There are thousands nutritional of supplements out there. They all claim to improve health or performance in some way. Most are useless. In fact, supplements are not a substitute for proper nutrition. That being said, in the absence of a proper diet, there are some supplements that can provide benefits. Vitamin D, Omega-3 Fats, and Magnesium are among the most common.
Vitamin D is primarily absorbed through the skin from sunlight. It is also found in fatty fish, like tuna and sardines, and is commonly added to milk and juices. A Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets. Uses for Vitamin D include:
- Boosting the immune system
- Treating weak bones
- Treating cardiovascular diseases
- Preventing autoimmune diseases
- Preventing cancer
Should you take Vitamin D supplements?
You should only consider supplementing with Vitamin D if you get very little sunshine and are not ingesting it through food.
Omega-3 fats are essential to the body. They must be consumed through food because our bodies can’t make them. Common sources of Omega-3 include wild game and seafood. Research shows that Omega-3 Fats have the following benefits:
- Reduced inflammation throughout the body
- Boost heart health
- Lower triglycerides
- Lower the risk of death from heart disease
Should you supplement with Omega-3 Fats?
If you are healthy and eating plenty of wild caught fish and grass fed beef, there is no need to supplement. Otherwise, you should look into supplementing with fish oil. Whole9life has an excellent fish oil FAQ.
Magnesium is found in fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Magnesium is required for healthy bones and the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. Research suggests magnesium deficiencies can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Should you supplement with Magnesium?
Only supplement Magnesium if you are not getting enough through your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance for adults is 300-400 mg per day.
The only reason to consider using dietary supplements is if you are unable to maintain a proper diet. Eating fresh, healthy foods is better for your body and easier on your wallet. If you find that you do need to supplement, Whole9life provides a great checklist that is useful for evaluating which supplements to take.
Wolf, Robb. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing. 2010. Kindle Edition.
Vitamin D — Web M.D.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids — University of Maryland Medical Center
Whole9’s Official Fish Oil (Omega-3) FAQ — Whole9life
Magnesium — Web M.D.
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium — Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health
Supplement Evaluation Checklist — Whole9life