June 30, 2013

3 Supplements to Improve Your Health. ~ Carly Lockman

In a perfect world supplements would be unnecessary because we would receive all of the nutrients we need from the food that we consume.

The question of whether or not it is necessary to take supplements is one that I get a lot in my health coaching practice. People are overwhelmed with new research daily about this vitamin or that herb, which undoubtedly promises to cure whatever ails them.

In a perfect world supplements would be unnecessary because we would receive all of the nutrients we need from the food that we consume. The reality is that even “perfect” eating habits won’t ensure your body is getting everything it requires for optimum function.

Why is this?

The short answer is that many natural sources of nutrients—like water and growing soil—have been depleted through contemporary farming practices and filtering. In addition, old ways of preparing and preserving food, which aided in extracting minerals and creating healthy bacteria, have been abandoned for more convenient options.

This means that most of us live with nutritional deficiencies unless we take steps to fill in the gaps.

Here are three supplements to improve your health:

1. Probiotics: Current research makes a strong case that healthy gut bacteria (flora) is essential for proper immune function. After years of getting sick at the drop of a hat, I worked hard to “rebuild” my gut with probiotics and illness is now a rare occasion for me.

Benefits include:

Improves immune function and restores healthy flora after antibiotic use.
Regulates the digestive system.
Maintains healthy PH balance in the body.
Helps the body to synthesize nutrients, especially B vitamins and calcium.

Helps alleviate bad breath and vaginal infections. 

Signs of deficiency:

Chronic illness
Digestive problems or disease.
Mental fogginess.
Bloating and/or fatigue.

How to take it:

Through a high quality capsule like Natren Trenev Trio.
By drinking Kombucha, an ancient fermented tea. 
By eating fermented foods like sauerkraut.
By eating high quality raw dairy products, like those from Beyond Organic

2. Magnesium: Magnesium is essential to the proper function of every cell in the human body. With most water sources and soil totally depleted of the mineral, it is more important than ever that we take steps to ensure our magnesium intake is adequate.

Benefits include:

Helps the body to utilize calcium and other important minerals.
Maintains cell health.
Helps to balance hormones.
Stabilizes blood sugar. 
Aids in stress management/alleviates anxiety. 
Aids in muscle and joint health.
Helps the body to create energy.
Supports fertility.
Supports the nervous system.

Signs of deficiency: 

Muscle and/or joint pain. 
Trouble sleeping.
Depression and/or anxiety.
Trouble concentrating and/or poor memory.
Headaches or migraines.
Nausea and/or weakness.
High blood pressure and/or heart palpitations.
Type two diabetes.
Respiratory problems.
Severe PMS and/or fertility problems.

How to take it:

Orally with a capsule like RelaxaMag by Wellness Resources
Transdermally with an oil like Ancient Minerals Ultra Pure Magnesium Oil. (An oil may be used in conjunction with a capsule, however it is important to build your dosage up slowly to ensure proper absorption). 

3. Fish Oil: The standard American diet is severely lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are found in fish oil and are essential to many important bodily functions, including functions of the heart and of the brain.

Benefits include:

Helps to balance hormones.
Stabilizes mood.
Improves memory and IQ.
Improves joint and cartilage function. 
Decreases inflammation.
Supports heart health/prevents cardiac death.
Lowers blood pressure.
Supports immune health and slows aging. 

Signs of deficiency:

Fatigue and/or mood swings.
Poor memory and/or trouble concentrating.
Poor circulation.
Heart problems.
Severe PMS and/or fertility problems.
Dry skin and/or brittle nails.
Trouble sleeping.
Anxiety and/or depression.

How to take it:

Orally with a liquid like Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil. 
Orally with a capsule like Daily DHA by Wellness Resources

*Bonus: Vitamin B12: This recommendation is primarily applicable to those who don’t eat animal products, where B12 is found. I often hear an argument that vegans and vegetarians can get enough B12 from eating green leafy vegetables. This may have been true at one time, but contemporary soil is depleted of the nutrient. For those who abstain from animal products, a supplement is necessary.

Benefits include:

Helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose needed for energy. 
Helps the body make DNA.
Regulates the nervous system.
Reduces stress and depression.
Protects against high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and many cancers .

Signs of deficiency: 

Numbness in the extremities.
Shortness of breath.
Fatigue and/or depression. 
Mental fogginess and/or trouble concentrating.
Diarrhea or constipation. 
Loss of appetite and/or unusually pale skin. 

How to take it:

Through a sublingual lozenge like Carlson B-12-SL

List of References: 

1. Aguecheek, Andrew. “How Fish Oil Works“. Discovery Health . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.

2. Bronwell, Logan. “Groundbreaking Study Reveals New Mechanism Behind Fish Oil’s Health Benefits .” Life Extension . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.

3. Goldhamer, D.C., Alan, and Doug Lisle, Ph.D.. “Vitamin B12 recommendations for Vegans.” TrueNorth Health Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.

4. Hyman, MD, Mark. “Magnesium: The Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available.” The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.

5. Reddy, Sumathi. “Probiotics’ Benefits May Be More Than a Gut Feeling.The Wall Street Journal . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.

6. Landino, Joan. “Do Vegans Need B12 Supplements? .” Joan Landino: Mental Health Therapist & Vegan Life Coach . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.


Carly Lockman is a Board certified holistic health coach, wife and mother living in Chicago. She supports women through periods of radical transition including achieving pregnancy, coping with loss, correcting hormonal imbalance and reclaiming physical and emotional health postpartum. Learn more about her work here.



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Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson/Ed: Bryonie Wise


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