My Top 5 Supplement Recommendations

I’ve gotten a lot of interest in questions since I sent out last week’s newsletter on why taking supplements is important. So today I wanted to follow up on the most frequently asked question: what supplements do you recommend?
First though, I have to share that, if you know me well, read my book, or if you’ve worked with me, you know that I am not a fan of any “one-size-fits-all” recommendations! That makes answering this question a bit tricky, so I am going to broadly address this question and I want you to apply it to what you know about yourself through your own experience which includes if you are working with a doctor or other practitioner–I always recommend a customized approach!

Supplements are not a replacement for a poor diet but are meant to boost the nutrition coming from a healthy diet. When choosing any supplement to take, consider how this supplement is supporting your body as a whole.

Generally, the most commonly needed supplements by an average American include:

  1. Multivitamins – According to the CDC, the majority of Americans don’t meet their nutrition needs from diet alone. According to a CDC analysis of data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 9% of adults ate the recommended amount of vegetables and 12% of adults ate the recommended amount of fruit. Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults with lower incomes. Aside from that, the produce we consume today has lower levels of essential vitamins and minerals than the produce a decade ago because of soil depletion. I use Synergy-Com #3 from UltraLife.

Supporting a nutritious diet with a multivitamin supplement will ensure that the body has all the needed nutrients to function optimally.

  1. Fish Oil – Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for regulating inflammation. Omega-3 has countless benefits and is necessary to achieve cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and musculoskeletal health. In fact, in 2006, a study found that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are a safer option for treating nonsurgical neck and back pain. Typically, individuals need to supplement 500-900mg of omega 3-fatty acids to meet optimal levels (I use Microbiome Labs’ Gut-Specific Fish Oil). Three servings of fatty fish, such as salmon and anchovies, per week, will provide the Omega 3’s your body needs. 
  1. Magnesium – Did you know that magnesium is required for more than 600 enzyme reactions in the body? That’s how important magnesium is, but according to the World Health Organization, Americans don’t meet the FDA’s Recommended Dietary Intake. People who are deficient in magnesium may suffer from poor vitamin D metabolism, weakening of the bones, irregularities in heartbeat and blood pressure, problems with blood sugar, irritability and anxiety, fatigue, and muscle cramps and twitches. There are several forms of magnesium that address various needs (i.e. magnesium l-threonate is great for brain health and cognition; magnesium glycinate is great for sleep, magnesium malate is great for energy and muscle soreness, etc).
  2. Vitamin D – This vitamin supports bone health, mood, and immune function. Your body produces vitamin D through sun exposure, but it can be a challenge to meet the required 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. Factors such as limited sun exposure during winter months, old age, darker skin pigmentation, and the use of sunscreen and clothes that cover the skin from the sun all limit the body’s ability to meet its vitamin D demands. These are the reasons why you might need to take vitamin D supplements. According to studies, adequate vitamin D levels are associated with decreased stress fractures, decreased injuries in athletes, and decreased rates of upper respiratory tract infections. I’m a fan of liquid Vit D like Douglas Labs’.
  3. Probiotics – Knowing that all health issues stem from the gut, who wouldn’t want a healthy gut? And probiotics are the key to a healthy gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. If there are imbalances in your gut microbiome, it can create nutritional imbalances due to poor absorption even though you consume a healthy diet and take supplements. According to research, supplementation with probiotics supports healthy immune response, regulation of inflammation, brain health, and weight management. Remember, it all starts with the gut. For more guidance on probiotics, click here.

 Takeaways

Eating nutritious foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the best foundation for thriving health. However, as I’ve pointed out last week, there are plenty of examples why supplementing is important, especially amongst certain populations to fill in the gaps in daily nutrient needs.
Please also note that nutritional supplements are not regulated, so there can be huge differences in the quality of different brands. It is best to discuss your options with a health expert. 

If you’d like to explore your health or nutrient needs and how you can take your health to the next level, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Top 3 Reasons To Take Supplements

Your body needs vitamins and minerals in order to develop and function optimally.  Ideally, you get these nutrients you need to thrive from your food, however, today I’m going to share with you why most of us need more nutrients than our current food supply provides as well as some particular situations in which your body needs more of certain nutrients to thrive.

1. You have dietary restrictions. Most people that come to me for health support are on or have been on some sort of restricted diet either due to allergies, intolerances, or in an effort to reduce symptoms. While it is a good idea to avoid a food if it makes you feel poorly, sometimes we end up restricting entire food groups that provide a lot of nutrition for an extended period of time and it is important to make sure you find alternatives to provide those nutrients.

For example, dairy products are a great source of calcium and vitamin D, so it’s really easy to meet your recommended dietary allowance if you eat dairy foods. If you are on paleo and dairy-free diets, it becomes trickier. Foods that can provide these nutrients in ample quantities are fish with soft bones such as sardines with the bones, high intake of low-oxalate vegetables like broccoli, kale, bok choy, eggs and getting daily sunshine (for Vit D). During the winter, I still supplement with a few drops of liquid VItamin D. If you have been told that you have weak bones or bone loss, you may benefit from taking a supplement that contains a combo of bone building nutrients like K2 (MK4 and MK7 are two types of natural vitamin K2) and Vitamin D.    2. Your food lacks nutrients due to soil depletion caused by commercial farming.

According to the USDA records, the nutritional values of fruits and veggies today are below what you could get in the 1970s! Farmed soil is becoming depleted of nutrients producing fruits and veggies that are also lacking in essential vitamins and minerals.

  • We are also exposed to more toxins every day.

If you can’t meet your needed nutrients through food to efficiently remove these toxins from your body, then supplements are an excellent choice.

My belief is that pretty much everyone would benefit from taking a high quality daily multi vitamin and mineral supplement to cover their nutritional bases because of soil depletion and increased toxic burden.

3. You have increased nutrient demands due to a condition or older age.

There are many conditions that increase the body’s need for certain nutrients. A disease or chronic condition or even something acute like a cold could increase your need for much higher Vit C, Zinc, and/or Magnesium, for example.
Also, as you age, your demand for certain vitamins and minerals increases. 

Those over 50 years old need more calciumvitamin D, and vitamin B12. This is because calcium is lost rapidly through bones, and there is higher risk for developing bone conditions such as osteoporosis. 1200 milligrams of calcium daily through food and/or supplements is recommended.

Older adults also tend to have a decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12 because low stomach acid becomes more common with age and stomach acid is essential to being able to process vitamins like B12.

When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, her nutrient demand also increases to support her health, the healthy development of her fetus, and the production of milk to nourish her infant. 

For expecting mothers, a prenatal vitamin that includes folic acid, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and DHA (for the baby’s brain development) is recommended.

Takeaways

Eating nutritious foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the best foundation for thriving health. However, as I’ve pointed out, there are plenty of examples why supplementing is important, especially amongst certain populations to fill in the gaps in daily nutrient needs.

If you’d like to explore your health or nutrient needs and how you can take your health to the next level, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Improve Insulin Sensitivity with These 10 Tips! 

Wouldn’t you want to know if your habits were making you likely to develop a disease? I sure hope you answered yes! But sometimes you don’t necessarily know that. So, my focus today is to empower you with some diet and lifestyle habits that can help you prevent conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes. 

What is Insulin?

First of all, what is insulin? Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin’s purpose is to help glucose (from your food) go inside your cells to be converted into energy. Your body uses this energy to maintain all your basic functions…or to be stored as fat and used in the future. 


What is Insulin Resistance?

If your body does not respond to the effects of insulin, glucose stays in your blood instead of entering the cells. Since this really isn’t good for your body, your pancreas will send out even more insulin to get the job done. The loss of ability of your body to listen to insulin the first time it “knocks on your door”, so to speak, and to knock louder and louder until your answer is called insulin resistance. Over time, the consistent build-up of glucose in the blood leads to the development of Type 2 diabetes.


What is Insulin Resistance?

If your body does not respond to the effects of insulin, glucose stays in your blood instead of entering the cells. Since this really isn’t good for your body, your pancreas will send out even more insulin to get the job done. The loss of ability of your body to listen to insulin the first time it “knocks on your door”, so to speak, and to knock louder and louder until your answer is called insulin resistance. Over time, the consistent build-up of glucose in the blood leads to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

What is Insulin Sensitivity?

So to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes, we need to be sensitive to insulin. Being sensitive to insulin means that your body responds well to the effects of insulin (aka “answers the door” after the first knock). When there is a glucose in the blood, what is supposed to happen is that your pancreas will release insulin…and that insulin helps glucose to enter the cells, resulting in a decrease in blood glucose level (a return to balance or homeostasis).

Who’s at Risk for Insulin Resistance?

Some people are more prone to develop resistance to insulin. There are factors that may contribute to that, including:

  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • A high-carb diet
  • Obese or overweight
  • Binge drinking of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep issues (Poor sleeping habits)
  • Sleep apnea (a condition when breathing stops and restarts during sleep)

10 Tips to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

To prevent insulin resistance, the following are science-backed lifestyle changes:

  1. Sleep more. – Having more Zs is linked to preventing insulin resistance.
  2. Move your body daily – Exercise helps glucose move into the muscles and be used. Aside from that, exercise can help you burn excess fat, reducing another risk factor for insulin resistance. Aim for 10k steps and accumulate at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. 
  3. Manage stress – Stress keeps your blood sugar and hormones high (cortisol and insulin). Manage stress by HeartMath, meditation, exercise, etc.
  4. Hydrate with water, instead of drinking sweet beverages.
  5. Increase fiber in your diet. – Veggies, fruit, legumes, chia seeds, and oat bran are all good sources of fiber.
  6. Eat more foods rich in antioxidants. – Antioxidants prevent inflammation and boost insulin sensitivity. Fresh foods like blueberries, broccoli, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, cloves and cinnamon, and many herbs are loaded with antioxidants.
  7. Decrease processed carbohydrates in your diet. – Eat unprocessed carbs (like veggies, fruits, beans, root veggies) instead of processed carbs like crackers, pasta, bread, and cereal–processed carbs often lead to sugar spikes in the blood. If you are going to eat them, pair them with protein, keep the portion of the carbs small and infrequent.
  8. Take supplements that can help with insulin sensitivity such as magnesium.
  9. Lessen eating sweets. – Avoid eating candies, cakes, cookies, and sugary beverages.
  10. When cooking, use herbs and spices. – Cinnamon, ginger, and garlic are all great for helping to reduce inflammation (inflammation to lead to higher blood sugar!).

In a nutshell, practice the habit of living a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget the basic things like exercise, proper sleep, and a well-balanced diet–they go a long way! Instead of eating processed sweets and carbs, eat more fruits and veggies because they contain natural sugars and are loaded with nutrients. And if you want dessert, check here for MUCH healthier options!

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca