Whether you’re of the Paleo, carb cycling, or old-fashioned “just eat healthy and move” persuasion, none of them is going to be perfect. There’s simply no nutritional plan that can provide 100 percent of all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins you need on a regular basis.
Even if there were, that would leave zero room for indulgences and cheat meals; you’d turn into a machine that consumes food solely to optimize your health … and that’s no fun. The good news is that many all-natural supplements can help you to maximize your health while letting you actually enjoy those healthy meals.
A multi-vitamin alone won’t do it; if it did, it’d be the size of a baseball! So make sure you’re getting the most out of your supplement regimen.
You wouldn’t drive your car on zero gas, would you? That’s signing up for an accident when you come to a steep downhill stretch on the road, or leaving yourself stranded. Your body is a machine as well, and it requires regular maintenance and the right fuel day in and day out.
Start with a multi-vitamin (Centrum has been ranked as the best by pharmacists in recent years) and add on from there.
What everyone needs
The vast majority of people, especially women, don’t get enough calcium, which helps to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis. This will minimize bone breaks when you’re in your golden years.
Take a tablet or chew on a couple of Tums every day (they come in tasty as well as sugar-free flavors), but get your calcium boost however you can. Nobody drinks enough milk to get this nutrient; if they tried, they’d suffer a severe calorie spike.
Most Americans also don’t get enough Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish such as salmon. However, a fish-oil supplement or flax seed for vegetarians and vegans can help boost these levels and improve brain function. Stay brain-focused by adding garlic oil into the mix, or use fresh chopped garlic as toppers on a number of your favorite dishes.
The only way to tell which nutrients you’re deficient in by undergoing an annual test, but many people are deficient in magnesium and Vitamin D. Low magnesium levels can cause sleep disruption, and no multi-vitamin comes anywhere close to providing 100 percent of your requirements.
Vitamin D issues plague people who inhabit cloudy regions. A deficiency can lead to fatigue and just feeling blue for much of the year. Make sure your multi has enough D, and if not, supplement it.
If you seem to catch every bug that comes around, turmeric is an all-natural immunity booster that works wonders. It has no contraindications, and 800 mg per day (400 in the morning and 400 at night) can keep you illness-free.
As an added precaution, make sure your multi has enough Vitamin C, or consider adding some Emergen-C in lieu of another beverage treat such as soda.
It couldn’t hurt …
As we age, our metabolism gets sluggish. Both forskolin (a plant extract) and 7-keton are natural supplements that can help regulate your metabolism. Adding cayenne into meals and/or as a tablet can also give you the kick you need to keep those spare tires at bay.