What do I supplement?
- Take a blood test
Taking a blood test can prevent you from needlessly supplementing nutrients that you can obtain from food instead.
Multivitamins provide the bare minimum to ensure prevention of deficiency and are by no means a replacement for healthy eating. Planning meals and being organized with the way that you eat is a form of self care, and it is much more reasonable than taking a vitamin c supplement instead of a fruit. I would not recommend supplementing with multivitamins unless you are in crisis and cannot eat proper meals.
- Understand that over-supplementation can be harmful
Toxicity is a risk of over supplementation. Because supplements are largely unregulated, you cannot be entirely sure about the amount that you are receiving in some cases. In other cases, supplements provide high amounts of a nutrient and consumers perceive supplements as “the higher the dosage, the better” which is not the case for vitamin A, D, E, and K which are fat soluble and can accumulate in the body.
- Supplement needs vary depending on diet, age, gender and activity level.
There is not one supplement that fits every need, but I can say that everyone can benefit from a probiotic, as it aids digestion and the amount of beneficial bacteria in probiotics cannot be obtained from diet (billions). Omega is also beneficial because it Is very difficult to obtain omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) from diet unless you consume chia seeds, flax seeds etc on a daily basis. DHA is important for brain growth for children and brain function in adults. Majority of the Canadian population is deficient in magnesium, and magnesium biglysonate is the most general purpose and easy on stomach form. Magnesium is essential for many pathways in the body and it would be wise to supplement it if not enough is being consumed.