Recently, I re-read the portion of “It Starts with Food“ concerning supplements which can be helpful/compliment a Whole 30 eating plan. I am one of those people that does not like taking medicine/supplements. I am quirky about taking anything, even Advil, unless I really need it! (However, take this with a grain of salt, because I totally jumped at the first chance to get my epidural when I was in labor both times!!) I am mostly talking about your common cold medicines, vitamins, etc. All that being said, mentioned in the book are Omega-3 Fish Oil, Magnesium, Digestive Enzymes, and Vitamin D 3. I probably should have started taking these at the beginning of my January Whole 30, but since I am going to continue with the Whole 30/Paleo lifestyle, now is as good a time as ever! There are more items I could add to this list, but I am starting here and will do more research before adding anything else. For some great guidelines (from Whole 30) about what to look for when selecting supplements, click here and here. I am so thankful for the W30 site because they provide great information to help you make a good decision about whether things are right for you, and also provide links to other sources/studies. Remember, don’t think of dietary supplements as a substitute for a balanced, nutrient-dense diet. They are just that…supplements! Take them to support your already-healthy diet. Here is a very short summary of the reasons/benefits of adding these to my diet, and some links to where you can find more detailed information about dosages, as well as where to purchase. **As always, consult your physician if you have conditions/questions about adding supplements. And, read labels very carefully before purchasing to be sure there aren’t any yucky ingredients!
1. Omega-3 Fish Oil: Take this for the Omega-3 fatty acids. Most people’s diets are too rich in (pro-inflammatory) Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega -3 are anti-inflammatory. If you have read “It Starts with Food“, you know why this is so important! Fish Oil also contains EPA and DHA, which are fatty acids that your body cannot produce on its own. You have to get them through diet or supplementation. For more comprehensive info on this, click here. I am choosing to take the Omega 3 oil from Stronger, Faster, Healthier because it is one of the cleanest available, and there are great flavor choices. I’ve tried taking Fish Oil before, and it tasted so bad that I couldn’t stomach it! Hoping this is better!
2. Magnesium: (Unsweetened from Natural Calm) This can help you sleep better at night and is critical to bone health. Magnesium also is important for muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, immunity, blood sugar regulation, and blood pressure. You can also get Magnesium from soaking in a epsom salt bath!
3. Digestive Enzymes: (Now Foods Super Enzymes) Take these to improve digestion and absorb more of the the nutrients from your food. It also helps to chew slowly and not ingest a lot of fluid when you are eating.
4. Vitamin D3: (Carlson D3 Drops in Coconut Oil) Essential for many things, from immune support to bone health. Since it a fat soluble vitamin, take with a meal that is rich in fat, such as breakfast. You can also get your Vitamin D3 the natural way, from the sun. But, during the winter months or for those who are indoors a lot, a supplement is a good option.
I will write an update once I have been taking these for at least a month. What sort of supplements are YOU taking, and why did you decide to add them?