In a perfect world, eating a whole food diet would be enough to maintain optimal health. Unfortunately, ours is not a perfect world. Depleted soils mean there are less nutrients in our food, more chemicals in the air mean our system is fighting more toxins and our stressful lives mean we are sleeping less and demanding more of our bodies.
Boosting your daily nutritional routine with supplements is the best way to ensure you get what you need to maintain your health and fuel your body.
The 3 Essential Supplements Every Woman Needs to Maintain Health
#1: Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are not made in the body and must be ingested from food sources. They allow many biological reactions to occur in the body thus are essential. They are important for optimal function of the heart – think blood pressure, strokes – to the nervous system and the skin. There are 2 types of essential fatty acids: omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Both encourage and aid different pathways in the body and that’s why you need to eat a variety of foods and rotate your essential fatty acid oils.
Sources: Olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, salmon and halibut are good food sources. Rotating cod liver oil, hemp seed oil and flax seed oil is an ideal way to get the nutritional benefits of all the oils. Nordic Naturals is a brand that offers high quality oils.
Known as the friendly bacteria, they aid in keeping the digestive system strong and healthy. One of the ways they do this is by keeping the “bad” bacteria (think yeast) from taking over. Approximately 70% of the immune system is in the digestive system so you are getting lots of support by taking some probiotics.
Sources: Some dairy products have added probiotics, but you can also find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. One of my favorite brands is HMF by a Canadian company Genestra/Seroyal.
#3: Multivitamin and Mineral
Eating a whole food diet – organic, free range and grass fed – and live a peaceful stress free life, is quite high expectation to live by. Most people are not able to live this way so being a little proactive and taking simple preventative measures can make a profound difference in our health. Take a multivitamin and mineral everyday, and when you are feeling a little sniffle or cough coming on, then take a few more (following the recommended dosages or the advice of your doctor).
Be mindful that these supplement suggestions are to help educate and not to diagnose. Consider them a place to begin with when exploring the option of taking supplements. It is best to visit a professional health care physician to determine the best preventative supplement plan for you.
Visit Dr. Heather, ND and Human Body Detectives series for kids, to learn more about Dr. Heather and her mission to have families be more proactive and healthy in their lives. You can also join in on the conversations on Twitter @drheathernd and HBD on Facebook.