I'm not one to rely on medicine or pills when it comes to my health.
But I'm also not stubborn enough to ignore the science (and my own positive results) from supplementing when necessary.
Here are the 4 that I take daily to cover my bases for optimum health and brain function.
Multivitamin (or greens powder)
By definition, you technically only NEED to supplement when you can't get enough of something through natural means, but it's pretty damn hard to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from diet alone.
Rather than track 20 or more different things you may need, a multivitamin or greens powder does everything for you. I personally take 1 scoop of Athletic Greens every morning. Ezpz.
Natural alternatives: Eat an insane variety of different fruits, vegetables, and meat every day. Honestly, not sustainable. Just take the pill.
Vit D does way more than you think. It controls the expression of over 1,000 genes (roughly 1/24th of the entire human genome), yet 70% of people are deficient.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick says 4,000 IU per day of Vitamin D3 was enough to bring a majority of previously deficient adults up to "adequate" levels of at least 30ng/ml. Note that this is 6.5x the current adult RDA, which is now being revisited by health experts.
Natural alternatives: Get outside and expose ~40% of your skin to the sun for 20 minutes daily (almost impossible during non-summer days in the northern hemisphere).
The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, and DHA. Most people consume enough ALA but are severely lacking in EPA and DHA. This is not ideal because among the list of (many) benefits EPA and DHA offer is:
- Heart health
- Weight loss
- Brain function
I take 2-4 of the 2400mg pills from Nature Made each day (unless I'm eating fish that week).
Natural alternative: Eat lots of fatty fish, such as salmon, to reach the 8 oz weekly recommendation.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Gut health is all the rage these days. Your gut microbiome is responsible for something like 70% of your immune system and has been strongly linked to mental health and plenty of other things as well.
That's why it's important to bolster your microbiome with probiotics and prebiotics. You want to do everything possible to preserve a healthy ecosystem inside your gut.
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that make up your microbiome, and prebiotics are the "foods" they feed off of. Both are necessary for the sustainability of your gut health.
I take probiotics in pill form but consume most of my prebiotics naturally (bananas, blueberries, asparagus are my favorite).
Natural alternatives: If you don't want to take a pill for probiotics, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha should do the trick.