After several questions from all you munchkins about what vitamins, minerals & supplements I take daily, I FINALLY put together this post! Sorry it took so long, BUT YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHY when you see just how many I take!
The following vitamins, supplements & minerals are all useful & beneficial for a million different reasons! The reason I take certain ones may not be the same as why you would or wouldn’t! So please, DO YOUR RESEARCH, my loves! You may or may not need to add some or all of these to your daily routine, based on your nutrition & your overall health status!
I will list the main reasons for which I take each one. Also, PLEASE keep in mind that I was put on a lot of these at the beginning of my eating disorder recovery because my bodily functions had pretty much all completely shut down & my blood tests were showing that I was in the low range for A LOT of essential vitamins & minerals.
A lot of them have now become part of my daily routine (even though I am probably getting enough of certain ones through food) simply because over the course of the past (almost) six months, I have really seen amazing benefits & results and decided that making them part of my routine would be part of my journey not only towards recovery but to becoming a BETTER ME & adopting a healthier lifestyle overall.
P.S. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I just want to put one thing out there that applies to purchasing ANY & ALL vitamins, minerals & supplements: PLEASE AVOID SYNTHETIC FORMS AT ALL COSTS! If you take synthetic forms of some types of vitamins, not only will your body risk being deprived of the nutrient benefits, but also it could actually cause more harm than good.
How can you tell whether it’s natural or synthetic? LET ME EXPLAIN!
- Look for the words “100% natural” on the product label. Some product labels may contain the words “natural,” but manufacturers can claim “natural” on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. This is why you should always look for products that contain “100% plant-based” or “100% animal-based” on the product’s label.
- Find the “food source” list on the products label. If the product’s label does not contain a list of natural food sources, then the product is synthetic. Look for food sources such as yeast, fish, vegetable and citrus.
- Look for salt forms on the product label, a synthetic added to supplements to increase the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look out for: acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate & succinate.
- Learn how to read the product’s label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic. Words that end in “ide” or “ate” indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics. For instance, if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product. ALSO, the letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic.
OKAY, NOW LET’S GET TO IT!
- Helps with hormone production & balance.
- Improves immunity & facilitates digestion (By affecting protein synthesis & helping the body to use amino acids from foods, as well as breaking down carbs from foods, which are one of the main sources of energy for the body).
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory & antioxidant, which helps fight oxidative stress, free radical damage, slow the aging process & decrease the chance for disease development.
- Important for clear skin & can help with acne. Basically, zinc promotes healthy skin by carrying vitamin A to your skin, regulating your body’s hormonal balance & facilitates apoptosis (Cell death), which is a natural part of our skin renewing itself. In other words, if apoptosis is delayed, i.e. if you have zinc deficiency, skin cells will stick together instead of dying like they should, which then leads to clogged pores!
- P.S. If your main concern in taking Zinc is for acne, make sure you take ZINC PICOLINATE. It is the most easily absorbed form, as opposed to zinc gluconate or zinc citrate because our bodies form zinc picolinate naturally from the zinc in real food by combining zinc in the intestines with picolinic acid, secreted by the pancreas.
(Recommended by KGMTL)
- Rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids & melatonin!
- Great source of vitamin A, C & E, which also have antioxidant properties that help shield the body from the effects of aging.
- Anti-inflammatory properties!
- Great for reducing exercise-related muscle pain & improving physical recovery. after prolonged periods of intense activity.
- Heart healthy!
- Promotes healthy, restful sleep (Due to the melatonin content).
- Amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids! (Actually, it is the purest form of omega-3 on the planet because most fish oils contain detectable levels of toxins, such as mercury. Krill oil does not given its position in the marine food chain – The fish feed only on phytoplankton which DOES NOT contain mercury!).
- Contains antioxidants!
- Helps with PMS!
- Promotes a healthy skin complexion (Due to its antioxidant content, which fights the effects of damaging free radicals!).
- Can also help with mood & combat depression!
- Improves skin tone & texture & scavenges skin damaging free-radicals!
- Helps slow down the signs of aging by nourishing the tissues in our skin & body.
- Helps lock in your body’s natural moisture!
- HUGE source of omega fatty acids 3, 6, 7 and 9!
- Supports hair & nail growth.
- Can also help heal burns, cuts, wounds, sunburn, rashes & other types of skin damage (When applied topically to the skin)!
VITAMIN B COMPLEX
I started taking these after meeting with my nutritionist for the first time. As you all know, inadequate intake of some B vitamins is not uncommon & deficiencies can cause fatigue, insomnia, depression & migraines.
- Helps the body to metabolize carbs, fats & proteins.
- Helps with liver detoxification & maintaining healthy cholesterol levels!
- Helps balance hormones!
- Great for NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALTH!
- P.S. If you are vegan or vegetarian, it is very likely that you are deficient in B12 as the best sources are meat & seafood, so I highly recommend taking a B vitamin supplement!
Since I ran out of my Sugar Bear Hair Gummies, I started taking Biotin, which is one of the main ingredients in the gummies.
- Helps with hair strength, texture & appearance!
- Improves metabolic function to maintain healthy skin. Basically, this water-soluble vitamin is essential for breaking down fatty acids. Proper breakdown & distribution of fatty acids translates to healthy skin, creating a gloss, which protects against hydration loss & damage from the sun.
- Does not apply to me, BUT: Biotin can also help with pregnancy deficiency, diabetes & brittle nails.
(Recommended by KGMTL)
SKIN. SKIN. SKIN!
- Contains calcium, magnesium, amino acids & trace minerals.
- Considered a beauty tonic in China!
- Supports the rejuvenation, repair & regeneration of skin cells! (I’ve found that it has really helped even out my skin tone & reduce hormonal breakouts!)
- Heart health (& antioxidants!). As you guys know, when I was in the depths of my anorexia, I had bradycardia, which basically means I had a slower than normal heart rate. The hearts of adults at rest usually beat between 60 & 100 times a minute. Mine was beating at 49-51 times per minute. In order to help treat my condition, I began taking CoEnzyme Q10, which is a vitamin-like substance present within the mitochondria (the cells’ powerhouse) of virtually all of our cells. Basically, this enzyme generates energy in the form of energy storage molecules. Logically, our organs with the highest energy requirements, i.e. our hearts, livers & kidneys, require the most CoQ10. As such, CoQ10 is often taken to improve the utilization of oxygen at the cellular level, strengthen cardiac muscle, stabilize heart membranes & overall increase heart function & make the heart stronger, pump more efficiently & beat a little quicker! It literally SAVED ME & really helped reduced the symptoms of my bradycardia.
- Research has also shown that CoQ10 can also help reduce the number & severity of migraine headaches.
Always make sure your vitamin E is natural & not synthetic.
Most vitamin E is derived from soy & soy is loaded with problems. 91% of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified & contains harmful herbicides, which have repeatedly been shown to have devastating reproductive & birth defects in animal studies. Even organic soy contains phytoestrogens, which can create or lead to hormonal or thyroid imbalances. YOUR VITAMIN E SHOULD BE MADE FROM SUNFLOWER OIL IN ORDER TO AVOID THESE ISSUES.
- Helps build strong immunity, healthy skin & eyes!
- Amazing source of antioxidants, which protects fat-soluble vitamins & essential fatty acids in your cells from oxidative damage.
- Promotes brain health!
- Helps support normal cholesterol levels!
- Necessary for the maintenance of healthy strong bones. Initially, I began taking vitamin D when I was diagnosed with osteopenia when my anorexia had reached its all-time low in order to help strengthen my bones.
- Important for the regulation of calcium absorption!
- Supports healthy immune function.
- Helps combat free radicals (Due to its antioxidant properties).
- Neutralizes the effects of nitrites (Preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain cancers).
- Also necessary for collagen absorption – When consuming collagen, you should do so in conjunction with vitamin C to ensure that your body is able to convert the collagen into protein it can use & in turn, restore the source of your energy & vitality!
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
- Helps with hormonal acne! Basically, the omega-6 fatty acids help regulate & balance the hormone levels, which in turn, can help cure hormonal acne issues! These fatty acids also play a role in cell structure & can help improve overall nerve function & promote skin elasticity.
- Does not apply to me, BUT: I’ve read that it can also be helpful for skin issues, such as eczema & psoriasis.
- As for eczema, people that suffer from it do not have the normal ability to process fatty acids, which in turn, results in a deficiency of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). This fatty acid is one that the body can convert to substances that reduce inflammation & cell growth. As such, evening primrose oil can help relieve many symptoms of eczema, such as itching redness & edema.
- As for psoriasis, the causes include hormonal changes, poor diet & difficulty digesting protein. Primrose can help naturally cure this because the essential fatty acids help with hormone balance & digestion!).
- Great source of omega-6 fatty acids & linoleic acid for the overall maintenance of good health (Linoleic acid is known for its fat-burning properties, as well as its ability to regulate blood sugar levels & improve overall immune function, as well as help fight off or prevent certain types of cancer!).
- Helps lower inflammation (As I’ve told you guys in the past, lower inflammation is a sign of less free radical damage or oxidative stress & this in turn is linked to lower risk of developing diseases, such as cancer).
I take a daily Collagen supplement, but also use either Vital Proteins or Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen in smoothies & baking recipes. (GET THE VITAL PROTEINS COLLAGEN PEPTIDES HERE USING MY AFFILIATE LINK!).
- Improves skin & hair health! Makes the skin look firmer, more supple, increase moisture & smoothness & helps skin cells keep renewing, regenerating & repairing normally. Basically, it reduces the signs of aging & promotes younger, more radiant skin.
- Helps reduce cellulite & stretch marks!
- Reduces joint pain & degeneration.
- Helps LEAKY GUT! Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where bad-for-you toxins are able to pass through your digestive tract. Collagen will help break down proteins & soothe your gut’s lining, by healing damaged cell walls & infusing it with healing amino acids. Collagen helps form connective tissue & seals and heals the protective lining of your GI tract! A lot of illnesses can be traced back to poor & unhealthy gut! This is because poor gut health & permeability in the gut lining allows particles to pass into the bloodstream where they LEAD TO INSANE INFLAMMATION.
- Helps with water absorption within our intestines, which means that it helps keeps things moving more freely out of the body.
- Helps boost metabolism, muscle mass & energy output by adding lean muscle mass to your frame & helping with the conversion of essential nutrients.
- Contains amino acids which are important for digestive & central nervous system health & as well as improving the body’s use of antioxidants.
- Strengthens nails, teeth & hair.
- Heart health!
- Helps with sleep & improves memory (Due to the amino acid glycine which plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain).
The reasons I began taking Maca was for: energy, hormonal balance & improving overall mood & depression (given its adaptogen property, which I will go more into detail about after).
- Basically, since maca helps balance hormones, this in turn, helps ease depression, thereby boosting mood, energy level, focus & lowering anxiety.
- Can help with easing PMS.
- Contributes to clear-looking skin! The nutrient quality & hormone balancing characteristics of maca help keep the skin vibrant, healthy & clear.
- Maca is an ADAPTOGEN (a.k.a. helps with stress relief). It has the ability help the body adapt to and deal with stress & other issues. (P.S. Adaptogens are metabolic regulators, which increase our ability to adapt to environmental factors, such as stress, diet, toxins or disease) & to avoid damage from such factors, without causing side effects from its use!)
- Contains 22 fatty-acids, which act as an immune booster, as well as vitamin C & zinc, which help with overall immunity enhancement, as well.
- Huge source of antioxidants & other vitamins, such as B, C & E, as well as some minerals: calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium & phosphorus!
- Enhances memory & ability to learn, process mentally & makes you more alert!
- Super high in protein! Complete source of high quality protein & often compared to eggs for the amount of protein per gram!
- AMAZING source of antioxidants & B-vitamins (especially THIAMIN, which is crucial for the digestion of fats & proteins & is often taken for INCREASED ENERGY, which is why I started taking it, as well as brain function & improving nerve functioning).
- MOST NUTRIENT-DENSE FOOD ON THE PLANET!
- IRON. IRON. IRON. I had very low iron when I reached my lowest point in my ED. & since I never really ate much red meat, I always had low-ish iron levels. I began taking spirulina because it is one of the best PLANT SOURCES OF IRON! & it’s even beneficial for meat easters because it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is very gentle & easy on the digestive system.
- CALCIUM! Did you guys know that spirulina contains over 26x the calcium in milk?!
- Also contains: riboflavin, folic acid, vitamins C, D, A & E, as well as a source of potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium & zinc!
One of the main reasons we experience bloating is because of gut bacteria imbalance. Basically, what this means is that you have too much bad bacteria living in your gut (due to things such as, bad diet or stress). Tackling unhealthy gut with live bacteria can help address the imbalance in our gut flora & stop the bad bacteria & yeast from accumulating too much in our intestines, which is what ultimately leads to bloating.
When buying a probiotic supplement, always make sure they contain strains of good microbes: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Other good sources of probiotic foods/drinks are: Kombucha, certain Greek yogurts &/or cheeses &/or dairy products, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi!
- NOT ONLY DO PROBIOTICS PROMOTE A HEALTHY MICRO-BIOME, but they also help balance immune function (80% of our immune system is located in our gut!)
- Enhances nutrient absorption from the food we eat!
- Improves mood!
- Helps maintain healthy body weight – having healthy balance of microflora in your gut helps speed metabolism & can even encourage weight loss.
- Keeps temporary inflammation in check!
- Reduces fatigue (Balanced gut can reinvigorate you because fatigue is often a sign of poor digestion, which occurs as a result of unhealthy gut).
- Helps balance blood sugar.
- Improves the appearance of the skin. Skin is an important reflection of internal health & skin problems can result from nutritional & hormonal imbalances, as well as immune system disruptions, all of which are issues that start in the gut.
The following are other supplements, vitamins & minerals that I take on occasion, when I feel I need them.
- Helps reduce anxiety, stress & depression. Basically, reishi can be both energizing & calming – its effect is two-directional. As stress fades, energy is released for use.
- Helps improve the quality of your sleep by increasing the length as well as the depth of sleep & shorten the time needed to get into sleep.
BLOATING. BLOATING. BLOATING! As I’ve told you guys in the past, with anorexia recovery comes LOADS of digestive discomfort & bloating. I began taking curcuma capsules as a way to help ease these symptoms.
- Since it is a carminative, curcuma can help prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract & facilitate the expulsion of accumulated gas (TMI, I know. BUT LISTEN, WE ALL DEAL WITH IT).
- Serves as anti-spasmodic & anti-flatulent.
- Acts as a digestive stimulant & can help relieve symptoms of indigestion, abdominal bloating & even abdominal pain! It does this by improving the action of intestinal lipase (the enzyme that breaks down fats) & sucrase & maltase (the enzymes which break down carbs).
- It’s also antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory & has immune-regulation properties, which can be useful in the treatment of disorders, which ultimately cause bloating!
- Counteracts the effect of toxic elements or substances in our diets & protect us from their after effects!
- Also helps attenuate anxiety & depressive symptoms!
I only began taking this recently since I started going back to the gym & have been experiencing a lot of muscle soreness.
- Helps reduce lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-workout pain!
- Acts as an electrolyte, which is essential for proper hydration.
- Helps alkalize the body & return the body’s pH balance!
I use the capsules but you can also just take a tsp. or two if you are able to stomach the taste.
- Scientific studies have shown that the fact that fennel seeds are rich in volatile oil can help provide digestive benefits & gives them the ability to clear intestinal gas very effectively. Sorry for the TMI, but I’m just trying to help guys!
- Basically, certain compounds in the seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that help relax contracted intestinal muscles & allow trapped gas to dissipate.
I started taking this to help with my digestion!
- Helps produce saliva & stimulates the salivary glands, which is essential for beginning the digestive process.
Stimulates the flow of enzyme production, essential for digestive system to work properly.
- Stimulates gastric juices that help the body’s ability to metabolize food & toxins.
- Eliminates acidity & helps the digestive system that moves bacteria & toxins out of the body!
- Basically, digestive enzymes are proteins that help digest macronutrients (carbs, proteins & fats) in the foods that we consume. If our bodies cannot break down one or more of these nutrients due to inadequate amount of enzymes, this is when the bloat comes along! Taking the enzymes your body cannot produce helps prevent bloating & stimulate & ease digestion.
Do not make taking these a habit! You do not want your body to learn to get used to them & ultimately, you do not want your digestive system to stop functioning & working on its own. All in all, too much of anything is never a good thing!
THAT’S IT MY LOVES.
I THINK IT’S ENOUGH, NO?
Please don’t be shy to message me if you have any questions!
THAT’S WHAT I AM HERE FOR!
LOVE YOU ALL! <3