If you’ve ever spoken to me or worked with me, you know that I promote getting your nutrients from food first but, the reality is, supplementation is sometimes necessary.
Even when people are eating well, there seem to be some all-too-common nutrients that we simply don’t get enough of. And they’re absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness. Especially as we age.
Today, I’ve sifted through the supplements that are available on the market and boiled them down to 3 that can have a great effect for you.
Supplement #1: Vitamin D
If you live in North America chances are you are low in vitamin D. It’s the “sunshine vitamin” and we just aren’t able to hang out in shorts every day of the year (or risk frost bite)…but man, oh man, I’m FOREVER jealous of those of you who live in warmer climates. Not just for the warmth, but also the ongoing health benefits that come from having sun on your skin 365 days a year!
Vitamin D is very important for everyone but especially women over 40. Want to know why?
It helps to protect our bones!
Vitamin D helps our body absorb and keep the calcium we get from our food and drinks. And we all know that calcium is one of the main things our bones are made of.
Want to know something else interesting about vitamin D? People who get enough vitamin D tend to fall less frequently. Especially as they get older.
Vitamin D can help your bones stay strong and help you fall less. That’s a win-win in my books!
Supplement #2: Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body.
As with vitamin D, it’s very common for us to simply not get enough. Not even the 320 mg per day that’s recommended.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, low bone density, muscle cramping, and even migraines.
Magnesium is found in so many healthy whole foods like beans, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables. In fact, the magnesium element is central to a plant’s chlorophyll – it’s actually what causes green plants to be green! The issue here is that most of us just don’t get enough green plants into our bodies on a regular basis. (You know I have a recipe with green leafies for you below, right?).
Magnesium is a very common supplement and is best absorbed by the body when it is chelated and has multiple forms of magnesium in the same capsule.
Supplement #3: Omega-3s
We’ve all heard that we need to get more omega-3 essential fatty acids, right? They’re good for our hearts, brains, and help to reduce inflammation.
And, these are all good things when it comes to our health and wellness.
But, if you are like me, you may not be ready, willing, or able to eat fish three times per week (fish is not high on my list of favourite foods…or even in the top 10 so I have to make a conscious effort to include it in our meal planning. And then when I do make it, I eat it first so it’s not the last taste I have in my mouth. #truestory)!
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, those 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 supplements can be found in forms of flax oil, algae oil, fish oil, or even fish liver oil.
Pro Tip: Fish liver oil (e.g. cod liver oil) also contains vitamin D so check your labels and add the amounts together to know how much vitamin D you’re actually getting.
If you want strong bones, less falls, healthy brains, less inflammation, and better health, vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s are three supplements to consider including in your health toolbox.
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you. And, of course if you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting anything new.
Recipe (Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega-3s): Salmon Quinoa Buddha Bowl
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
- 1 can wild salmon
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ½ red onion (diced) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- dash salt and pepper
- Split spinach, quinoa, wild salmon, sesame seeds, and onion (if using) between two bowls.
- Mix sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lemon juice together and pour on top of prepared Buddha bowls.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve & Enjoy!
Tip: When looking for canned salmon try to get the ones with the most vitamin D and make sure cans are BPA-free. Good quality canned fish is usually in the “natural foods” section of many large groceries. And make sure it’s only WILD!