Today I wanted to talk about something I get asked about quite a lot— and that is, supplements! Is it any wonder we question whether we need to be taking more when there are aisles full of pills in drug stores and even health markets?
I want to start off by saying that there are no shortcuts to health and beauty. We can’t just rely on pills, what we eat is essential to our overall health and how we feel. I talk about this and many other aspects of what creates a happy, healthy and balanced life in my new book Radical Beauty, which releases in September!
When you look in various health markets and health stores these days, almost half the store is full of all types of supplements. If we try to rely on bottles of pills instead of eating a superior diet, then we’ll never really look or feel our best. This is something that I truly believe— having lived this lifestyle for well over a decade now.
Our bodies evolved for millions of years eating whole foods. This is really the best way for our body to absorb nutrition. Whole foods have thousands of nutrients and co-factors that work together for bio-availability to make sure that these nutrients are actually able to be utilized and absorbed into your body.
Unfortunately, a lot of supplements out there are synthetic. They could even be toxic to your body and must be expelled. Many of them are not really bio-available or usable by your body.
How Much is Too Much?
First thing is, don’t think that you have to take too many supplements. To be our most beautiful, healthy and energetic doesn’t mean we need to swallow down supplement after supplement. There are a few that I think are really important that I personally take myself.
Let’s take a look at these…
The first is the SBO probiotics. This is the one thing I will always take, no matter what. There is a connection between your gut, beauty, skin, energy, mental state, and really, everything!
SBO probiotics are soil based or soil born organisms that really emulate the type of organisms that our ancestors used to eating in small amounts in our soil. Our ancestors pulled the vegetables directly from the earth, and there would be a little bit of soil left on them. This trace amount of soil helped to maintain the healthy soil to grow healthy vegetables, and it also helps to keep your gut and entire system balanced and healthy.
This is the type of probiotic that bypasses the stomach acid— that implants in your system. It’s the best I’ve found for really balancing your body and supporting overall well-being.
This is so important because with a healthy gut, you’re actually going to absorb more nutrients. Your whole body is going to function a lot better. I consider this the most important supplement because it helps your own body function better.
Please note: there are a lot of probiotic types out there and they certainly are not all created equal. Don’t be duped by brands with really high culture counts…big numbers don’t really mean anything unless the form of probiotics you take can survive our stomach acid and effectively colonize in your gut!
Besides SBO probiotics, you may be looking to support a specific need. For instance, if you want to support your hair health, B vitamins are good for that.
You can corporate whole food based supplements, such as bee pollen, which is a really rich source of B vitamins. Because it’s a whole food, it’s able to be more in tune and aligned with our bodies to have higher bio-availability.
If you worry that you aren’t eating well (for whatever reason), you can source a high quality non-synthetic multi-vitamin— I like Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code® Multivitamin Formulas. A lot of my clients choose a multi-vitamin versus taking 80 different pills at once.
If you don’t live in a sunny place or you’re unable to get outside, you do need to supplement with vitamin D. Get your blood levels checked if you are having any concerns or doubts. In general, if you know that you’re not getting out into the light regularly then definitely supplement with vitamin D.
If you’re vegan, it’s definitely recommended to supplement B12. You can get B12 from a variety of sources such as nutritional yeast, but it’s still a good recommendation to supplement with B12. Your body can store it for some time, but it’s still a good idea for insurance. It’s not a nutrient that you want to be deficient in.
Detoxy is another supplement that isn’t a macro-nutrient but it does help increase your body’s overall function. It’s not only a cleanser, but a non-irritating cleanser and a non-laxative— so you can take it long-term (as I have!) and not worry about dependency. Actually, it clears out old waste and helps your whole system function better. I suggest taking it in the evenings. I’ve been taking it for years, and I swear by it.
I think it’s one of the reasons that I have so much energy and I feel so good. As we know, the more toxins we have in our body the less oxygen there is to circulate, and the faster you age. So taking these babies is a great way to help your skin and the aging process overall.
Again, depending on your body and weight, you can take one capsule and up to four or five in the evenings (I personally take four a couple of times a week). When I’m traveling, I take them every day. It just depends on your body.
Listen to your body. If you get a little bit of diarrhea, this is your body cleansing too quickly and you’ll want decrease your amount. If nothing is changing, you can increase the amount, always watching for any sudden changes and making any adjustments.
For me, if I take one or two, I don’t see much of a change. I need to take four and sometimes I even take five. You need to feel your body specifically.
Vegan Algae-Based DHA & EPA
Another supplement on my list is a vegan algae based DHA EPA supplement ( here is one such brand). Our bodies are meant to convert omega-3 fats into these two types of other facts, DHA and EPA. For some people, this conversion is compromised.
I’m not a fan of fish oil pills because they can often become rancid, but DHA is the healthy fat that is found in fish oil pills and the fish are getting the DHA from the algae. I always recommend going to the primary source and getting those healthy fats from there.
These are my basic supplements that I recommend. Of course, if you have a specific condition or a specific need, you may need to supplement other things as well, but here are my basics that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
If you’re eating a really whole food-based Beauty Detox diet, you’re not going to need a whole plethora of micro-nutrients. Too much is not better and can even be toxic.
Remember with supplements to be judicious, to choose the ones that you really need such as the core ones I’ve listed here. Do not get trapped into that mentality that you need a lot! You really don’t.
Remember your body is really powerful and has amazing abilities. Just be sure to fill it with incredible whole foods so it can then extract what it really needs to help you feel and look your best, for the long-term.
In love and health,