I’m always after the best supplements I can find and after years of trying different things, I think I’ve more or less settled on a regimen that suits my particular needs. There are others I’d like to get too, for extra support in some specific areas, but for now they fall below the line.
I prefer to stay away from standard vitamins that are full of synthetic ingredients that are not well-absorbed, and have other things in them such as soy, corn and various preservatives. From what I understand, synthetic Vitamin C for instance is only 30% absorbed by the body and is derived from corn (ascorbic acid).
There are a number of great brands around these days that use whole food sources and although more expensive at face value, are a much better option than the alternative cheaper varieties that aren’t well absorbed and may well do more harm than good.
I find supplementing my already healthy organic diet is necessary at this stage in my life as food alone is not giving me adequate nutrition for my energy needs. Part of this is due to an existing nutritional deficit that I’ve yet to get on top of, and partly due to my food, even organic food, that no longer contains the level of nutrients sufficient for optimal health. We have a long term plan to develop extensive gardens with soil health that is out of this world, but that is a while away!
In the meantime, here’s what I consider a basic daily regimen (in order of priority):
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is brilliant for two reasons: it has high amounts of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and it is high in fat-soluble Vitamins A and D.
Our modern diet already has an over-adundance of Omega-6 fatty acids, and cod liver oil (depending on the brand) will have a better ratio of Omega 3s and 6s.
I have read about the strong benefits of cod liver oil in connection with fertility, teeth health, bone health, cancer prevention, hair and nail heath, brain and nervous system development, and many others. I thoroughly recommend Weston A Price Foundation website for many articles on the benefits and background, including one on Vitamin A toxicity which is a necessary read.
The only brand I use is Green Pastures as, to my knowledge, they are the only fermented cod liver oil available in the world. I prefer to take it in a gel, but there are also capsules for those that can’t stomach the taste.
Recommended doses (according to the Weston A Price Foundation website):
- Children age 3 months to 12 years: 1/2 teaspoon or 2.5 ml, providing 4650 IU vitamin A and 975 IU vitamin D.
- Children over 12 years and adults: 1 teaspoon or 10 capsules, providing 9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D.
- Pregnant and nursing women: 2 teaspoon or 20 capsules, providing 19,000 IU vitamin A and 3900 IU vitamin D. (note: the Vitamin A is not synthetic and therefore not toxic to a developing baby. (See this article for more information).
Garden of Life has a vast array of raw organic supplements, including their multi-vitamins. The Maker’s Diet was the first book I read almost a decade ago on real food and healing diets, and I have great confidence in Jordan Rubin’s unique product range.
The Vitamin Code Vitamins were developed to provide supplemental nutrition as close as supplementation can get to actual raw, unadulterated and untreated food. They contain no binders or fillers, and they are gluten-and dairy-free with no soy allergens.
I purchase from Health Food Emporium who offer great discounts on the full range of Garden of Life supplements.
If a multi-vitamin isn’t an option for you at present, you might like to consider increasing highly dense nutritious foods into your daily diet, such as chia seeds, goji berries, blueberries, kale, bee pollen, flax seeds, sea vegetables, and cacao.
Update: I’ve started using Dr Mercola’s Whole Food Multivitamin Plus, which I purchase from i-herb (use this referral code to save on your first order). I’m finding it is an economical way of getting all the essentials into my diet via a high quality multi.
As I’ve already said, I’ve come to prefer Vitamins that come from whole, natural sources. Vitamin C is one that I’ve discovered I simply need more of than the recommended daily amount. Supplementing is therefore essential.
For Vitamin C, this is a product that I’ve found to be superior to the synthetic alternatives, called Quantum Vitamin C complex. We also use the Garden of Life Raw Vitamin C.
Camucamu powder is also a good supplement that is rich in natural Vitamin C and can be added to smoothies.
Vitamin C is one that you have to work out what level to take that is specific to you, as we all have different stresses (stress will use up the Vitamin C in your body) and diets that determine our individual daily amount. The way to determine your level is quite simply to take enough to bowel tolerance, and when you reach that point you drop back the amount you are taking.
In times of illness, and for short periods, we have use Lypospheric Vitamin C (which is in a 99% bioavailable form) as an extra boost to bringing back to full health. During sickness, your body will need more Vitamin C than the usual maintenance dose.
Superfood Green Powder
There are two kinds of green powders – those that have been cut, dried and ground into powder. And those that have been cut, cold pressed, and low temperature dried. The juiced powder is much more nutrient dense
As well as taking green superfood powder, we also try to juice daily.
If you can’t stretch to a juiced green powder, you could grow your own wheatgrass in a tray (which is cheap and easy) and also make sure you are eating your own sprouts and microgreens.
You should be taking this if you are not eating adequate amounts of fermented vegetables, homemade kefir and yoghurt. I’m not currently taking a probiotic as I eat plenty of these foods.
This article at Food Matters, “6 Healing Benefits of Probiotics”, is a great read also.