Trying to decide which supplements belong in your daily routine can be no easy feat. One walk down the supplement aisle will leave you with a slew of options that appear to combat every ailment under the sun. But how do you know which ones are worth exploring?
As a registered dietitian-nutritionist, I certainly see the value in having the right supplements in your arsenal. As long as the supplement is taken as directed and you received the green light from your health care provider, the use of certain pills or powders can truly fill in nutritional gaps and can help people live healthier lives.
Among the sea of supplement options, there are 8 “dietitian-approved” supplements that I think everyone should have on their radar if they are on any type of wellness journey. Each of these is backed by science, easy to take, and meets the needs of our busy and stressful lifestyles.
- Vitamin D3 and K2
Vitamin D has gotten a lot of attention lately – and for good reason! Since vitamin D deficiency is linked to outcomes like poor bone health, weakened immunity, and even increased symptoms of depression, it is no wonder why people are flocking to this fat-soluble vitamin in spades.
If you are not on the vitamin D bandwagon yet, it may be time for you to hop on board. Some data shows around 1 billion people have low levels of this key nutrient worldwide. And while it’s true that our bodies can make this vitamin when our skin is exposed to sunlight, the regular use of sunscreen, being indoors most of the day, and living in cities where buildings block the sun’s rays, our skin is not getting the exposure that it needs to make enough vitamin D. And since there are very few foods that contain vitamin D in large amounts, supplementation is often key.
Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that is not consumed very often in a typical Western diet. Found in foods like natto (fermented soybeans), beef liver, and egg yolks, this nutrient is under-consumed in a typical Western diet.
This nutrient is unlike vitamin K1 – the version of this vitamin that supports blood clotting. Instead, vitamin K2 plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of calcium, and in turn, bone health.
Combining vitamin D and vitamin K2 in a supplement is a one-two punch when it comes to supporting strong and healthy bones.
If you want to support good quality sleep, quick muscle recovery, strong bones and healthy blood pressure, you should absolutely make sure that you are getting enough magnesium in your diet.
Unfortunately, almost 50% of Americans are deficient in this key nutrient. And along with eating foods that contain this nutrient–—think dark chocolate, dairy milk, and nuts—one easy way to meet your needs is by taking a magnesium glycinate supplement.
Including this supplement in your daily regimen is a simple way to support so many factors in your life. Pro tip: try taking this supplement in the evening to help you relax and get some restful sleep.
Let’s be honest – many of us face stress in our lives every single day. Instead of leaning on unhealthy solutions for stress management (like alcohol), taking Calm Now when the tension starts to rise is a quick fix that is much better for your overall health.
By combining clean ingredients that are known for helping people “take it down a notch” – think lemon balm, ashwagandha and passionflower – this supplement is the ultimate solution to help people find their inner Zen quickly and conveniently. Think of it as your very own chill pill!
Thanks to our smartphones, streaming TVs and Zoom meetings, it’s hard to avoid screen time. And while staring at a screen on occasion is a-ok, too much screen time can allow your eyes to excessive amounts of blue light – which can lead to macular degeneration and other vision concerns down the line.
You can try wearing blue-blocker glasses (which have little evidence to support their effectiveness) or try to limit your screen time (good luck with that!) when trying to support your eye health. Or, you can include sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that may protect the eyes from the effects of harmful blue light, in your diet. Foods that contain these carotenoids include those that are naturally colorful like fruits and vegetables. And if you are like 90% of Americans who don’t eat the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, Screen Eyes Gummies gives you a healthy dose of lutein and zeaxanthin in a super convenient way.
Including some mushrooms in your diet can be one of the best things you can do for your overall health. And while the varieties of mushrooms you find at your local grocery stores like button and portobello are excellent additions to your diet, there are other varieties that are not readily found at your corner store – think lion’s mane and chaga – that offer enormous health benefits.
Mushroom 8-Plex is a mushroom powder blend that gives your dishes a boost of eight different varieties of mushrooms, giving your body a slew of benefits. From brain support to immune support, these botanicals are a positive addition to an overall diet.
Add a scoop of these fabulous fungi to your coffee, sprinkle it into your smoothie, or even include it in your meatball recipe for a nutritional boost.
Are you eating the recommended 2-3 servings of fish and seafood every week? If you said no, then you might want to consider a fish oil supplement to fill a potential nutrition gap.
You see, fish contains unique healthy fats called DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. Your body can’t make these fats in adequate amounts and it depends on your diet to meet its needs. DHA and EPA fatty acids are critically important for our heart health and brain health.
Especially if you are not a fish eater, including a fish oil supplement that is refined to remove any impurities, including heavy metals like mercury, is ultra-important.
In an ideal world, people are eating green veggies every single day to provide their bodies with vitamins and minerals that are essential to their health and wellness. But in reality, keeping fresh greens on-hand and having time to prep and cook them is just not happening in the midst of juggling life in general.
Enter Deep Greens — a concoction made up of ingredients like dehydrated broccoli, spinach, kale, spirulina and more. Since this powder is made from real greens, it’s loaded with natural iron and calcium. Plus, it also contains apoptogenic herbs to help manage occasional stress, prebiotic fiber to support gut health, and other fruit powders (like acerola powder) to give this powder a vitamin C antioxidant boost.
Add a scoop to your smoothies, your drinks, and even your pancake mix to help you get in your daily greens every day.
A healthy gut is a happy gut. And many of us may be missing out on two key factors that help keep our gut healthy: prebiotic fiber and probiotic bacteria.
As humans, we have live bacteria living in our gut. Some bacteria aren’t so great for us (like E.coli) and others help support our health and are very important to have.
One probiotic called Bacillus coagulans has been shown to relieve constipation and intestinal gas in some studies. Taking a probiotic supplement, like Gut Guru, can help make sure your gut has enough of this live bacteria to help you stay regular and have a happy tummy.
About the Author
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, lactation counselor, and book author with almost two decades of experience providing evidence-based information to the general public on a variety of nutrition-related topics. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award by the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Emerging Leader in Women's Health Award by the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.