Photography by Paul Bostrom

Even if you strive to consume a diet full of nutrient-dense foods, you might still be lacking essential nutrients. Here is a simple guide to know which vitamins and supplements to consider adding to your everyday routine. 

For some, the last time a vitamin was consumed may have been a cartoon-shaped gummy that served as a daily multivitamin. Others may have a strict regimen of vitamins and supplements that are consumed daily. Regardless of where you land on the spectrum, it’s safe to say there is a vast range of consumers within the vitamins and supplements market. Overall, many Americans either daily or on occasion take dietary supplements and vitamins. In fact, according to a 2018 report from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, about 75 percent of U.S. adults regularly take them. 

When discussing vitamins and supplements, it’s important to first note that modern diets often lack what our bodies need to stay healthy. Mass production has left many Americans nutrient deficient in their everyday diets alone. Before considering adding additional vitamins and supplements to your diet, evaluate if you are getting enough nutrients through your food first. 

“Our bodies are almost always vitamin and mineral deficient. Most of our food-and-water sources and quality are poor. We are often suffering from insufficiencies,” says Healthy Habits owner Joe McKee. A balanced diet contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which offers a mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our body needs. There’s no substitute for a balanced and nutritious diet. 

However, even when we feel like we are consuming a nutrient-dense diet, issues like experiencing stress, sleeping poorly, or not getting regular exercise can creep into our healthy lifestyle and impact how our bodies absorb nutrients. Having a regular vitamin and supplement routine may be a helpful foundation for our health to assist in filling in the gaps when this may be the case. 

But with many vitamin combos out there (and since 75 percent of us are already regularly consuming these additional supplements), what should we be paying attention to? 

“Some important details when buying supplements is to buy from reputable companies,” says McKee. “Purity and accuracy of labeling of contents is important. As a general rule, supplement makers are not highly regulated.” McKee notes that a large amount of the vitamins and supplements sold in our country are sourced from other countries, so it’s important to check the purity of the raw materials within those products. “Look for certifications like USDA organic, non-GMO, and similar indicators of quality. The quality of the package is often telling,” he says. 

We’ve compiled a list of vitamins and supplements to consider adding to your diet to help fill in the gaps and supplement what might be missing from an already nutrient-dense diet. But be sure you do the research and be informed first. Learn about the potential benefits and any risk that additional vitamins and supplements might pose, and consult your healthcare provider to determine what is best for your overall health.

Vitamin D3 and reishi mushrooms

Vitamin D3 and reishi mushrooms can help modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Vitamin D3 assists with helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Reishi mushrooms enhance immune function through their effect on white blood cells.  

Restore and Progurt 

“A healthy gut is critical for a healthy brain,” says McKee. Probiotic supplements like Restore and Progurt support the junction barrier system that supports both immune and neurological systems. “This helps in
the regulation and delivery of water and nutrients to the body at large.”

Restore, Progurt, Barlean’s Omega 3

Omega 3 helps keep flare-ups at bay. They have been proven to help reduce inflammation and protect against psoriasis, eczema, and most immune-related skin issues. “Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory and can have a positive effect for
beautiful skin,” says McKee. 

Iodine

Iodine is essential for the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. However, many are at risk of iodine deficiencies because our body doesn’t produce it on its own. When iodine is consumed, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. “Thyroid issues can lead to overworked adrenals. Iodine insufficiency is often a root cause. Thyroid and adrenal supplements can be very helpful,” says McKee.

Magnesium

Although it is found in foods like spinach, salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds, we’re still often not getting enough of this essential element. Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for our bodies because it improves enzyme function. It can help with calming anxiety, improving sleep quality, alleviating digestive problems, strengthening bones, and preventing migraines. 

Healthy Habits of Lakeland

4760 South Florida Avenue

Lakeland, FL 33813

863.937.9202

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A special thanks to Healthy Habits of Lakeland for providing the vitamins and supplements featured in this article.