Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

5 Supplements You Really Need

Health + Wellness
5 Supplements You Really Need

If you wash down your daily multivitamin with a green juice every morning, you might be patting yourself on the back for being healthy—but are you actually getting too much of a good thing? If you’re eating a relatively nutritious diet, the truth is, your multivitamin isn’t doing you much good.

If your diet is really unhealthy, a multivitamin may be in order, but most of us are getting the majority of our essential nutrients from food. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Ideally, our bodies absorb all the nutrients they need from the food we eat—but let’s face it, you probably don’t have a perfect diet every single day. If your diet is really unhealthy, a multivitamin may be in order, but most of us are getting the majority of our essential nutrients from food. So unless you’re chasing your Big Mac with a chocolate milkshake for every meal, popping a multivitamin is kind of redundant.

Instead, supplement only the nutrients you aren’t receiving on a daily basis. Let’s break down which five vitamins and minerals you need to supplement in your life and why you should kick your multivitamin habit, stat.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is at the top of our list for a reason. An essential mineral to the human body, magnesium helps with more than 300 enzymatic processes and it’s integral to DNA and RNA, so it’s kind of a big deal. Bad news: the majority of us don’t get enough magnesium in our daily diets and that can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, metabolic syndrome, migraines, PMS, and heart attacks. Yes, pretty much everything you don’t want to happen to you. So take magnesium nightly before bed (and it will help you get a good night’s sleep) for optimal benefits.

Eat: Kale, spinach, and swiss chard are all high in magnesium, but you’d need to eat almost 50 cups of raw spinach to get your daily value of magnesium. Supplement with about 300-400 mg per day.

2. Vitamin C

It’s your go-to vitamin when you’re feeling sick, but vitamin C is good for more than just kicking the common cold. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body and it’s beneficial for tissue formation. If you’re an athlete, vitamin C can help you repair from your workouts and if you’re a stress case, vitamin C can help stabilize your cortisol levels, so you’ll feel less stressed and tired after a rough day at work. Best taken on an empty stomach, start your day with this powerful supplement.

EatPapaya, broccoli, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and strawberries all offer you more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C. If you’re watching your daily sugar consumption and don’t want to eat too much fruit, training everyday, or feel a cold coming on take 65-90 mg a day.

Read page 1

3. Krill or Fish Oil 

We won’t sugar-coat it—the thought of swallowing krill or fish oil every morning isn’t necessarily appetizing. Kind of stinky but super potent, fish oil offers all the omega-3 DHA and EPA nutrients you need. Linked to reducing inflammation, supporting brain function and even muscle growth, fish oil is also beneficial in maintaining healthy hair and skin.

Eat: If you’re regularly eating wild-caught fish or eating grass fed beef, you’re already ingesting a pretty good amount of this brain-boosting fat. If you run in the opposite direction when you see a sardine, add a supplement of about 600-1000 mg per day to your diet.

4. Vitamin A

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, it’s especially important that you make sure you’re supplementing your diet with vitamin A. Found in animal byproducts, vitamin A (retinol) supports healthy vision, bones and teeth, and many metabolic functions. Vitamin A also prevents wrinkles and sagging skin—bonus.

EatIf you’re eating a hearty amount of egg yolks, organ meats and dairy products you might be getting enough vitamin A daily, but studies tell us that only 25 percent of Americans consume enough vitamin A. If you’re in the other 75 percent of the population, remember to take a 5,000 IUs.

5. Zinc

Whether you’re fighting off acne, combating the flu, or running a marathon, zinc is your new best friend. Zinc is an essential mineral needed to help catalyze your body’s chemical responses. Best known for its ability to boost immunity, zinc has also been studied for its effect on diabetesmacular degeneration and HIV/AIDS. Zinc is also notable for its acne-fighting powers as well as its effect on depression—it seems like there’s nothing this little mineral can’t do.

Eat: Most easily absorbed by your body when found in foods like shellfish and beef, zinc is also prevalent in nuts and legumes. Phytic acid, an anti nutrient found in unsprouted nuts and legumes, inhibits the absorption of zinc. Make sure you’re reaping all the benefits of zinc by ingesting at least 40 mg a day.

When in doubt, rely on your daily meals to you get your nutrients. But if you think you need a little extra pick-me-up, try these five vitamins to boost your energy and health.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

7 Nutrients You Can’t Get From Plant-Based Foods

8 Vegetables You Should Eat Raw

10 Incredible Health Benefits of a Sugar Detox

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Atlantic puffins courting at Maine Coastal Island National Wildlife Refuge in 2009. USFWS / Flickr

When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.

Read More Show Less
Rescue workers dig through the rubble following a gas explosion in Baltimore, Maryland on Aug. 10, 2020. J. Countess / Getty Images

A "major" natural gas explosion killed two people and seriously injured at least seven in Baltimore, Maryland Monday morning.

Read More Show Less
The recalled list includes red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions, which may be tainted with salmonella. Pxhere

Nearly 900 people across the U.S. and Canada have been sickened by salmonella linked to onions distributed by Thomson International, the The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Methane flares at a fracking site near a home in Colorado on Oct. 25, 2014. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

In the coming days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use its power to roll back yet another Obama-era environmental protection meant to curb air pollution and slow the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Researchers on the ICESCAPE mission, funded by NASA, examine melt ponds and their surrounding ice in 2011 to see how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the biological and chemical makeup of the ocean. NASA / Flickr

By Alex Kirby

The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.

Read More Show Less
President Vladimir Putin is seen enjoying the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A John Deere agricultural tractor sits under a collapsed building following a derecho storm on Aug. 10, 2020 near Franklin Grove, Illinois. Daniel Acker / Getty Images

A powerful series of thunderstorms roared across the Midwest on Monday, downing trees, damaging structures and knocking out power to more than a million people.

Read More Show Less