I have been getting a lot of questions about what supplements I recommend to start with and beyond. Meaning, what is the hierarchy? Which ones are most important? Should you even take supplements? If so, what do you start with?
While there are some very useful supplements out there, I do not recommend starting out with taking a bunch of them. I prefer to recommend “superfoods” as a starting point for reducing nutritional deficiencies. Afterall, a supplement is there to help you ingest a nutrient that you may not be getting through your diet. SO, it only makes sense to get your nutrients from food.
When you ingest something that is closest to the source, the body recognizes it much better and it absorbs optimally. Synthetic supplements such as multi-vitamin/mineral supplements and others tend not to be recognized by the body as well as thus most of the product is not absorbed and is wasted. With so many supplements out there on the market, deciding which one is the best can be tough. Regulations are not great for supplements either making it harder to understand what you are actually taking.
So, let’s cut to the chase. Here is what I recommend to start out with:
Tier 1 Superfoods
– Spirulina and chlorella or green food type supplement (powder or pill, can be a mixture of superfoods).
– Fish oil/omega-3 supplement (can be plant-based but the important EPA/DHA does not convert as well in the body with plant source).
This is where you need to start. The body starved for critical minerals, B-vitamins, chlorophyll and nucleic acids that you get from plants, primarily greens. It is very tough to eat enough and S/C is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet besides mothers milk.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in grass-fed meats, organic pasture-raised eggs, walnuts, and cold-water fish are all great superfood sources of omega-3 fatty acids. But getting enough EPA/DHA is also tough. So taking a daily fish oil supplement will help ensure that you get what you need.
Start with these two as your base
Tier II superfoods
– Super seeds (flax, chia, hemp). These provide a balance of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, fiber, and plant lignans that help improve gut bacteria and digestion.
– Wheatgrass cubes: I could put this as a tier I but the cost can be tough. Over 100 critical minerals from the soil, chlorophyll, detoxification, and cellular health (feeds the mitochondria).
– Turmeric: high in antioxidants and helps reduce overall body inflammation response. New research shows it also improves memory and brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.
– grass-fed whey protein or plant-based protein (pea or hemp, or a mixture): great as a base for super shakes. Can round out protein intake to make it more convenient.
– Collagen peptides and/or bone broth: provides essential amino acids for growth and repair of tendons, ligaments, joints, good for gut health.
– Cacao powder: high in antioxidants and reduces inflationary response.
– Coconut oil: tons of great saturated fat (you need it, forget what you heard in the 1980’s), Lauric acid and Medium-Chain Triglycerides (these provide energy by not storing as fat, help improve fat loss, reduces inflation, improves gut health)
– Mixed berries: your best bang for the buck fruit.
There are many other great superfoods out there but start here. Don’t get confused with crazy claims and don’t take a bunch of individual vitamin/mineral/herbal supplements. Good food works best, not supplements.