I get a lot of questions about when and how (and if) to supplement.
It is my view that due to the nature of modern food production and the loss of traditional food culture, it is impossible to gain sufficient levels of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, quality fatty acids, and antioxidants from diet alone. So in addition to eating high quality food and living a life supportive of well being, supplementation becomes necessary in the modern world.
The baseline supplements I recommend are a multivitamin (with antioxidants included) as well as a fatty acid supplement, preferably cod liver oil. These are useful for everybody; they simply ensure that our cells have everything they need to do their jobs. Because generic fatty acid supplements generally don’t have enough high quality fatty acids (EPA, DHA, GLA, etc.), and synthetic vitamins are often in minimally bioavailable forms, getting quality supplements can be a challenge.
Now, people with specific health challenges will need to go beyond a multivitamin and a fish oil. For example, resveratrol is an antioxidant particularly useful in preventing cardiovascular incidents. Quercetin is a bioflavanoid that acts as an especially potent antioxidant, which might be a useful part of a cancer prevention regime. Magnesium is a mineral commonly depleted in Westerners that is needed–along with calcium and phosphorous–for strong bones and teeth. These are just a small number of examples in a list that goes on and on; really, it would behoove you to consult a holistic minded nutritionist to form a supplementation regime for optimal health.
Anyway, here are just a couple of the many products worth taking. This is a very, very limited list for the sake of eliminating confusion. These are no means the end all and be all of supplements. I link to an online source, but consider checking out your local health food store. For those of you in my area, check out Herbwise Naturals of Westerly, RI and the Natural Food Store of Niantic, CT.
- Nature’s Way Alive Whole Foods Energizer Multivitamin (with or without iron)
- Source Naturals Life Force (also available without iron)
- Oregon Health, Multi-GuarD w/CoQ10
- Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil (liquid or soft gels-take 5 daily)
- Udo’s Choice Oil Blend (a vegetarian option)
- Source Naturals Calm Thoughts
- Garden of Life Perfect Food
Note: you can save $5 at iherb.com with the referral code WOX796. You’ll also be helping to subsidize my personal dietary habits. By all means, feel free to buy these products elsewhere. Iherb.com has free ground shipping over $40; otherwise it is as low as $2.