The Supplements I Couldn't Do Without

I am an avid promoter of taking supplements and vitamins. My poor kids get popped a chewy or some kind of vitamin every day. Along with prayer and God's hand on us, we have fortunately been very healthy through the years. We have had our occasional fever and allergy-related issues, but overall, nothing major to note.

Here are just some simple, easy to find supplements I take almost daily. (I am in no way an expert in this field... this is only my opinion and taken from my own research.

Please consult your healthcare provider if you have questions and concerns regarding what would be best for you and your lifestyle.)

1. Vitamin D

I really can't say enough about this vitamin. If there was only one vitamin I could bring on a deserted island... this would be it. I know there is some debate about the potential for toxicity, but from my personal research (take it for what its worth), living in the Northern Hemisphere with not an adequate amount of vitamin D given from sunshine, we are usually very deficient in this fat-soluble vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency increases cancer by 70%. The Natural News website states that Vitamin D is the "single most effective medicine against cancer". It also helps keep bones strong by aiding in calcium absorption and also promotes healthy immune function. Other benefits have shown to help decrease the occurrence of diabetes, aides in fertility and is shown to help in illnesses associated with fatigue and depression.

My rule of thumb for dosing (in milligrams) is take your weight and multiply by 35.

Vitamin C

This water-soluble vitamin is widely known for fighting the common cold. But actually it works much better to take prophylactically instead. It may lessen some of the symptoms associated with a cold, but in fact, does not actually fight the cold.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. According to the National Cancer Institute, "antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radical might otherwise cause."

Other benefits seen with adequate levels of vitamin C are increased wound healing, tissue strength and collagen growth. It helps to lower the occurrence of heart disease, specifically by decreasing hypertension and cholesterol levels.

1,000-4,000 mg a day is a good dosage.

Digestive Enzyme

Unless you are eating freshly picked fruits and vegetables you are not getting the adequate amount of enzymes in your diet. Also because of over-farming and mineral-depleted soils and increased shipping times of those foods, there is also a decrease in the nutrients and enzymes in those foods.

The Natural News website states the following, "digestive enzymes play key roles in our health by enabling our bodies to digest and utilize all the nutrients we ingest to the greatest extent possible. Moreover, these enzymes also play a key role in the elimination of toxins..."

Our bodies need 45 essential nutrients and enzymes to carry out proper metabolic function. So if you are not getting all of them through your diet, supplementation is a great addition.

Digestive enzymes also help to fight against illnesses associated with inflammation, fibrosis, blood contamination and viruses.

Dosing is usually 1-2 tablets with your meal.

Fish Oil

Fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) is pretty much a miracle pill. Benefits are seen in treating a wide range of health related problems seen across the US such as depression, ADHD, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease and arthritis. But is also effective in strengthening mental focus and other brain functions (trust me, I need this one!). It is also known to help in alleviating PMS symptoms in women.

We can only obtain this supplement through diet or supplementation because our bodies do not produce it on its own. I take it for two reasons. First is because I do sometimes have "monthly mood swings". Since I have been taking these supplements, I am more balanced out and feel a calmness throughout my day. Next, heart disease runs on both sides of my family. And now I am the not-so-proud owner of high cholesterol. Research shows that by taking fish oil, cholesterol is absorbed in the intestines than in the coronary arteries.

Make sure you look for a respectable company that sells quality fish oil and I always like to check customer reviews (like on Vitacost). Most brands say 1-2 soft gels a day.

Milk Thistle

This is the newest supplement added to my list. The more I hear about this little herb, the more and more I love it. Milk thistle contains a compound called silymarin which helps to protect the liver from absorbing toxins we either absorb or ingest from the unhealthy things around us. The liver is responsible for hundreds of functions in our bodies to make sure everything is running smoothly such as using vitamins properly, removing cholesterol, helps clears blood of waste and helps immune function.

Dosage: 2-4 tablets a day.

This is not a complete list. They definitely change when I am sick or feel I am coming down with something. And these are always accompanied with a quality multivitamin.

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