Why I Supplement and the Top 5 Supplements You should take EVERYDAY to Stay Energetic Fit and Healthy!
Most of us know by now that we need to take some sort of daily vitamin or supplement to replace the nutrition we aren't getting in our diets. Even with a near perfect diet its almost impossible to get all the nutrition we need to maintain a healthy body because of today's depleted crops, harvesting practices etc..
Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle play such an important role in helping to prevent most major diseases (such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease), but getting proper nutrition in our modern world can be a such challenge.
|•||Our bodies can't produce most of the nutrients we need, so they must be found in our food as well as in the supplements we take each day. And if the food we are eating is lacking nutrients (which it usually is), then supplementation can be extremely beneficial to our overall health.|
|•||Many people think that they eat healthy enough, but research has shown that 80% of Americans are not eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables. We do not get enough Omega- 3 oils (EPA/DHA), antioxidants, B vitamins and many of the other key nutrients our bodies need to function optimally.|
|•||The nutritional content of our food has changed dramatically over the years. A 2004 study of common crops showed a decline in the nutrient content between 6-38% over the past 50 years.|
|•||The amount of processed food that we eat has been on a steady increase ever since the invention of the refrigerator. (Yikes!) Today, most of us eat more processed food than non-processed food! Convenience has become more prized than quality. Hello! Microwave-mentality, anyone? This is scary stuff!|
|•||Our high stress and fast paced lives has increased our need for nutrients, such as B vitamins.|
|•||The world is a much more toxic place to live than it used to be. Our bodies are exposed to more toxins, pollutants and oxidative stress than ever before. We need high quality nutrition and nutrient-dense supplements in order to help our bodies to combat these daily stresses.|
Of course, none of us are perfect. There are days when you might eat pretty well, but then days when you don’t. I know this is true for myself even as a person that considers myself a health nut! A multivitamin, along with other key nutritional supplements can be the insurance policy you are looking for to fill in those nutritional gaps that may leave our bodies vulnerable.
There are SO many supplements available on the market today so it can be so hard to sift through the hype and know which are the most important to our health. When it comes to looking and feeling our best, which supplements actually make the Most difference and can be the most beneficial?
Well, as a busy, fit mom of 3 I completely understand how important it is to know that I'm getting the most benefit out of what I'm taking so I've narrowed it down to the 5 most important supplements I take every day to help keep me at the top of my game, looking and feeling my absolutely best!
(to be as unbiased as possible I've kept the supplements as generic types rather than brands with suggested options in the hyperlinks that you can click on to take a closer look at top options.)
Top 5 Supplements to Help you Stay Energetic, Fit and Healthy!
|Calcium for Healthy Bones|
1- Calcium: Calcium is renowned for its healthy body benefits: strong bones, healthy teeth, muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission and blood clotting. Due to its multiple functions in the body, calcium intake must remain sufficient throughout the lifespan. Inadequate consumption of calcium forces the body to leech calcium from the bones to fulfill necessary task throughout the body – over time this can lead to brittle bones, fractures and osteoporosis. Women are more susceptible to these conditions than men due to the loss of estrogen that occurs with menopause. Estrogen facilitates absorption and retention of calcium. Vitamin D is necessary for optimal absorption of calcium. Women should try to achieve 1500 to 2000 mg of calcium per day through food consumption and supplements.
2- Vit D3: If you haven’t heard by now, sufficient levels of vitamin D are essential for maintaining good health. Low vitamin D has been linked to several types of cancer, weight gain, depression, poor nutrient absorption and low bone density. Vitamin D3 is the most bioavailable form (most readily available for absorption in the body). The sun’s rays, when absorbed by the skin, convert to D3 in the body; however most Americans do not get enough sun year round. Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin D3 supplements – more than 800 IU/day - can have great benefits.
3- Omega 3: Omega-3 fatty acids are an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy heart, brain and nervous system, as well as helping to reduce inflammation in joints and maintaining flexibility. They also enable weight loss by switching on enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells, as well as help to boost mood, which may help reduce emotional eating.
4- Multi-Vitamin/Antioxidant/Essential Mineral: Everyone can benefit from a multivitamin. This is a great way to avoid taking a million pills every day and still supplement the nutrients you need. When choosing a multi, examine the label – find one that offers the nutrients you need most. For example, if you have a family history of eye disease, you may want to choose a multivitamin with lutein or if prostate cancer is a concern, choose a multi with boron.
5- Protein/Amino Acids: In addition to keeping hunger in check, eating protein at every meal helps to keep body composition--the amount of fat relative to muscle--in better proportion. Along with calcium and D, protein helps you to preserve muscle mass as you drop pounds. A recent study out of the University of Illinois found that women who consumed protein twice daily lost 3.9 percent more weight than women who consumed less of it on a diet. They not only lost more weight, they also got stronger as they did so, with their thigh muscles alone ending up with 5.8 percent more protein at the end of the diet than before.
Most popular protein types are whey and vegan proteins such as pea, rice, hemp etc...
The most important things to look for in a protein supplement are
- is it Gluten Free
- is it Non-GMO
- if it is a Whey protein it needs to be Organic or better such as pure New Zealand Whey which has no antibiotics or hormones, gluten and GMO free and above the standards of even USDA Organic.
Top Protein Options:
- For weight loss and building lean muscle- Undentured, hormone and antibiotic-free Whey Protein
- For Weight gain/body building- Professional level Undentured High Protein
- Vegan/Dairy-Free Protein
- For healthy joints, hair/skin/nails - Collagen Protein
Bonus Supplements I take Daily for Energy and Workout Performance:
1- Healthy Energy- to help power me through my workouts, burn fat and get me through my day, I love to take a healthy energy supplement to help me increase my endurance and performance as well as my overall results. Combined with my protein and cleanse, it's really my workout secret weapon!
Some examples I like are:
2- Greens: I add a greens product to my protein smoothies every day for an extra boost of nutrition. Features chlorella and spirulina. Antioxidant-rich ingredients, like ginkgo biloba leaf, green tea extract and grape seed extract, help fight free radicals, which can potentially endanger cells and weaken your immune system.
|Cleanse for Life|
3- Daily Cleanse: In addition to these supplements listed above, I often do a deep cleanse through out the year as well as a more gentle daily cleanse and detox. This ensures that my body is better able to digest and process foods and fats, improves, energy, sleep, skin tone etc. Read about how to Cleanse for Life here.
Two Products My Husband Takes for Body-Building and Absolutely LOVES:
In addition to most of these products listed above, my husband has 2 supplements he takes for his workouts to help build lean muscle and improve his ability to power up his routines at the gym:
- Professional Grade High Protein: This specialized nutrition is great for athletes, active people and teens who want to gain muscle and for those trying to break through weight-loss plateaus, lose stubborn belly or harmful visceral fat. It’s also beneficial for older adults who want to prevent age-related muscle loss. IsaLean PRO Shake contains a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids to naturally boost muscle growth and maintenance while helping speed post-workout recovery.
- Curbs hunger
- Boosts fat burning, especially visceral fat
- Maximizes lean muscle gain
- Active enzymes to aid digestion