Okay so I know there is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding supplements – what’s good for you, what’s bad for you, what’s going to be that one magic pill for optimal health, etc – so it can be a bit confusing trying to find the right one, but everyone and every body is different so you really have to find what works for YOU and your body. I’ll go over what types of vitamins your body needs, how you can get vitamins and minerals naturally, and which supplements I use daily.
So, What Vitamins Should You Be Taking?
For the most part our bodies don’t even need certain supplements like multivitamins that claim to be “everything you need.” The truth is, is that if you eat healthy and fuel your body with proper nutrition, your body will absorb natural minerals and vitamins from the foods you eat. Here is a breakdown of foods you can eat to give your body the key vitamins it needs:
Healing Herbs and Spices
As you just read, our bodies can pretty much get everything they need from natural foods like vegetables, legumes, lean meats, and healthy grains. But another source of natural healing for our bodies can be found right in your kitchen cabinet. That’s right, herbs and spices not only add great taste to your meals, they also hold a plethora of natural healing powers!
If you don’t have these herbs and spices handy, don’t worry! One of my favorite ways to incorporate some of these healing ingredients is through herbal tea. Yogi Teas is one of my favorite brands not only because I love their motto (“Feel Good, Be Good, Do Good“), but also because they create delicious teas with beneficial healing herbs and spices. Some of my favorites right now include:
- Cinnamon Berry Probiotic Balance – supports digestion and gut health
- Green Tea Super Antioxidant – helps reduce free radicals and promotes healthy skin
- Green Tea Muscle Recovery – supports your body’s recovery after exercising
- Healthy Fasting – aids in detoxification and cleansing
Yogi Teas have tons of other healing teas out there so I definitely recommend trying a couple and adding them to your daily routine. I usually rotate between these four teas and incorporate them daily in between meals. So far I have noticed improved digestion, reduced bloating and glowing skin!
‘SUP With Supplements?
The number one rule everyone should be following when searching for vitamins and other supplements is READ YOUR LABELS. I cannot stress that enough! A lot of “healthy” supplements and vitamins out there are loaded with GMOs, hydrogenated oils, titanium oxide, carrageenan artificial colors, heavy metals and other toxic ingredients. These types of toxic ingredients have been known to cause cancer, allergies, auto immune disorders, gastrointestinal issues (like leaky gut) and organ toxicity. A good rule of thumb is to find supplements that are organic, non-GMO and/or vegan so that you aren’t consuming any extra chemicals or processed crap!
I just restocked my supply so I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE (and only) supplements I take daily!
Probiotics aid in promoting gut health by balancing your good and bad bacteria for your body to function properly. The good bacteria in your gut help maintain optimal digestive health and boost your immune system. Since probiotics are live bacteria, they usually have to be refrigerated but there are some brands that don’t require it – which I prefer since it’s easier to pack and travel with. My favorite probiotic is Garden of Life Probiotics Mood+ which I take every morning to support digestive health and emotional well-being. Garden of Life products are always amazing, but one of the main reasons I chose this specific probiotic is because this formula also contains organic ashwagandha (one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing!) and organic blueberries to support positive mood and relaxation. So if you aren’t already taking probiotics daily, you should be! But if you’re not ready to commit yet, you can also get probiotics naturally from eating yogurt.
2. BCAA (Pre-Workout)
Besides proper nutrition, exercising is one of my top priorities. So if you’re like me and reducing fat without losing muscle is your goal, then you should definitely consider adding branch-chained amino acids (or BCAAs) to your diet. BCCAs are composed of leucine, isoleucine, and valine which are three amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. BCAAs help increase rates of protein synthesis , reduce muscle damage, lessen muscle soreness and promote quicker recovery time. You can also find BCAAs naturally in foods like chicken, beef and eggs, but I choose to add Raw Barrel No Bull BCAAs since pure BCAAs go directly into the bloodstream. And although this supplement doesn’t have MY ideal formula (non-GMO and organic), this brand doesn’t have any added fillers or additives, which is always a plus. For optimal use, I take my BCAAs right before my workout. I don’t use any other “pre-workout” supplements but black coffee and a small carb snack usually does the trick for me!
3. Recovery (Post-Workout)
Although BCAAs do help with muscle recovery, I like to add another post-workout supplement to help after really tough workouts. Again Garden of Life comes to the rescue here with their SPORT Organic Plant-Based Recovery powder. I take one scoop of their recovery blend with water immediately after strenuous activities (like soccer and boxing) to reduce muscle soreness, recover faster, and jump-start muscle repair. Other supplements like Glutamine can also help with post-workout recovery by restoring glycogen (energy) to your body. If these names scare you, that’s okay! Like I said, choosing which supplements to take is YOUR choice. But I will say that the most important thing to remember after a workout is to refuel your body with a high-protein meal. After an intense workout, your muscles are starved for protein, so consuming the right nutrients is going to ensure you have faster recovery and promote more muscle growth!
Last but not least, is one of my favorite supplements: magnesium. Magnesium is a critical mineral for your body that can natural create energy, promote relaxation, fight depression, reduce inflammation, prevent migraines and improve PMS symptoms in women. Natural Vitality Calm has been a lifesaver for me numerous times in relieving my menstrual cramps and fighting off migraines! I usually take it before bed to relax my body and mind and get a good night’s sleep. This particular magnesium supplement also contains calcium which helps reduce stress levels and promotes muscle and nerve health. For even more benefits, you can find magnesium in foods like pumpkin seeds, leafy greens, dark chocolate, black beans, quinoa, fish, and almonds.
Remember, these are just the supplements that work for me! When deciding which vitamins and supplements (or foods) are right for you, I recommend doing your own research and finding what works for you and your lifestyle! I hope this helped and if you have any other suggestions or want to share which healing foods or supplements have worked for you, leave them in the comments! XOXO
*The information provided on this website is intended for your general knowledge only and is based on of my personal opinion and experience. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.*