We often get asked if supplements are necessary or if we can get everything we need to support our bodies through food. The answer is both yes and no.
While it is possible to get nearly everything you need from food, it would take an inordinate amount of diligence, time, expense, and dedication to eat “perfectly clean” in order to fill in nutritional deficiencies and give the body the daily food-based cleansing that it needs to deal with the burdens of modern life. It would also require that we live our lives with a minimal amount of stress so we do not leach our bodies of precious minerals and B vitamins.
Due to a myriad of factors mostly out of our control, we find that high-quality supplements are very important to advance one’s health and fill in the nutritional gaps and protect your body against these factors. These factors can include the following:
In other words, supplements can help you feel better much faster by speeding up the pace at which nutritional deficiencies are filled in, while also helping the body to pull out the excess chemicals and toxins that impede wellness.
Multivitamins, fish oil, probiotics, and greens are the four most basic supplements we want to cover, but we’ll also cover some additional super-star supplements.
As always, check with your doctor or other healthcare professional before starting any new supplement protocol.
If you are not being individually guided by a healthcare practitioner, then a food-based, high-quality multivitamin is highly recommended. Designs For Health's Twice Daily Multi will ensure that all of your bases are being covered. Even when the body is short of only one nutrient, it will not function optimally and other systems can be compromised.
Twice Daily Multi is custom-formulated to help replace micronutrient deficiencies associated with lower adrenal and thyroid function, and poor cellular energy. Thus, it helps with mood, energy, and the optimization of both stress and sex hormones and people FEEL the difference.
It contains super doses of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as methylated B vitamin support in the higher amounts required to heal your endocrine system. It also includes chromium for blood sugar stability, choline, and inositol for your brain, the right combination of thyroid vitamins and minerals, along with specific antioxidants to protect and nourish your brain, lower high homocysteine levels, and slash inflammation that is unnecessarily driving your cortisol (up or down).
This multi also contains additional quantities of vitamin A, C, D, Zinc, and magnesium to support your immune system which is ever so important in today’s pandemic world.
This product alone can help you feel 20-30% better within 21 days of taking it!
The body cannot produce its own omega-3 fatty acids, therefore, we must consume them via diet. If you are not eating wild fatty fish 3 times a week, then we recommend supplementing with Designs For Health's OmegAvail Hi-Po Fish Oil. Omega-3s are needed for maintaining blood pressure (they thin the blood), regulating cholesterol, assisting with nerve transmission and weight loss, and for proper prostaglandin function (which regulates inflammation, pain and swelling).
Sufficient omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to play a role in maintaining good cardiovascular health and are essential for healthy egg implantation, prevention of miscarriage, and for fetus development. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked with mitigating arthritis, depression, and intestinal inflammation.
OmegAvail Hi-Po Fish Oilcan also further nourish the brain and give cellular energy a boost. This potent fish oil assists with memory, brain function, mood, maintaining inflammation, and enhancing mitochondrial production (the powerhouse of your cells). We chose this OmegAvail Hi-Po Fish Oil because it is twice as potent as most other fish oil supplements so you only need one per day.
Probiotics are essential to maintaining good digestive health and immune function. We recommend taking them only a few times a year for 4-10 weeks at a time (when working to improve your gut and immune health) and then maintaining them with fermented foods after that. They restore order and balance of good bacteria in the gut and crowd out the bad bacteria.
Probiotics have the power to improve our moods as well. It's been found we actually produce more serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for our sense of well-being and satisfaction) in our guts than we do in our brains. This is the reason why many people who have digestive problems are also depressed. Taking a multi-strain probiotic, and not just acidophilus is important to combat this and provide full spectrum support to the entirety of the gut and immune system.
Not all probiotics are created equal which is why our Probiotic Supreme Dairy-Free was carefully crafted to be gluten and dairy-free and contains specific acid-resistant lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. “Lactobacs” help you extract more nutrition out of the food you eat while escorting “bad bugs” out of the body, while “bifidobacs” stick around to heal and seal leaky gut, strengthening the immune system and supporting the brain.
Our Probiotic Supreme Dairy-Free will further contribute to supporting epithelial integrity (reinforcing a strong gut lining), healthy immune response (continually training the body to stop attacking healthy tissue), and inflammatory balance.
Greens are your supplement for daily cellular cleansing and clean-up; plus they supply a litany of micronutrients your body needs to function optimally.
Designs For Health's EssentiaGreens provide the type of greens that oxygenate your blood, but that you wouldn’t normally eat, such as spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and wheatgrass.
EssentiaGreens is densely packed with high ORAC value (antioxidant) vegetables, cleansing and alkalizing grass juices, and a proprietary blend of fruits and berries to support gentle, effective, daily whole body detox. Diets high in fruits and vegetables can have a positive effect on the acid-alkaline balance, therefore retaining essential mineral balance, mitigating inflammation and pain, and increasing energy and mental acuity.
The comprehensive line-up of antioxidant-rich nutrients in EssentiaGreens helps to nourish every system in your body and may contribute to sustained energy, mental clarity, and overall well-being.
A green drink a day keeps the doctor away! Plus it tastes amazing and kids even like it!
Do your best not to take any more than 5-7 different kinds of supplements at any given time. Otherwise, they can start to overwhelm your body – this is coming from a supplement junkie who has used her body as her own lab rat for the past decade.
The more you heal through diet and lifestyle, the less supplements you should need.
Digestive enzymes support the body in extracting nutrients from our food with less energy, which means we get to use that extra energy throughout our day.
They are helpful to tonify the intestines, for poor absorption; and to decrease gas, bloating, and constipation. However, consider them a band-aid to use for the short-term (not longer than 60 days) while you are figuring out and/or healing the root cause of the digestive upset (yeast, mold, parasites, leaky gut, or food sensitivities). You can find more details on enzymes in our blog “Do Digestive Enzymes Help or Hurt”.
You ultimately want your body to be able to produce these enzymes on its own.
We recommend these Digestive Enzymes for their proprietary blend of digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL to support optimal digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates assisting with less bloating, better digestion, energy, and moods.
Tips: take 1-2 with each meal, only take for up to 60 days
For safe, gentle constipation relief, we love, love, LOVE Triphala. Far and away, this is my most favorite supplement I’ve ever worked with to help clients with constipation. Triphala is a combination of three different Indian fruits that work to moisten and nourish the lining of the intestines, while gently detoxifying old matter. Other herbs and products for constipation like senna can scrape the lining of the intestines which can be abrasive and harsh versus nourishing and supportive. Triphala is safe enough to keep taking for 2-3 months for slow and consistent bowel cleansing. The traditional dose is 1-4 capsules prior to bed.
Over 80% of the population is deficient in vitamin D, so make sure you get yourself tested at least twice annually. This is one vitamin you definitely want to keep balanced (not too low and not too high). A perfect functional range number for your vitamin D is 60 (not the 30 that your doctor might tell you is sufficient).
If you want to learn more about Vitamin D, watch our show “How to Overcome Low Vitamin D and Depression” with holistic psychiatrist Dr. Sara Van Anrooy.