Of all the questions I get asked on a daily basis, THIS is by far the most common: what supplements do you take daily? It’s a good question…one that I’m constantly researching, tweaking, and changing. Our bodies have different needs during different seasons of life, but there are also needs that are pretty constant, which is why I have a core group of supplements, vitamins, and nutrients that I take daily. Of course, this is definitely not a “one-size-fits-all” type of list. But I’m going to at least share the supplements I take, and some that my family takes, on a daily basis based on what I feel our bodies need to maintain. Even this core list can change from time to time, especially when companies get bought out or if I research and find something better, cleaner, or better suited for my family. And while I think it’s important to switch things up when better offerings come out or maybe something isn’t working well, I feel pretty confident in this list right now, which is why I’m ready and excited to share it. I’ve tried a lot of brands in these areas, for the most part, so I’ve done a lot of comparing and believe these core supplements are well-rounded for that reason. Long story short, I try to keep up-to-date on brands and try new things when it seems appropriate. I am open-minded, yet still picky on ingredients and company standards when it comes to investing in vitamins, nutrients, and supplements for myself and my family. Here’s my current list of what we take on a daily basis and why.
It’s all in the gut, my friends. The research continues to correlate so many health issues to poor gut health. A huge way to heal the gut is by incorporating fermented foods into our diets. We live in a world full of processed foods, so we need to get back to the basics, back to old traditions, and get familiar with fermentation. For me, that’s brewing kombucha at home and consuming at least 8 ounces a day. I also plan to start fermenting vegetables this fall. Consuming water kefir and sauerkraut are also beneficial for the bellies. But in supplementation to consuming fermented foods, I always recommend taking a probiotic as well to add in different strains of bacteria. I’ve tried a lot of probiotics and currently, I feel confident in recommending the brands Seeking Health and Bio-Kult. We are currently rotating these two in our house. The boys are currently taking ProBiota Infant Powder which I mix into breastmilk or a tiny bit of juice for my toddler. They have other options for adults, which I plan to switch back to after I finish up my Bio-Kult. Like I said, it’s good to rotate probiotics to cover different strains of bacteria, and these are the two I’m loving right now.
Superfoods/Vitamin B Complex
This is the real deal people. This company. This superfood powerhouse. If I could only take one supplement, this would be the one. For a long time, I’ve come across studies upon studies on the importance of consuming grass fed organ meats. I’m talking liver, hearts, brains, and kidneys. Yup, I don’t have the courage, the stomach, or the tastebuds to eat these meats in a meal. Believe it or not, some people do, and more power to them. Since I’m not that primal, I finally found the perfect solution in the Paleovalley Grass Fed Organ Complex. This supplement has the most concentrated natural form of Vitamin B12, which half of Americans are deficient in. Did you know that Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that plants or sunlight cannot provide for us? Truth is: it’s only found in animal products, and grass fed liver is the richest source. I can’t do liver for dinner; I’ve tried. I’ll pass on that plate and take this freeze-dried organ complex instead. Besides liver, it has beef heart, beef kidney, and calf brain. Appetizing right? Don’t worry. There is NO aftertaste or burps in these bad boys. These are just PACKED with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and superfoods. I would name them all, but the list is long; definitely read up on the benefits of organ meats. This organ complex features some of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. My energy levels have never been better, and overall, I just feel great all around. Plus, Paleovalley is legit: everything is grass fed; no fillers/flow agents; gluten free, grain free, soy free, dairy free; and non GMO. I’m sold.
Again, it’s Paleovalley for the win on this one. I’ve been a skeptic about taking Vitamin C for awhile. There are so many options out there, and none of them have really seemed to work for me, likely because most are synthetic and a single source of Vitamin C is used–ascorbic acid. But then, this came along. The Paleovalley Essential C Complex features a full spectrum of organic superfoods as its Vitamin C sources. These immune-boosting powerhouses include amla berry, camu camu berry, and acerola cherry. These are potent parts of nature, and because they are whole foods, they’re easier for the body to absorb. And believe me: Vitamin C is so much more than just about boosting immunity. It also aids in tissue regeneration; helps absorption of iron; promotes production of collagen; fights stress and cancer; benefits teeth, skin, hair, nails, brain health; fights weight gain; reduces toxins; boosts energy; and so much more. I take it year-round, but ramp up my dosage if I’m hit with cold. I also open the capsules and sneak them into overnight oats or sippy cups for the boys, too.
Prenatal + Postnatal Vitamins
I’ll be honest with you, this is where I haven’t budged on my brand and for a valid reason. I’m super picky about ingredients, as you know, and companies as well. New Chapter is a brand I used as soon as I started trying to conceive. They are a B Corporation, meaning they have high standards, and I truly believe this whole-foods-based vitamin has helped my body bring beautiful babies into this world. With that being said, I’m weird about venturing away from this brand, even though they are owned by Proctor & Gamble, a big company I do not normally support. I like that I can take these on an empty stomach, the ingredients are all ones I recognize, and again, they’re a B Corp. I use the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal daily or during pregnancy and Postnatal during postpartum and nursing. Like I said, in a way, I don’t want to mess with good baby-making vibes–if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?–as strange as that sounds. Maybe I’m a little superstitious in this area, but I’m OK with that and had to be honest. I just love the brand. Period. But truthfully, this vitamin may be overkill with the organ complex. (I’m looking into it.)
This is an area that I admit I neglected for a long time, and most of us do. I like my morning coffee and my evening wine, and with that means consumption of caffeine and alcohol, which many don’t know actually depletes magnesium. Add in sugar and refined foods, too, and your magnesium levels are likely lacking, big time. Why is magnesium so important? Here’s the short list: It aids in cell regeneration and bone formation, boosts energy, relieves headaches, keeps hormones functioning optimally, relieves muscle soreness, improves skin, promotes better sleep, just to name a few. For these reasons, I’ve finally incorporated magnesium into my daily dosing of supplements and nutrients. So far, I prefer the transdermal route, applying a magnesium oil spray onto my skin daily. Dermal absorption seems to be the most effective, plus I can spray it on my boys without them having to swallow or drink anything to reap the benefits. I like this brand so far, but honestly, I picked it up quickly at a local health store and may switch to Ancient Minerals in the future since I’ve heard great things. Otherwise, there are magnesium supplements and powders you can try if that’s more appealing to you.
You’ve probably heard the buzz about collagen peptides lately. If not, you’re hearing it from me now: This stuff works. I had some crazy hair loss postpartum, but after adding a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my morning mocha every day for a couple months, I noticed a major difference in how quickly my hair was growing. Not only that but NEW hair started growing wild along my hairline. I was super impressed. They also help your joints, skin, and nails. This brand is grass fed, sustainably sourced, tasteless, easily dissolved, and bioavaible. I think I’m hooked for life.
Cod Liver Oil
I’ve been investing in Radiant Life Cod Liver Oil for several years now. It’s not cheap, but the brand is top quality. I take this a couple times a week for the Omega 3s and healthy fats.
Sometimes I just know when my digestive system is going to have a hard time breaking down a meal. I have some food intolerances that slip into my diet from time to time, and of course, I too indulge in some treats and heavy dishes sometimes. When it’s one of those days, I usually take Pancreatin, which contains pancreatic enzymes that aid in digestion by helping to break down carbs, proteins, and fat. Pancreatin naturally contains protease (protein digesting), amylase (carbohydrate digesting), and lipase (fat digesting) enzymes, and it almost always makes me feel better–not heavy and bloated–after indulging in a hearty meal.
And that’s it! This is my core list of supps and such that I take on the daily. I hope this gives a great guide and is a launching point for you to do your own research, listen to your body, and choose what works best for you. And as always, do not forget: These products and pills don’t replace maintaining a healthy, whole-foods-based diet. The key word in this post is “supplement.” Nourishing your body with adequate water intake, exercising daily, and cooking and consuming real foods are always at the heart of optimal health. Keep that as the foundation, and add in the supplements to maximize and maintain great health.