Proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle plays an important role in helping prevent many major diseases (like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer), but getting proper nutrition in our modern world can be a challenge.
Let’s take a look:
|•||Our bodies cannot produce many of the nutrients we need, so they must be found in the food we eat and the supplements we take every day. Additionally, if the food we are eating is lacking nutrients, then supplementing can really be beneficial in staying healthy.|
|•||Most people say that they eat well, but research shows that 80 percent of Americans are not eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables.i We are also not getting enough Omega- 3 oils (EPA/DHA), antioxidants, B vitamins or a host of other nutrients our bodies need.|
|•||The nutritional content of our food has changed. A 2004 study of common crops showed a decline in the nutrient content between 6 and 38 percent over the past 50 years.ii|
|•||The amount of processed food that we eat has been on a steady climb ever since the invention of the refrigerator. Today, most of us eat more processed food than non-processed food. Convenience has become more prized than quality.|
|•||Our high stress and fast paced lives increases our needs for nutrients, especially the B vitamins.|
|•||The world is a much more toxic place than it used to be. Our bodies are exposed to more pollutants and under more oxidative stress than ever before. We need optimum nutrition in order to help our bodies battle these stresses.|
None of us are perfect, there are days when you might eat well, but then days when you don’t. A multivitamin, along with other key nutritional supplements can be the insurance policy you are looking for to fill in those nutritional gaps that may leave us vulnerable.
|i||Krebs-Smith SM, Guenther PM, Subar AF, Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr. 2010;140:1832–1838.|
|ii||Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82. PMID: 15637215.|
Top 10 Supplements You Should Take Every Day
Multivitamin The first place you should start is with a multivitamin. This lays the foundation and gives your body the basic nutrition it needs. But you don’t want to stop at only a multivitamin because your body could use so much more.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids (such as EPA and DHA) have been shown to help lower triglycerides, stroke and heart disease risk, help with blood pressure, and have also been shown to be helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, asthma, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.i
Vitamin C Most of us don’t get nearly enough vitamin C in our diet. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, wound healing, the absorption of iron, and our immune system. Since vitamin C is rapidly used in the body, look for a sustained-release form.ii
Vitamin D Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism; if you want healthy bones you need vitamin D. Vitamin D also supports our immune system and having optimum blood levels of Vitamin D may be helpful in cardiovascular health and may reduce your risk of certain cancers, and even depression.iii
B-Vitamins The B vitamins help regulate carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. They help with DNA synthesis and repair, help to lower homocysteine, and are helpful for functions from stress management to energy metabolism.iv
Vitamin K Vitamin K is not as well known as other nutrients, but it is essential to our health and generally lacking in our diet because we don’t eat enough green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K is essential for bone mineralization, normal blood clotting, and wound healing.v
Calcium Most people know that calcium is important for bones and osteoporosis is a major concern with our aging society, but calcium is also helpful for maintaining normal blood pressure, and may play a role in weight loss.vi
Antioxidant Antioxidants are essential for protecting our bodies against free-radical damage–which may be one of the reasons why we age. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables; look for supplements containing vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zinc, and selenium.vii
Probiotics While not a nutrient, probiotics make our list because they are essential for proper digestive functioning. Probiotics are microorganisms that support the normal functioning of the whole digestive tract and may reduce the tendencies many have for constipation and diarrhea. They also help with excessive gas and even conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.viii
Lutein and Lycopene These vitamin-like compounds found in food are great antioxidants.ix They also support a strong immune system and help maintain overall wellness and long-term health of the eyes, heart, skin and lungs.