Similar to my skincare routine, when it comes to what I put into my body I follow the “less is more” motto. I’m not talking about eating less but rather eating fewer non-food substances, such as additives, preservatives, processed ingredients, or medical “extras” like painkillers (Advil, Tylenol, etc.) or supplements. However, there are a few dietary supplements that I’ve started taking this year out of semi-necessity.
IRON – I’ve been on and off anemic for awhile now. I eat a lot of fish, eggs, chicken, and a small amount of red meat, but apparently my body is just pre-determined to be iron deficient. There are two types of iron found in foods, heme and nonheme, heme iron is highest in foods such as chicken liver, beef kidneys, and oysters. Generally, dark meat has more heme iron than light meat. I take Ferrett’s Iron Tablets (as recommended by my doctor).
VITAMIN C – Other non-meat sources of iron contain nonheme iron, which isn’t absorbed as easily by your body. Nonheme iron is found in vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and egg yolks. Vitamin C is a supplement to the iron supplement, because it helps release more iron from these nonheme sources. Additionally, vitamin C prevent phytonutrients from inhibiting nonheme iron absorption. I take Dr. Clark Store Vitamin C.
PROBIOTICS – This supplement is trending lately. but I started using it about six years ago when I started traveling a lot and switching timezones often. I would take one in the morning and one in the evening to reset my body clock. Probiotics. Gut health is extremely important and if not properly regulated can cause inflammation, sickness, and digestive diseases. Probiotics are the bacteria lining your digestive tract. They support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Everyone is born with gut bacteria, however chemicals in our environment and in the food we ingest kill off probiotics and can end up damaging your digestive tract. For this reason, everyone could use a probiotic supplement. I take Florastor twice a day.
BIOTIN/VITAMIN B7 – This vitamin is part of the vitamin B complex that is responsible for metabolic, nerve, digestive, and cardiovascular health. Biotin acts as a coenzyme that metabolizes fatty acids, amino acids, glucose found in macronutrients into readily available energy to carry about proper functions such as the maintenance of our nails, skin, and hair health. Biotin is found in organ meats, eggs, avocado, berries, fish, legumes, etc., but I’ve found that when I take the supplement my nails grow faster and my hair is shinier. It’s difficult to consume too much iron because biotin is water-soluble and therefore eliminated in the urine. Therefore, regular supplementation of biotin is not harmful because your body doesn’t store it. I take Nature Made Biotin.
These supplements are what I’ve been prescribed by a doctor. Everyone is built differently, so I wouldn’t suggest using supplements just because your friend or family member is. If you have a deficiency or reoccurring symptoms of some kind, I would consult your physician and see what he or she recommends you supplement with. Generally, if you eat a variety of foods and limit the chemicals in your diet then you should be fulfilling your daily vitamin and nutrient needs.