Overwhelmed? Here’s Where To Get Started With Vitamins & Supplements!
So, one of you sent me this question in the context of my next Q+A & I figured it was such an important one that it deserved a segment (& blog post) of its own! The question was: “If I’m just starting out & I don’t take any vitamins/supplements yet, what are the top three that you would recommend starting with?”.
First things first, if you have read my My Daily Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements Routine!, I know it can be overwhelming to have all this information thrown at you & not know where to start, especially if you aren’t someone who has been taking supplements your entire life.
And I wasn’t either, before my recovery.
In fact, a lot of the supplements that I started taking, I began taking as part of my recovery based on recommendations from my nutritionist. The goal was to use these supplements to hasten & boost the process because my blood results were showing that I was lacking so many of my vitamins, nutrients & minerals (& let me tell you, my physical state of being was showing the same!). Obviously, these were all things I intended to replenish through nutrition. But, since recovery is tough at first & it was crucial to get things back on track, the supplements were there to help me get my energy back & get back a lot of the things that ED took away from me & was making me feel. A lot of the other supplements I take are a product of things I learned along the way.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t narrow it down to three, simply because two need to be taken together & I just needed the fourth one (Sorry guys!!!).
I will tell you MY TOP 5.
P.S. Please keep in mind that the ones I mention & the benefits they provide might not be what you’re looking for for yourself. Everyone is different, so it’s important to assess what I say based on your PERSONAL SITUATION! You can also check out my full vitamins & minerals post linked above to see if some of the other supplements I take are more in tune with your needs & what you’re looking for!
P.S.S. I like to change up my brands every now & then so every time I finish a container, I’ll generally buy a different brand of the same vitamin/supplement!
CURRENTLY TAKING THE ONE BY ORGANIKA HEALTH (& Before that, I was taking the one by NOW FOODS).
I’m sure you’ve all heard that it’s a great idea to take a fish oil supplement because of its healthy omega-3 content! But, what if I told you that taking a krill oil supplement would do the trick & more? YES, PLEASE, right? Basically, krill oil is a type of fish oil, but it’s better than plain ‘ol fish oil for two reasons:
- it’s more bioavailable!
- fish oil often contains a lot of toxins, one of the main ones being mercury, whereas the fish that krill oil is derived from are only fed phytoplankton, which doesn’t contain any mercury whatsoever!
OK, now that we’ve established that you should go for ‘DA KRILL, let’s talk about what’ so good about it & why I consider it one of my top choices.
- The name says it all baby. It’s an oil & as you all know, oils contain tons of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a heck of a lot of health benefits!
- Great for heart health & maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, as well as regulating them!
- Great for fighting inflammation (so krill can help heal your gut & can help with joint pain, arthritis or any symptom/illness/chronic disease caused by inflammation!).
- May help regulate mental function & help calm the symptoms of certain mood disorders or depression! The logic? When the body is lacking omega-3s, mental function can actually become impaired. Symptoms of impaired mental function include mood swings, feelings of sadness/depression etc. Krill oil will supplement or compensate for the lack of omega-3 in your body, which will in turn help with your mental stability & in turn, regulate your mood! Basically, it’s a domino effect!
- Krill oil contains antioxidants! As you all know, antioxidants are great for overall health as they help fight free radicals & toxins in the environment that go into your body by merely living in today’s world. But, they’re also great for skin & complexion! (In fact, you guys may have noticed that a lot of the skincare products on the market nowadays contain tons of antioxidants in different forms, such as vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids or other vitamins!) In the same way that antioxidants will rid your body of free radicals & toxins, it will do the same for your skin. It will bring all the “crap” (excuse my French) to the surface & help promote healthier, more glowing & radiant skin complexion.
- TO MAH GIRLS: Krill also helps with PMS. If you’re someone who gets bad symptoms before your period, you should definitely look into taking krill oil as a natural remedy! WHO NEEDS MIDOL WHEN YOU GOT KRILL? It will even help if you take it in the first few days of your period, especially if you get really bad cramps/mood symptoms! (We’ve all been there baby!).
I started taking this when I first started recovery. As you guys know, I was literally, a walking skeleton. I was very fatigued, had no energy & always felt weak. Not only was I feeling all of those things, but I also had trouble sleeping & often found myself waking up in the middle of the night as I had trouble finding comfortable positions in bed & a lot of thought on my mind. I was also feeling very depressed & overall, CRAPPY. Believe it or not, a B-complex vitamin can help with that.
- B-complex vitamins can provide you with tons of energy! If you’re the type of person who often gets energy slumps &/or feels overly tired/weak throughout the day, taking a daily B-complex vitamin will help give you that necessary boost!
- But… they also provide a host of other health benefits, all of which I have seen firsthand & can vouch for & justify continuing to take it even though I’ve reached a point here my energy levels are now optimal!
- They are great for heart health & nervous system health!
- They boost antioxidant protection against free radicals by replenishing a particular antioxidant, called glutathione.
- They are great for the skin! Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is great for stronger hair + nails!
- They help de-stress! Stress starts in your head, LITERALLY & FIGURATIVELY. And vitamin B5 has legit been called the “Anti-stress vitamin” because it detoxifies brain tissue to help relieve physical + emotional stress.
- They support a healthy immune system by maintaining healthy white blood cell counts.
- They help the body metabolize homocysteine (which is an amino acid that, if not checked, can be a huge risk factor for the development heart & blood vessel disease).
P.S. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply don’t eat a lot of red meat/chicken/salmon, you should definitely REALLY consider taking a B-complex vitamin or, at least, a B12 supplement. This vitamin is found mostly in the foods I mentioned & if you’re not compensating for the foods you are avoiding, odds are, you aren’t getting enough of it. Vitamin B12 deficiency, in large part, manifests itself with symptoms such as: fatigue, weakness & energy slumps.
If I had to recommend one ONE supplement that you should start with, it would be THIS ONE! Probiotics have literally changed my life! (& they’re the reason why my digestion has been ON FREAKING FLEEK).
Your digestive tract is critical to your health because 80% OF YOUR ENTIRE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS LOCATED IN YOUR GUT (DIGESTIVE TRACT!). The digestive system is also the 2nd largest part of the neurological system (It’s actually called the second brain!).
Many people with issues such as: thyroid imbalance, chronic fatigue, irregular bloating/gas/digestive issues, joint pain, psoriasis, depression, etc. don’t realize that these illnesses start in the gut!
Basically, probiotics are bacteria that line our digestive tract & that support our body’s ability to absorb nutrients & fight infection. They are in our systems right from the moment we are born, BUT, if you don’t have enough probiotics, or if your gut is filled with BAD BACTERIA (due to eating processed, refined foods, which contain dangerous antibiotics that kill off good bacteria or daily stress), odds are you’ve been suffering from side effects of an unhealthy gut: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune diseases & frequent colds & flus. Probiotics will help replenish your gut lining with good, healthy bacteria & get rid of the bad bacteria that’s causing all these horrible symptoms!
Probiotics are found in many different foods, such as: sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, some cheese, kombucha, etc. BUT, in order tor really make sure you are fuelling your gut with healthy good bacteria, you should take a daily supplement & REAP THESE BENEFITS:
- Stronger immune system!
- DIGESTION ON FLEEK!
- Increased energy levels, as healthy good bacteria/probiotics helps with the production of vitamin B12!
- Candida RESOLVED!
- Healthier skin, as probiotics can naturally treat certain skin conditions!
- Reduced cold & flu symptoms!
- Healing from leaky-gut syndrome & IBS!
- Healthy weight maintenance!
Okay guys, as you know, I’ve already done a full post on all the benefits of collagen (& not only the benefits but I literally broke it ALL down for you guys – what in the world collagen is, the types, the benefits, the differences between collagen & gelatin, as well as the types of collagen I use & where you can find ’em!). So, instead of ranting away & repeating all the same stuff (#lazy, no shame!), check out my full collagen post HERE: Collagen Here, Collagen There, Collagen Everywhere: The Basics & Why You Should Add It To Your Daily Routine!
As you guys ALSO know, in order for collagen to be properly absorbed by our bodies & to reap the full benefits from it, it should be taken in conjunction with vitamin C! Obviously, a lot of us probably get enough vitamin C simply through nutrition, BUT, if you aren’t sure that you do, you might want to consider taking a vitamin C supplement to make sure that your body is really able to properly make use of the collagen! (Not to mention, a vitamin C supplement will provide loads of other health benefits!).
Kay so, the reason I’m recommending that vitamin C be one of the first supplements you start out with is because of what I just explained regarding the absorption of collagen by the bod!
BUT, vitamin C packs a heck of a lot of other health benefits that you’ll be thankful for too!
- Not only does it help with collagen absorption, but it also helps with iron absorption!
- It’s great for overall immune system health!
- It’s essential for healthy bones, teeth & cartilage!
- It’s packed with antioxidants, which, as I mentioned earlier, help fight free radicals & rid the body of toxins! This also means that vitamin C is great for maintaining healthy skin & fights wrinkles!
- It’s great for eye health!
- It helps with the common cold!
- It prevents heart disease & may even help fight off certain types of cancer & other chronic diseases.
So there you have it, my loves!!! These are my top recommendations & I hope they were helpful!
Please always remember to take what I say knowing that I speak from first-hand experience & that I would never recommend something to you if it wasn’t something I have tried/taken & LOVED/seen RESULTS with.
BUT, also keep in mind that every single one of us (& our bodies) is different, so it’s crucial that you assess your vitamin/supplement needs based on HOW YOU FEEL!