Daily Supplements I Can’t Live Without

By Chelsea Pineiro

Mar 23
Daily Supplements I Can’t Live Without

I may be over-exaggerating when I say I can’t live without these daily supplements, but I know my body definitely feels different/off when I’m not consistently taking these. It’s like when you accidentally wear your sweater inside out or your underwear backwards… not like I’ve ever done that…

row of white pills on yellow background

Why are these my go-to daily supplements?

These supplements help me feel my best. They aren’t necessarily the kinds of supplements you take when you’re feeling down, or sick, or like you need energy. They are simply safe, effective, pro-active ways to stay on top of my health in every way possible. These daily supplements help to boost my immune system, lubricate achy joints from workouts, regulate my mood, and help me relax so I can sleep soundly. What more could you want?!

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of ignoring my diet and letting supplements take the wheel. Unfortunately, this does not work. Daily supplements like to cling onto a healthy diet, as there is less chance of inflammation in the body, meaning the supplements can do their job to the best of their ability. If you are eating poorly, I invite you to reconsider, as an unhealthy diet can mean you carry more inflammation or are not able to readily absorb the nutrients needed in your food or the following supplements!

So what do I use every single day?!

Although I like to take more than just the following, these are the top 7 supplements that I can’t miss without feeling a big difference. To put it in other terms, if I were to go on vacation somewhere for a week or two, these are the daily supplements I would need to bring – They help me transition into different time zones and keep me feeling my best so that when I return, it’s business as usual, rather than re-introducing supplements to my body all over again.

milk with chia seeds next to a bottle of Kefir

Probiotics

These are in no way necessary. Many people will tell you that they are, and you just might be throwing your money down the drain. It took me years to find the one that worked best for me. I’m not going to name a specific brand, because I feel it’s very unlikely many people will need the specific strain(s) that I use. Here’s why they’re important as a daily supplement though:

  • they help balance the friendly bacteria in your gut
  • maintains balance in mental health
  • can reduce the severity of allergies, eczema, and other sensitivities
  • it can improve negative symptoms of digestive disorders
  • can boost your immune system
  • can help you lose weight (fat)
  • and more!

Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii are just a few popular strains you could choose from. There are many more. Depending on your needs, you may need more or less, so be sure to find out what you need by visiting your family doctor or a Naturopath.

Keep in mind, you can get Probiotics from supplements or food. Daily supplements come either cold or room temperature. They can come in capsule form, powder, or liquid. I use a powder that I simply add to my water every morning before I eat. You may also want to consider products like Digestive Enzymes which contain pre-and probiotics + enzymes to help you break down and easily digest food.

sunshine with some clouds and blue sky

Vitamin D

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. This sunshine vitamin is super important to me, especially right now while working from home during the Winter, where I get ZERO sun. Normally I am not affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but this year, it hit me hard! Vitamin D helps to promote healthy bones, reduces depression, can aid in weight loss, and helps to fight diseases and boost your immune system.

I aim for at least 5,000 IU. Sometimes, if I know I’m not going outside at all, or if it’s gloomy outside, I will take a bit more. I like to use NutraChamps K2D3 because they’ve found a happy medium between K&D. Vitamin K, which keeps bones healthy, is required by Vitamin D for carboxylation in order to function properly. This is what makes this my favorite dynamic duo. Remember these are fat-soluble vitamins, so take them with some fat (either food or as another daily supplement)!

school of fish swimming

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Speaking of fat, Omega-3 Fish Oil is a daily essential! I have been using fish oil for longer than any other daily supplement. I’ve changed them up a bit depending on what I need most. The great thing about fish oil is there is so much variety. It’s important to know the reason you’re using fish oil. Are you trying to reduce inflammation? Do you want better memory so you can ace a test? Do you want to be physically stronger? Mentally stronger? Do you want to reduce your depression and anxiety symptoms?

You want to look for 2 main things. Your fish oil should contain both EPA and DHA.

EPA:

  • depression-fighter
  • decreases inflammation
  • can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • eases symptoms of menopause

DHA:

  • eye health – a major structural component of the retina of your eye
  • reduce risk of macular degeneration
  • promotes brain health (during pregnancy and early life)
    • higher intelligence, better communication skills, decreased risk of developmental delay, fewer behavioral problems

I could go on. At the moment, the fish oil I use has an even blend of the two. I take about 2200 mg of this fatty acid a day. If I’m feeling particularly low, I will use a fish oil that is higher in EPA. If I’m feeling foggy and need to focus on a project, I reach for something higher in DHA.

turmeric powder

Turmeric

Admittedly, this is one I tend to forget about often. I know its benefits, but I still somehow gloss over it for days at a time. Once I start taking it again, my body feels the difference right away. Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, helps me with my inflammation. I know that when I eat poorly, I begin to feel inflammation, but I also feel it when I work out, so it’s inevitable. Inflammation is not necessarily bad; it’s simply a sign from your body.

Turmeric is also proven to relieve pain like arthritis, improve liver function, and aid in digestion (so good in tea!).

I have used NutraChamps Turmeric Curcumin as a daily supplement for almost 2 years now. At 1500 mg per serving, this is one of the most potent supplements I use. I really like to put it in my smoothies; I just open up the capsules, put the powder in, and blend. This turmeric is also safe to cook with!

Vitamin B

After seeing a Naturopath for issues related to my mental health, we decided to take a blood test and check what vitamins I may be lacking in order to balance my moods a bit more. After a few tests, we realized that I was super low in B6, a water-soluble vitamin that can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression, promotes brain health, can treat symptoms of PMS, and can treat inflammation. To think, all this time I was taking a B12 supplement because I was told that women need B12. For the longest time, I didn’t even question that.

The problem is: because many B-vitamins are water-soluble, whatever you do not use, you excrete through your urine. This means you’re flushing hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars down the drain.

Finding out which B-vitamin you need (or any variation or vitamin) is important so that you can start to see and feel a positive change. Many multi-vitamins will contain a range of B-vitamins which can easily benefit everyone, but you want to make sure you speak to a doctor before you start taking any new daily supplement, especially if you are already on medication.

Zinc

Another mood booster! Zinc is a supplement I use every day to avoid getting sick. I know people love the popular Elderberry, Vitamin C, and Echinacea for the common cold, but I swear by Zinc. I really enjoy the ease of taking Zinc drops, since they’re super convenient. At 15 mg per serving, I’m getting just a bit more than I need (8 mg for women/11 mg for men). The upper limit for adults is around 40 mg.

girl sick in bed, blowing her noseNot only can this kick your cold or flu to the curb, but it can also help heal your wounds and reduces the chances of age-related macular degeneration.

It took me a while to realize the benefits and see them for myself. Although many foods in North America are fortified with zinc (and other vitamins & minerals like D and calcium), I was not receiving enough zinc. Zinc daily supplements are most effective if they are taken at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. I like to take it before I break my fast in the early afternoon.

foot poking through the blankets in bed

Melatonin

This is a new addition to my list. I debated adding it. I recently moved to a new condo where I see little to no light. It sounds like an exaggeration, but I truly look forward to going outside, even in our -15 to -20 Celsius Canadian winters. That being said, because I don’t get much natural light in my unit, I’ve been sleeping at odd hours. I find myself exhausted in the morning, and pressing the Snooze button way too often. At night, I feel like I’m wide awake, watching episode after episode of The Office.

So what was I doing wrong? I decided that I need to do 2 things. I needed to re-set my circadian rhythm and I needed to get a SAD lamp. This mood-boosting light has an intensity of 10,000 lux in a pure white color that’s designed to imitate the sun at noon. It fights winter blues, enhances your well-being, and filters out 99.9% of UV rays to protect your eyes! This lamp plus my 10 mg of Melatonin a night ensures I get tired at an appropriate time and fall asleep with ease!

Some things to keep in mind…

It’s not a bad thing to start and stop taking daily supplements. Some may say that it is dangerous to stay on a supplement or vitamin for too long. For example, let’s take a multi-vitamin to keep things simple. Many studies are conducted on the average white male or female. This is due to many factors, some including that these females tend to be older residents and/or those who identify as higher-income, unlike the multi-ethnic low-income housing residents we so rarely hear about. It’s important to remember that every single person is different, has varying needs and that looking these things up on the internet may not be enough.

There are not many studies done on multi-ethnic, low-income populations, and I’d love to see more of that come out so that daily supplements are more accessible for all. You may also find yourself changing brands frequently while you find what works best for you. This is normal, and encouraged until you find the best of the best!

Although I take many supplements in one day, I’m aware that this is not do-able for everyone. This is my personal daily supplementation routine, and this will vary from person to person. Some may only use a multi-vitamin and feel their needs are taken care of, whereas others may also be on doctor-prescribed medication for illnesses or other reasons. I did not write this with the intention of seeing other people copy my “essential” daily supplements. In my 7+ years of existing in the health and fitness world, these are the supplements that have worked best for me, and that I feel are worth the investment in my health. I truly hope that you take my words with a grain of salt and jazz this up in whatever way you feel necessary!

So, what vitamins and daily supplements do you take? Is there anyone that you think could benefit from adding one of these supplements to their daily routine? Write down some of your favorites in the comments below – I’m curious to see what you enjoy taking and how it makes you feel!


References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843812/
  • https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/health-benefits-of-probiotics/7160DC6D246DD86558F316AE581B9443
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics
  • https://fullscript.com/blog/epa
  • https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-zinc/art-20366112#:~:text=Advertisement&text=People%20use%20oral%20zinc%20to,11%20mg%20for%20adult%20men.

Chelsea Pineiro

Chelsea has been active most of her life, which led her to become a Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor for the past 7 years. Health and Fitness are not solely dependent on movement, though, and with that understanding, she addresses her client’s other needs, such as diet, mindfulness, and stress management.

When she is not training clients or teaching Yoga, she is finding new activities that keep her mind and body active, such as rock climbing, hiking, listening to podcasts, or playing Board Games with friends. She is constantly working towards: Finding natural solutions to live as long as possible, creating inclusive Yoga for all body types, and aiming to find mindfulness in everything she does.

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