Do you take supplements?
Do you need to take them?
Which ones should you take?
There are three main supplements that are an absolute must: Vitamin D, Magnesium and Omega 3.
There are many other very beneficial supplements but these ones build a strong foundation for optimal health.
Many people are simply not eating enough foods that contain these three critical nutrients and the result is that deficiencies are becoming more and more common.
It is the “sunshine vitamin”; even if we live in the land of sunshine all through the year we barely sit in the sun due to high temperatures or we are covered with sunscreen that blocks our chances of absorbing any natural vitamin D3, so chances are that you are low in vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is very important for everyone.
It helps our body absorb and keep the calcium that we obtain from our diet. Calcium is one of the main components in our bones and Vitamin D3 therefore strengthens our bones more than any other nutrients. It decreases the risk of age related falls.
Here are some other key benefits of Vitamin D3:
• Reduces the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis and other auto immune conditions as well as coronary heart disease
• Improves immune function and protects against the flu
• Regulates mood and decreases depression
• Enhances weight loss efforts by appetite suppression
• Improved DNA repair which enhances protection against certain types of cancer
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
• General tiredness, aches and pains and a general sense of not feeling well
• Severe bone/muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from low positions
• Stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis and hips
It is important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual because your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors such as the color of your skin, your location and how much sunshine you are exposed to on a regular basis. Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test.
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body. As with vitamin D3, it is very common for us to simply not get enough from our diet. A Magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults with an estimated 80 percent being deficient in this vital mineral.
Risk factors for developing a Magnesium Deficiency include:
• Consuming carbonated beverages on a regular basis
• A diet high in refined sugar
• Chronic stress
• Regular consumption of coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks
• Certain medications such as diuretics, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy
• Consuming more than 7 alcoholic beverages per week
• Taking calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio
Magnesium deficiency symptoms can include the following:
• Behavioral disorders and mood swings
• Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
• Kidney and liver damage
• Muscle weakness and cramps
• Migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
• Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
• Restless leg syndrome
• Tooth cavities
• Worsened PMS symptoms
There are several types of Magnesium supplements, but the top 2 types that are easily obtainable and highly absorbable are Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate.
Magnesium Citrate is magnesium combined with citric acid. This may have a laxative effect in some cases when taken in high doses but it is otherwise safe to use for improving digestion and preventing or treating constipation.
Magnesium Glycinate is highly absorbable and is recommended for anyone with a known magnesium deficiency and is less likely to cause laxative effects than some other magnesium supplements.
Omega-3 fats are essential to your overall health and have a positive impact on heart and brain function as well as reducing inflammation in the body.
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, these two are not technically the “essential” fats. The plant omega-3 known as ALA is essential and that is because our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA when necessary. Omega-3 comes from both animal and plant sources. The primary animal sources are krill oil and fish oil. The primary plant sources are flaxseed, chia and hemp.
Omega 3’s have been shown to be beneficial for the following conditions:
ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Anxiety and depression, Arthritis, Cancer, Crohn’s and Colitis, Diabetes, High cholesterol, Infertility, Inflammation, Macular degeneration, and Skin issues.
Omega-3 deficiency symptoms can include poor memory, dry skin, heart conditions, mood swings, joint pain and autoimmune diseases. Deficiencies are common in people who consume a large amount of processed foods, hydrogenated oils and those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you. If you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements, it is always a good idea to speak with your medical practitioner before starting anything new.