When it comes to supplements, most people wonder what supplements they should take and why. After doing extensive research, you will find yourself overwhelmed since there are many options.
People usually ask questions like:
- Should I take a supplement because of its immediate benefits or long-term effects? In other words, will fish oil provide me with immediate health benefits or long-term effects?
- What type of supplement should I take? For example, which strain of probiotics will provide me with the best benefits? Or, which vitamin D is the best for me?
The fact is the supplements world can make anyone confused. After all, how will you determine which supplements are the best for muscle gain, weight loss, energy levels, or joint pain? In this article, we will help you to determine which supplements you should take and why.
8 Supplements You Should Take
Magnesium supplements are usually considered the best pills for relaxation. In other words, our bodies and brains depend on this essential mineral to relax.
Magnesium is essential for all the chemical pumps in our bodies. When your body does not is low in magnesium levels, all the chemical processes become affected.
Due to low magnesium levels, you may be anxious, and your body may fall under stress all the time until you increase your magnesium intake.
Magnesium exists in all the body’s tissues and it participates in more than 300 enzyme reactions alone.
Besides, it is essential for certain tissues to stay stable such as the bones, muscles, and brain. All the cells in our bodies need magnesium to produce energy. Therefore, magnesium deficiency is one of the main reasons for chronic fatigue.
Therefore, if you constantly suffer from tense and/or stiff muscles or if your muscles take a lot of time to recover after intense workouts, your body may suffer from magnesium deficiency.
In fact, according to studies and meta-analyses, there are over 3500 medical conditions associated with low magnesium levels in the body.
Figure Out the Best Magnesium Supplement for You
Here is how you can determine it:
- Glycinate: Magnesium glycinate is highly recommended for people who are diagnosed with magnesium deficiency because it is highly absorbable.
- Citrate: If low magnesium levels is the reason why you suffer from maldigestion and chronic constipation, magnesium citrate is highly recommended for you. It improves digestion and relieves constipation.
- Chelate: Magnesium chelate is found in many food sources and is highly absorbable. This type of magnesium will help you to restore the normal magnesium levels throughout your body.
On the other hand, you need to be careful while taking magnesium supplements and stick to the recommended daily dosages to avoid magnesium toxicity.
Also, keep in mind that it is not easy to diagnose magnesium deficiency since it is not stored in the blood. Therefore, you should start taking any magnesium supplement in small doses.
Vitamin D or the “sunshine vitamin” is different from other minerals and vitamins in many ways.
All the other vitamins are usually taken via food sources. On the other hand, vitamin D is naturally made in the body with the help of sunlight. When the skin absorbs sunlight, it produces this steroid hormone.
Hypothetically, none should suffer from vitamin D deficiency since sunlight is everywhere. However, more than you might think of people do not get enough vitamin D. In fact, about 40% of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many side effects. For example, vitamin D deficiency increase the risk of chronic inflammations, especially in people who already have autoimmune diseases.
In addition, vitamin D is important for the digestive system’s health. If your digestive system does not have an adequate amount of vitamin D, it will not be able to absorb and transfer essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium to your bloodstream.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to calcium deficiency, which is the main reason for bone problems.
In addition, some studies link vitamin D deficiency to certain immune problems in addition to increasing the risk of cancers.
Some studies also link it to certain psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
Therefore, it is always a good choice to start taking vitamin D supplements. So, the question now is which type is the best for you. Vitamin D3 is the most recommended form of vitamin D since it is highly absorbable to your bloodstream.
Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants for our bodies. Its roles in preventing cell damage and fighting infections and diseases make it essential for us.
First of all, vitamin C is important for heart health. It lowers total cholesterol levels and helps in reducing high blood pressure and preventing hypertension.
It is also essential for the proper absorption of iron, which boosts the ability of the blood to carry oxygen to all body tissues. It is also essential for the health of our skin.
Our immune systems need vitamin C in general. It also reduces respiratory diseases and infections, which is great for the immune system.
Furthermore, vitamin C is crucial for brain health. It enhances the healthy aging process. Studies also show that low levels of vitamin C contribute to dementia.
Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, limes, lemons, carrots, and apples. Therefore, vitamin C can be found in nature.
The question now is what type of vitamin C is the best for you?
When shopping for supplements, you will find “ascorbic acid” bottles. Ascorbic acid is the scientific name of vitamin C.
Keep in mind that the supplement should be free of any preservatives and/or fillers.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important supplements on the market nowadays and they are highly recommended for nearly everyone.
Omega-3 fatty acids are great in reducing inflammations. Omega-3 supplements are also important for all kinds of mental and psychological conditions such as dementia, ADHD, depression, and anxiety.
Studies show that the role of omega-3 fatty acids is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing including heart health and more.
Besides, there is a long list of autoimmune diseases that omega-3 fatty acids treat such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease, lupus, and many more.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids are great for migraines.
There are hundreds of omega-3 supplements on the market nowadays, which makes it hard to choose the best supplement for you.
Here is how you can determine the best omega-3 supplement for you.
First of all, the best form of omega-3 is fish oil. Besides, the supplement should contain EPA and DHA, which are terms for other forms of omega 3.
When shopping for omega-3 supplements, avoid bottles that contain processed fish oil since they usually contain ethyl esters.
The purer and fresher the supplement is, the better the quality will be. Old fish oil supplements lose their quality over time, and they may not provide the expected benefits.
For your own safety, it is highly recommended to ask your doctor to recommend the best brand for you.
Zinc is essential for the immune system, which is true. However, it also has many other benefits. Our bodies require small daily doses of zinc to fight colds and improve digestion. However, zinc provides more benefits than that.
It has powerful therapeutic benefits that decrease the risk of cancers and heart diseases.
Furthermore, zinc is a powerful anti-inflammatory mineral, and it is one of the most important trace elements for people with autoimmune diseases.
Besides, zinc slows down the aging process and improves the hormone production in our bodies as we age.
It is also worth mentioning that low levels of zinc are associated with increasing the risk of infertility and may lead to the development of diabetes.
Zinc supplements are available in many forms such as capsules, gels, syrups, and lozenges. There are also many types of zinc supplements including zinc sulfate, zinc gluconate, and zinc acetate. It does not matter which type you will use since they are effective and provide your body with its zinc needs.
B vitamins are essential to produce energy and boost body metabolism. They prevent chronic fatigue and enhance brain functions.
B9, which is also known as folate, has a great role in decreasing the risk of cancers and producing DNA.
Besides, vitamin B12 is necessary for mental health. Studies show that it has a great impact on many psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Furthermore, vegans and vegetarians usually suffer from low vitamin B12 since this vitamin can only be found in animal sources. Therefore, people who do not eat meat should take it from another source.
On the other hand, even if you consume a lot of foods that contain B vitamins, you may still have a problem with absorbing them.
If you are pregnant and vegan, you are at risk since the fetus needs vitamin B12 to develop properly.
Low levels of B vitamins affect nearly all the functions in your body. They play a crucial role in supporting the eyes, skin, liver, and nerves. Besides, it helps the body to turn nutrients into energy.
Finally, vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in people with autoimmune diseases.
Unfortunately, most people do not get enough B vitamins. Here is how you can decide what B vitamins to take.
The most natural form of vitamin B12 is methylcobalamin, which exists in animal sources. If you are searching for the best form of folate, methyl folate is the best and most bioavailable form.
Keep in mind that not all people need folic acid since it is a synthetic form of folate and does not exist in nature.
Probiotics are essential for gut health. They are living bacteria that can be taken as a supplement to boost your digestive system’s health.
Some people wonder why someone would choose to consume bacteria. The truth is, some bacteria are beneficial.
Probiotics feed on healthy foods and leafy greens. In your gut, they increase the strength of your gut lining, which prevents microorganisms from entering the bloodstream and reduces the risk of many diseases. Most inflammations start in the gut and spread throughout the body.
That is why probiotics are among the most common supplements on the market since they can actually treat autoimmune diseases.
The question now is how to choose the best probiotic supplement for you.
8 main strains of probiotics should exist in any high-quality probiotic supplement which are
- L. acidophilus
- B. bifidum
- L. casei
- L. rhamnosus
- L. reuteri
- B. breve
- B. longum
- S. thermophilus
More studies are required to figure out the best possible amount of gut bacteria that should exist in our digestive systems. Up till now, they suggest that healthy people usually have higher levels of the previous strains.
It is not easy to make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of essential elements and that is why multivitamins are great.
On the other hand, many multivitamins contain harmful or useless ingredients. For example, soy is a harmful ingredient since it is inflammatory and can cause hormone imbalances.
High-quality multivitamins are usually non-GMO and do not contain any artificial sweeteners. Also, they should be iron-free and dairy-free. This is because people with autoimmune diseases should stay away from these ingredients since they can trigger inflammations throughout the body.
Multivitamins should also be iron-free because iron overdosage is easy to happen and iron supplements should not be taken without your doctor’s supervision.
Every multivitamin should contain certain vitamins and elements including vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper, vitamin K, vitamin A, biotin, selenium, and manganese.
Furthermore, multivitamins may include bioflavonoids, inositol, choline, and/or alpha-lipoic acid. However, these are just bonuses and cannot be the main active ingredients in the multivitamin.
The previous 8 supplements are great in providing your body with its needs. If you focused on them, you would see great improvements in your overall health and wellbeing.