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It turns out, it takes a little more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away. It also takes Vitamin D3, Probiotics and Omega 3.

When it comes to the right vitamins and supplements to take, there is a lot of confusion and noise. Which is why we decided to set the record straight and clear the air in the supplement-sphere. We did the research, chatted to the wellness experts and have put together the top 3 supplements you need, plus an extra two if you’re feeling extra healthy. 

3 supplements you need to take

Vitamin D3 

We like to call this the sunshine vitamin, although this is technically known as a pre-hormone and not a vitamin. Vitamin D is synthesised in our bodies with the help of sunlight. Which means that if you are someone who spends a lot of times indoors (the majority of people in a 9 to 5 desk job do not spend enough time in the sun), then you risk deficiency. 

Did you know that vitamin D is responsible for creating hundreds of enzymes that help prevent disease in our bodies? The vitamin affects more than 2000 genes in the body. 

You might already know that you need vitamin D for healthy bones (read: 5 Natural (& Effective) Ways To Build Stronger Bones), but experts have also recently found that this vitamin can help build strong muscles, helps combat inflammation and strengthens the immune system. With some doctors commenting on the anti-cancer effects of this supplement. 

How much vitamin D do I need a day?

The recommended intake is 400–800 IU/day, or 10–20 micrograms.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils)

Fish oil supplements (such as salmon oil) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these substances help a number of functions in your body, from cell growth to muscle activity. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in food and our bodies cannot produce them. Fish oil contains two different types of omega-3 fatty acids known as: 

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

Fish oils help to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic disease. They can also boost the immune system, improve your vision, joint and cardiovascular health, strengthen your nails, skin and hair, improve metabolic function, boost your mood, cognitive functioning and even enhance nutrient absorption. (Wow – these really are super supplements!)

How much Omega-3 fatty acids do I need a day?

There is no exact guideline as to how many milligrams of  mega-3 fatty acids recommend a minimum of 250–500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day if you are a healthy adult. 

Probiotics

Your gut contains a wide range of beneficial bacteria, also known as good bacteria. This bacteria is vital for your mental and physical wellbeing. 

However, factors such as stress, poor diet and not exercising can disrupt this bacteria. You can consume both dietary probiotics through foods such as kombucha, yoghurt and kefir and through supplements. 

Probiotics are known to significantly improve issues with digestion such as stomach cramps, bloating, and even lactose intolerance. 

Athletes and those who perform regular exercise have noted the benefits of probiotics for their immune system and gut health. The benefits of probiotics include assistance in regular bowel movements, boosted immune system, enhanced intestinal health and even promoting healthy cholesterol levels. 

How many doses of probiotics should I take a day?

There are a number of different probiotic organisms, because of this, there is no defined dosage. It’s a good idea to chat with your pharmacist or doctor regarding the right amounts you should take and what supplement will work best for you. 

2 Bonus Supplements

3 ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS YOU NEED TO TAKE DAILY

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid produced mainly in your muscles. The main purpose of amino acids is to act as building blocks for proteins in the body. 

Proteins are vital to the health and function of your organs. They also help in transporting substances in your blood and helping the body to fight off harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. 

Glutamine supplements help to improve your body’s immune function and preserve the protein stores in your body. Glutamine acts as a source of energy for your immune and intestinal cells. It aids in gut function, minimises muscle breakdown (great for those of us who love to workout) and helps to improve how your body metabolises protein. 

This is an especially great supplement to take during times of stress or vigorous exercise. 

What is the correct dosage of glutamine a day?

L-glutamine supplements taken within 3 to 6 grams are generally considered safe. Experts suggest 5 grams is a good amount to take a day. 

Protein powder

Protein powder is an incredibly popular supplement among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, bodybuilders and those following vegan and vegetarian diets.

Psst – here’s a great blog on how to build muscle on a vegan diet.  

Your body relies on protein to help repair tissue, build muscle and create important hormones and enzymes. 

There is a wide range of protein powders. Some of these include: 

  • Whey protein (made from milk) 
  • Pea protein 
  • Brown rice protein 
  • Hemp protein 
  • Casein protein (also made from milk but absorbed at a much slower rate)
  • Mixed plant proteins 

How much protein should I have a day?

This will depend heavily on your weight, gender and exercise routine. 

On average, women should have 46 grams of protein each day and men should aim for 56 grams.

Remember that protein shakes should be used in combination with a healthy diet and should not be used to replace nutrients and meals. 

The bottom line

By adding supplements to a healthy diet and exercise routine, you are ensuring your body gets the minerals and nutrients it needs to perform at it’s best abilities. 

Keep in mind that supplements, although beneficial, are not essential and act as as additional ‘supplement’ to a healthy lifestyle. 

Want to find out more about supplements? Get in touch with us and we can walk you through everything you need to know. 

Gemma Oberholzer

About Gemma Oberholzer

I guess you can say I'm a serial self-improver. Since I was a kid I can remember being weirdly thrilled at the idea of learning something new and figuring out how to use that new found knowledge to better myself. This perpetual learn-grow itch eventually lead me to the field of Health and Wellness and it's here I've been, fascinated for the last 8 years of my study and work life. From Human Life Scientist and learning the mechanics of physiology and intricacies of metabolic biochemistry, to Food and Nutrition Scientist where I deepened my understanding of diet and it's key role in human performance and health. Geared with this comprehensive education and better appreciation for human health, I've since been able to practically apply this in my career through the fields of research, product development, brand management and marketing. In 2018, I was finally able to bring all these learnings together and so my passion project, WellBe&Co, was born. WellBe&Co is a personal and corporate wellness company specializing in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions. It's here that I've gained invaluable insights into the human-side of the health and wellness industry in a way that has enabled me to provide relevant content and value-adding services to individuals and companies alike and live out our mission to build communities that know better and grow together through better health.

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