Supplement starter guide: Choosing your vitamins and creating a routine
Our bodies are complex, and while we do our best to feed and nurture ourselves through clean living, a little help never hurts! On average, 40 per cent of people living in Canada take some form of supplement every day. This simple self-care routine can help you bridge nutritional gaps, but how do you know which ones to take? Keep reading to find tips and tricks to create a supplement routine you can be confident in.
Why do people take supplements?
Our bodies depend on a certain level of vitamins and nutrients to function, and while most dieticians prefer that we absorb these nutrients through our food, it can be difficult to do so.
We can find natural products in the form of herbs, plants and minerals to help in the maintanence of good health. By tapping into the earth’s pharmacy, we can fuel our bodies with nutrients we may not have had access to otherwise, slowly promoting overall wellness.
Lastly, those who have food allergies and intolerances, are pregnant or have a condition that affects their body’s ability to absorb nutrients may find taking daily supplements helpful in sustaining their wellbeing. Whatever your reason, there are a few things you should consider before filling your medicine cabinet.
The role of gut health in nutrient absorption
Many people view their brains as their body’s control center, but the gut is where the real action happens. For example, 95 per cent of serotonin (the neurotransmitter that controls mood, memory and learning) is actually made in your gut and is then sent to your brain through various nerves. Studies have shown that a nutrient-dense diet can generate a vast improvement in overall mental wellness, but how does that all work?
When we consume any type of food or drink, enzymes break it down while we chew, then the food travels to the stomach to start the digestion process, which further breaks down the food into vitamins and minerals. Next, they travel to the small intestine where most of the nutrient absorption occurs.
Known for being a whopping 7 meters long, the small intestine, also known as the small bowel, is lined with soft tissues that wrinkle and fold together. These tissues are covered with microscopic protrusions called villi. The villi are hairlike and their abundance, along with the many tissue folds, create an incredibly large surface area which is necessary to maximize the absorption of nutrients in food. To learn more about supplements that can help maintain your gut health, check out this blog post.
Know your baseline vitamin levels
While most people are deficient in some vitamins, minerals or amino acids, many do not know it until their doctor orders a blood test. Knowing where you currently stand with your nutrient absorption can help you create a supplement game plan and hone in on specific areas that need improvement. Talk with your doctor about testing for nutrient deficiencies as it is important to get these tests done before you start implementing supplements into your daily routine.
Developing a supplement routine/schedule
Supplements really get to do their work when you take them consistently, letting the nutrients build in your system and allowing your body to absorb those nutrients on a regular basis. This is why planning and sticking to a routine can make or break your supplement experience. Follow these simple suggestions to craft a supplement routine that works for you:
Some vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach, while others need to be taken with food. This information can be found on the label and will help you determine a time frame for taking your supplements every day.
It’s easy to miss a bottle when you have a whole line up of supplements in the rotation. Use a supplement box to prep your vitamins every day and help you stay on track.
While you can take all your vitamins at once, it’s easier on the stomach to break up your supplements into multiple doses throughout the day. This will also help your body receive nutrients throughout the day instead of all at once.
Instead of taking all your bottles with you when you travel, use a carrying case to easily transport your supplements wherever life takes you.
Consistency is key when taking supplements. Plan on taking them at the same time every day to train yourself to remember.
Example supplement schedule
Finding a routine that works for you is going to be a practice of trial and error, but you can use the following schedule as a beginner guide to finding your perfect routine:
B vitamins are a great way to start the day, as they help you get up and moving with added energy support but may interrupt sleep when taken too close to bedtime. Take your B vitamins during your morning routine or try Young Living’s Master Formula™ for added vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin B!
Throughout the day
Remember the importance of gut health? Enzymes like Essentialzymes-4™ can help your body better break down and absorb nutrients from your food. Take two capsules 15 minutes before your meal to help your body absorb as many nutrients as possible.
Instead of cracking open an energy drink, try taking a shot of NingXia Red 2–3 times per day for natural energy support. Avoid taking it near the end of the day to maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
Improve your gut health while you sleep with Young Living’s probiotic Life 9®, which features 17 billion live cultures from nine bacteria strains to promote a healthy gut.
Supplements are a wonderful way to help you on your wellness journey. Learn your baseline, identify areas for improvement and then create and stick to a routine to help you close the gap. As you stay consistent, your body will thank you!