My Top 3 Supplements: Sun, Soil & Oil
In a recent blog post “The Case for Supplements,” I wrote about why you consider supplementing for optimal health. As promised, I will share with you here what my favorite supplements are. There are times when you may need more than three, but if you are generally healthy, I recommend that you begin with some SUN, SOIL, and OIL.
Remember when you were a kid and you stayed outside all day long, all summer long? How many of us (including our own kids) do this today? And if you do, haven’t you been told to slather on the sunscreen? It’s no wonder that most of us are deficient in Vitamin D3. Please get tested and make sure your levels are at least 30-50 ng/mL. I know that some holistic docs want your levels to be even higher, but I’ve become wary of these recommendations. If you are deficient, please supplement to increase your levels. I can’t say how much you should take because I don’t know your particular needs, but the RDA is usually too low if you are deficient. I can work with you to figure this out. Of course, you don’t really need to supplement with a pill if you can get plenty of sunshine every day. But we live in the northern hemisphere and that’s pretty much impossible year round!
Hopefully, you’ve all heard about the microbiome by now. That would be the ecosystem of bacteria and yeast that live on our skin, in our guts, and in our whole digestive tract. Our modern lifestyles (stress, nutrient-poor diets, not enough sleep, hyper-cleanliness, environmental toxicity, etc.) inevitably lead to an imbalanced microbiome. I recommend seeding your guts with some probiotic supplements or fermented food. Please consult with me about an appropriate probiotic supplement for YOU. In the meanwhile, you can also EAT your probiotics. All you need is a little bit of sauerkraut, kim chi, pickles, kombucha, or yogurt (with live cultures) each day!
So here I’m talking about fish oil and other essential fatty acids. We call these “essential” because the body can’t produce them, we must eat them. So if you cannot eat 2-3 servings of fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring) each week, you should consider supplementing with some fish oil or natural cod liver oil. I’d prefer to see everyone eating more fish as a source of “oil,” but if you can’t handle fish, then I’d recommend 1-2 grams of fish oil every day as a maintenance dose. Again, I’d love to talk with you if you want a customized recommendation, but Carlson’s and Nordic Naturals brands are safe bets at the store. Make sure to refrigerate after opening!
Ok, I lied. I really have 4 go-to supplements. I’ve been resisting recommending multivitamins for a long time because I was holding on to hope that we could get all of our nutrients through food. But alas, I think that’s a dicey proposition these days. Industrial farming has led to massive soil depletion, and shipping our food from far distances further degrades their nutrient value. So as an insurance policy, I am now recommending a high quality multivitamin for everyone. I will discuss what that means in a future post, but for now, don’t cheap out on your multi’s. You get what you pay for in this department! And if you want a good food source of vitamins and minerals, try some LIVER!
I hope this post gives you a place to start when thinking about supplementation. Please call me for a consult if you’d like to discuss a supplement protocol customized just for you!