Four Foundational Supplements for Women by Flickr Jen !

I often get the question, “What supplement should I be taking everyday?”  Most women truly don’t know which vitamins, herbs or supplements they should take for optimal health on a daily basis. Let me recommend the top four supplements that I believe should be foundational to every woman’s daily routine.I call this list the “Foundation.”  You can build upon this foundation with other supplements according to what your individual and specific health concerns are.  For example, if you deal with arthritis, you could add some herbal anti-inflammatories like tumeric and boswella to this foundation.  If you have anxiety issues, you could add herbs like holy basil and rhodiola.  Again, the crucial foundation of these four supplements is the basis for the endless possibilities of additional vitamins and herbs that meet your specific health needs.

1.     A Quality Multivitamin

Please don’t skimp on your multivitamin.  Multivitamins are a worthy investment because it is nearly impossible to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from food.  A whole food vitamin is the best type of vitamin to purchase because they absorb quite well.

Some of my favorite brands include New Chapter and Garden of Life.  These two companies use patented processes to transform the vitamin into food so that your body absorbs it more efficiently.

There is another great multivitamin I recommend specifically formulated for menopausal women called ProFema by Pure Essence.  ProFema saves you from having to buy separate supplements for hot flashes and another for menopause symptoms.  Everything you need to keep your hormones under control is included in the ProFema multivitamin.  It is also important that women who are menopausal take an iron free multivitamin because once a woman is through menstruating, supplemental iron is not recommended.

2.    Calcium Magnesium with D

Women, especially postmenopausal women, need extra calcium for their bones. However, not all forms of calcium are created equal.  Calcium citrate and calcium hydroxyapatite are two of the most absorbable forms.

I recommend a 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium, rather than the reverse 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium so many people commonly subscribe to.  I suggest this 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium because I believe we are a magnesium starved society.  Adequate magnesium is essential for calcium absorption and millions of women are magnesium deficient. Magnesium also has calming properties, helps with constipation and is great for menopause symptoms.

Vitamin D is also crucial for calcium absorption. If you buy a calcium magnesium supplement with vitamin D combo, make sure there is at least 1000 IU of D for best absorption.

3.   Probiotics

A healthy gut equals a healthy body.  Did you know that 70% of our immune cells reside in our intestines?  Good intestinal flora fights off illness, helps with digestion, manufactures B vitamins, helps with energy and even elevates our mood.

Healthy probiotic bacteria is found in fermented foods like yogurt and kim chi.  However, it can take a lot of fermented foods to get an adequate amount of good bacteria into your system. Luckily, you can get those beneficial bacteria in an easy to swallow pill.

Make sure the pill you purchase has several strains of bacteria, not just one or two.  Some bacteria strains help with chronic sinus infections, others with yeast infections, bladder infections and so on. Probiotics are one of the most powerful and effective supplements you can take for your health.

4.   Fish Oil

Fish oil is my go-to choice for omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish oil’s omega-3s are essential for the brain because it helps with focus, aids concentration and enhances mood.  It is also great for inflammation, high cholesterol, heart disease, menopause symptoms and so much more.  Fish oil can discourage blood clots, protect aging eyes from macular-degeneration and even boost immunity.  It truly is a supplement worth investing in.

Again, make sure you are buying a quality product.  The bottle should specify that it has been tested for purity and contains no PCBs or heavy metals.  I recommend 2000 mg a day of fish oil, which is usually about two capsules.

A Strong Foundation for Strong Health

Four Supplements for Women by Flickr jovike

These four foundational supplements (multivitamin, calcium, probiotics and fish oil) can literally change a woman’s life.  It is when our body becomes deficient and out of balance that disease and illness make their entrance.  Having the correct nutrients keep not only our body, but even our mind strong.

I cannot stress enough that quality supplements are of utmost importance.  You will not feel or see results from cheap imitations.  I always say, it is better to spend more money on prevention rather than later on treatment.  Invest in yourself.

You’re worth it!