Video 4 – Supplements Everyone Should Consider Taking

Video 4 – Supplements Everyone Should Consider Taking
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

The best source of all your daily needs for nutrients is whole foods, but getting nutrients from food is not as easy as it once was.

There are a few major barriers you might face in getting enough nutrients:

  • Low nutrient levels in industrially-produced food
  • Low nutrient levels in highly processed foods
  • Low nutrient intake because of calorie-restricted diet plans
  • Low absorption and utilization rates because of weakened or age-related slow down of digestive function

Because of one or more of those reasons, most of us are deficient in nutrients.

Using supplements will give you a baseline of nutrients, but should always go along with a healthy diet and consistent exercise. Remember that supplements don’t make up for a poor diet, or for a stressful lifestyle. Think of them as your back up plan, not as your main source of nutrition.

Choosing locally grown and organic produce as much as possible is important to getting optimal nutrition. Spend your money on quality foods first, but it makes good sense to take a multivitamin as a backup source of nutrients.

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Everyone should take a multivitamin. It doesn’t need to have your full daily levels of every vitamin and mineral – and it probably shouldn’t, since you should still be focusing on getting enough high-quality plant foods as your prime source of nutrients. But it should have a base level of nutrients in a high-quality and absorbable form.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for your health, and the vast majority of people would test low if they were tested – vegans and meat eaters alike. It is used in so many different processes in your body, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to supplement with this – in addition to the multivitamin above. It’s also really inexpensive.

The 400 IU government recommendation is too low. Go for 1000-2000 IU each day. Phil and I take 1000 IU daily in the summer (when we get a bit of sun every day) and 2000 IU daily through the winter.

The other source of vitamin D is exposing your skin to the sun. Too much sun exposure truly is bad for you, but some sun is important for everyone. In the winter, be sure to get enough Vitamin D from your supplements. We supplement through the summer, too, because Vitamin D is really inexpensive and just so important.

Vitamin B12

If you get a good multivitamin, it should have enough of the most active form of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). If it doesn’t, or if you get deficient in B12, you should take an extra supplement.

Some people don’t absorb B12 very well through their digestive system, and should take a supplement that you dissolve under your tongue (called sublingual). Absorbing the B12 under your tongue means that the vitamin will go directly into your blood stream, skipping the digestive system. You should be getting at least 100 mcg of B12 per day for maintenance, and significantly more (1000-5000 mcg) if you’re showing signs of deficiency.

These days, Phil and I get about 800mcg through our multivitamin and 1000mcg through our sublingual.

You can check out my general supplement recommendations, which are the ones that are a good base for everyone.

And remember, supplements will never make up for eating a balanced diet of a variety of healthy whole foods, like what I put together in my 4 week meal plan, along with regular exercise and activity.

Which supplements do you take or plan to take? Do you have any questions? Let me know below.


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