In my practice I often get asked which supplement a person should take if at all. Naturally this varies for most clients, depending on each person’s specific deficiencies and health challenges. Generally I recommend only three things, at a minimal level: Water, a good quality Probiotic and a good quality Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplement. Let me go a little deeper into why these nutrients are so important.
Water is essential as our bodies cannot function without it and many of the health issues I see in my clients can be directly traced back to dehydration. Dehydration has become a chronic health condition for many of us, especially if you drink caffeinated beverages. For every caffeinated beverage you drink you need to replace it with 1.5 times the amount of water and that is in addition to your normal daily requirements for water intake.
Let’s look at Probiotics: probiotic means pro-life and our gut contains about 4-6 Pounds of bacteria, good and bad. The trick here is to make sure that it contains a balance of both but you want to make sure that the good guys outnumber the bad ones. Why are these guys so important? Most of our immunity resides in our gut. To be effective, a good probiotic must multiply itself in the gut, while decreasing the amount of non-beneficial or disease causing bacteria. Drinking chlorinated water, eating meats from animal fed antibiotics, antibiotic use, stress and plenty of other factors influence our gut flora and its balance. So, eating cultured dairy, cultured vegetables and taking good quality probiotics is more important than most people realize. You always want to keep your gut guessing by giving it probiotics or cultured foods with many different strains of bacteria.
And last but not least EFA’s: these are ESSENTIAL fatty acids, meaning our bodies cannot make these and we need to get them from our food. These are often referred to as Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. These fabulous fatty acids are responsible for our bodies to manage healing and inflammation. Ideally, you would take these every day, in a wide variety and in plentiful quantities. Balance is key here, most people get way more Omega 6’s than 3’s in their diets, due to the large amounts of vegetable oils in people’s diets.
Unless people are really deficient I don’t recommend taking a multi-vitamin/mineral product just because. I always help my clients figure out what a well-balanced and nourishing diet looks like for them AND I make sure that their bodies are utilizing the wonderful foods like healthy energy bars they are eating to the fullest extent, and then ideally they won’t have to take so many supplements.