This is a very common question and I think one that is worth some consideration. Walk in to any health food store, or go online, and there are literally thousands of different supplements. It is difficult to know where to start and what to spend your time and money on.
The best way to obtain nutrients is no doubt from whole foods. Locally grown, organic produce and lean wild game or 100% grass fed, free range protein sources are ideal. This may be not possible or feasible for everyone and even this will still fall short in supplying some important essential nutrients.
From a wellness perspective (as opposed to treating a condition or problem with a neutraceutical/”natural supplement”) there are a few important requirements for a supplement to make the list:
- It must be something that is an ESSENTIAL nutrient. (Your body can’t make it and must obtain it from food/supplement)
- It must be something that can’t be obtained by a reasonable change in diet
- It must be a nutrient that people are commonly deficient in (Why else would you take something?)
If it meets these requirements, it is something your body needs to maintain healthy function, doesn’t have enough of, or can’t get from food. This is a valid reason to take a wellness supplement.
If you can get it from food, you should. It is always a better choice and how your body is intended to get it. If it is not essential, then I have a difficult time recommending someone take something for the rest of their life. If people aren’t commonly deficient in it, then why are we taking it?
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) (Fish Oil)
- Vitamin D
These are the only things that I recommend everyone take. Every day. Forever. Why would you only take something that your body needs, but can’t make, and can’t get otherwise for a period of time?
All of these nutrients are commonly deficient in our modern world, are difficult, if not impossible to obtain from our diet these days and are ESSENTIAL.
If you don’t have arthritis symptoms, skin problems, or inflammatory problems yet, does that mean you don’t need EFA? Absolutely not. Everybody does, every day, for life. If you don’t have various symptoms that relate to vitamin D deficiency, but aren’t getting enough, you still need adequate levels of Vitamin D to express health.
I recommend Innate Choice supplements because they are third party tested, great quality and fairly priced. They are also the only supplement company that I know of that operates in the Wellness Paradigm, recommending supplements because they are essential nutrients not because they are a treatment for any condition or problem. They also have great free educational resources on their website.
Although not on my essential list, multivitamins can be a good source of some “insurance” nutrients (but not a replacement for a proper diet). With so many options, from 100% synthetic lab-manufactured, to yeast fermented and a select few 100% whole food, choosing one can be difficult. My recommendation is Pranin whole food powder.
Tyler Fix DC, CCWP