Posted by Dr. Jenna Arts
Eating By Design is our body's primary and best approach to meeting our nutrient requirements...but sometimes we need a little help.
This is where the Life By Design essential supplements come in. They help fill in those gaps from our stressed out, toxic and deficient lifestyles and environmental limitations.
These gaps can make it extremely difficult (and for some people, nearly impossible) to consume perfectly nutrient dense foods every single day. This is why we recommend a few essential supplements to help fill in those missing pieces.
Now before you go rolling your eyes thinking this is just another article trying to get you to buy a bunch of unnecessary and expensive supplements, let me reassure you that the purpose of the essential supplements is not to replace real food. It’s simply to help make meeting your nutrient requirements easier.
There are three essential supplements we recommend: vitamin D, fish oil and probiotics. Keep reading to find out why they’re important, how much we recommend you need for optimal health.
Our bodies have over 3,000 binding sites for vitamin D in every single cell. We're obviously designed to soak up vitamin D, and the easiest way to do that is from direct sun exposure. Unfortunately our modern (sedentary) lifestyles and northern (snowy) climates don't allow regular sun exposure for everyone throughout the entire year.
If you're able to wear shorts and a t-shirt all year round, awesome! Soak up that sun on a daily basis.
And when we do see sunlight, we've been mislead into thinking that we need to avoid the sun like vampires or apply a thick layer of sunscreen.
Plus, vitamin D is especially difficult to naturally consume from real food, and the only exceptions are wild fatty ocean fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, cod liver oil and eggs.
Why is vitamin D important?
- It helps your bones and teeth absorb calcium so they stay strong and maintain density.
- It helps form memories, helps with decision-making and keeps your mind sharp as you age.
- It helps maintain metabolic health (this needs to be working properly for you to lose weight).
So, how much do you need?
The best way to know for sure is to test your current blood levels. Optimum blood vitamin D levels should be between 30-50 ng/mL for both adults and kids.
So, we recommend adults starting with 5,000 IUs/day from a vitamin D supplementation to reach and then to maintain healthy levels.
Kids under one year old can start with 1,000 IUs/day. You can increase by 25 IUs/pound of body weight until your child reaches an adult dosage (they'll reach this dose around puberty). You can find vitamin D in liquid drop form that's easy to give to infants and toddlers before they're able to swallow a capsule.
Our bodies need an omega 3:6 ratio of 1:1 to 1:2 to stay within an optimal range. What this means is that for every unit of omega 3's in the body, there should be equal or double that of omega 6's.
Again, our stressed out lifestyles and low fat obsession have pushed us closer to an omega 3:6 ratio of 1:20 to 1:50! That means that for every unit of omega 3's in the body there are 20-50 times that of omega 6's.
Omega 3 and 6 fats are easier to source from real food like wild game, wild seafood, eggs and grass fed, pasture raised meats, but if you aren't able to source those foods on a regular basis due to availability or financial limitations a fish oil supplementation is great.
Why is having an optimal omega 3:6 ratio important?
- An optimal ratio reduces systemic inflammation (which helps with everything from cancer to schizophrenia to cognitive function).
- It’s important for brain and nervous system development and repair (your nervous system runs, regulates and controls every single cell, tissue, organ and system in your body).
- A healthy ratio keeps your immune system strong so you're sick with the flu less often.
So, how much do you need?
We recommend 2-4 grams of total EPA/DHA a day from a pure, pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplementation.
Keep in mind that if you are Eating By Design and consuming grass fed, pasture raised meat, wild seafood, pasture raised eggs and wild game regularly and limiting or avoiding inflammatory foods like grain products, refined sugar, vegetable oils and alcohol you likely need less fish oil supplementation.
We're designed to receive our first dose of probiotics from Mom during the birthing process. But with increasing rates of cesarean sections, living in over-sanitized and antibiotic abundant environments many of us have less than optimal amount of good bacteria.
Historically our food was consumed with dirt. And with dirt came good bacteria that actually helped us digest our food easier and strengthen our immune systems. We don't do that anymore. But what we do instead is destroy most of our good gut bacteria with stressful lifestyles, prescription medication and the consumption of inflammatory foods like grains, refined sugar, alcohol and vegetable oils.
Why are probiotics important?
- Probiotics keep your immune system strong so you’re sick less often and can recover faster when your body is processing something.
- They keep a healthy gut flora which helps digest your food easier and helps you avoid things like bloating, gas and constipation.
- They keep your skin clear of acne and irritations.
So, how much do you need?
We recommend 10-30 billion CFU (or, billion live cultures) a day from a probiotic supplementation.
You can also start adding fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi into your diet. The more fermented foods you eat, naturally the less probiotic supplementation you will require.
I hope you found our Life By Design Definitive Guide to Essential Supplements helpful and that it served as a one-stop resource for everything you need to know about what supplements we recommend and why.
Adding in the essential supplements really is the simplest first step (other than laying down on the table for your chiropractic check up and correction) to a healthy life.
If you still have questions about the essentials or are having a hard time finding one of them, comment below and I’d be happy to help. You may also call our office at (905) 839-4723 or email at email@example.com.