% off as well. Companies are joining the Fullscript dispensary all the time, name brands like Thorne, Pure Encapsulations, Nordic Naturals, and many, many others. Click the sign-up link here. You are not obligated to purchase anything at all by signing up.
Fullscript is where I purchase nearly all of my own supplement stack as well. It’s a no-brainer:)