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When it comes to improving your health, nutritional supplements can do so much of the heavy lifting for you. Whether you struggle with a lack of energy, trouble losing weight, disordered digestion, or anything from a skin condition to cancer, there are nutrients you can use to renew and rejuvenate your tired, achy body. But with all of the supplements out there to choose from, how do you know where to start?
As the First Lady of Nutrition, I’ve sifted through the health claims of countless supplements in the past 4 decades, and have found many that over-promise and under-deliver. My advice to you is to set aside all the marketing schemes and start with the basics. These sensational seven are my go-to basics that cover most of what ails you. Read on to see the top 7 supplements to take.
If you have low energy, muscle weakness, anemia, or mood swings, then vitamins B12 and folate may be to blame. These two B vitamins are critical for the health of every cell in your body and play a vital role in the process called methylation. Methylation is how we make energy, repair damaged cells, process toxins and hormones, help the liver process fats, reduce inflammation, activate and regulate the immune system, balance neurotransmitters, keep DNA healthy, and break down and use these B vitamins.
When all is going well, the methylation process hums along in the background and we have energy and an overall sense of wellbeing. But, up to half of the population has a mutation of the MTHFR gene that is responsible for activating methylation, so a little help is needed to keep everything in working order. When you have an MTHFR gene defect, your ability to detox your cells can be impaired as much as 90 percent, along with putting you at risk for more than 60 different chronic health conditions, from heart disease to thyroid disease and so much more.
Folate and vitamin B12 are so important for everything from giving us a boost in energy to the health of our cellular DNA and even our blood, that we need to make sure we are getting them in optimal amounts and in the form our bodies can most easily absorb. This is why my Advanced Daily Multivitamin from UNI KEY Health use only the methylated forms of folate and vitamin B12, and this is the vitamin I recommend you start with when energy is lagging, muscles feel weak, or moods are all over the place.
No one is a bigger cheerleader for vitamin C than James Templeton, cancer survivor and founder of UNI KEY Health. In his fantastic book, I Used to Have Cancer – which is a must-read for everyone who cares about their health – he talks about the vital role vitamin C played in his recovery from Stage IV terminal melanoma cancer. He has taken it faithfully for more than 30 years now and has stayed cancer-free the entire time.
Vitamin C has been shown to promote wound healing, boost immunity, thin mucus, help with healthy collagen formation, chelate heavy metals, assist with whole body detoxification, clean and repair arteries, and so much more. Your body can’t make it and it’s difficult to get enough from fruits and vegetables to support your body through times of illness and disease, so I recommend supplementing daily, especially while viral illnesses are circulating through our population. James created Time-C, a timed-release formula to help you keep your levels up consistently throughout the day. When you need an easily absorbed, high dose vitamin C supplement to the tune of 4 grams per dose, turn to Vitality-C, a unique powdered formulation that is pleasant to take, easily absorbed, and safe for all ages.
Believe it or not, one of the most potent natural mood boosters we have is a vitamin – that is actually a hormone. Part of the charm of vitamin D is that not only do we getting by enjoying some time out in the sun, but it’s a potent mood lifter in its own right.
In addition to making you happy, vitamin D also makes your bones strong. Vitamin D is so integral to bone health that deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rickets, all of which involve weakened bones. It also plays a role in cell growth, neuromuscular function, and the immune system, and can lower inflammation. If that’s all not enough, vitamin D can prevent and improve metabolic conditions, such as both types of diabetes and glucose intolerance, as well as other conditions like hypertension and multiple sclerosis.
Magnesium is your best friend during menopause and other hormone changes. It plays a role in the production and regulation of hormones, preventing excess cortisol, increasing insulin sensitivity, and gatekeeping thyroid hormone production. It can help slow the aging process by reducing oxidative stress, supporting glutathione production (a powerful antioxidant), and keeping the ends of our chromosomes called telomeres long, tight, and together, which also reduces the risk of cancer.
Magnesium is also the muscle relaxer hormone, easing the not only the tension in our muscles, but also the pressure on our heart, the cramping in our intestines, and mellowing out our moods. Mag-Key from UNI KEY Health is what I take, with 4 highly absorbable forms of magnesium – without the digestive side effects that are so common in other brands.
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) has decades of research behind it to prove its superstar status, yet it’s still virtually unheard of. It’s one of the Omega 6 essential fats, which as a group get such a bad rap. They are accused of being the inflammation makers because over-processed rancid vegetable oils like soybean and canola have been proven to be harmful to our health. But not all Omega 6 fats are created equal.
GLA is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse that supports healthy hormone levels, ignites your fat-burning metabolism, lubricates creaky joints, makes your skin glow, and helps in the fight against many chronic illnesses. GLA-90 sourced from black currant seed oil has been the ally of many of my clients for everything from their weight loss to skin issues, painful joints, and many other chronic health concerns. Several studies show GLA to be helpful for autoimmune concerns, neuropathy, lung injuries, arthritis, dry eyes, eczema, psoriasis and more.
If your liver has a BFF, it’s choline. Even though choline is an essential nutrient, most people have not heard of this hidden cellulite-melting gem. Choline is essential to your liver health and deficiency has been implicated in fatty liver disease, which is running rampant right now. It also helps your liver process cholesterol while simultaneously helping you burn fat. As the icing on the cake, choline boosts your energy while it helps you lose weight.
Choline is one of the nutrients that is essential for our methylation cycle, and is also crucial for brain health and numerous cell-level enzyme reactions. Choline also works well with other nutrients. For example, it works synergistically with L-Carnitine to not only help you break down and burn body fat, but to flush the fat completely out of the body through your elimination pathways. To really get the full benefit of choline supplementation, I recommend my Fat Flush Weight Loss Formula for its blend of nutrients that give targeted liver and weight loss support.
Enzymes are important to every cell in your body for their role in supporting every biochemical process in the body. Need to break down and digest nutrients? There are a multitude of enzymes for that. Got inflammation? There is a whole class of enzymes to break that down. Basically anything your body needs help breaking down or dissolving, enzymes are the best supporting actors that make it all happen as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Digestive enzymes are far more versatile than their name implies and are easily supplemented. When it comes to digestive issues, from acid reflux to bloating and constipation, one of the first supplements I turn to are the digestive enzymes. Taken with a meal, they help break down everything you eat and drink for optimal absorption.
Digestive enzymes are also the supplements I turn to for support during inflammatory issues, from achy joints to chronic illnesses like cancer. The proteases are a specific group of digestive enzymes that are tailor-made to break down inflammatory proteins that travel everywhere in the body. These digestive enzymes are best taken on an empty stomach between meals so they aren’t sidetracked into the digestive process and can focus solely on inflammation and breaking down cellular waste products.
UNI KEY Health’s Digesta-Key is the most versatile enzyme supplement I’ve found. With enzymes like trypsin, chymotrypsin, and pancreatin, food is efficiently broken down for maximum nutrient availability. When using it for digestion, take with meals. The serrapeptase in this formula not only helps break down scar tissue and adhesions, but is also a potent anti-inflammatory enzyme that I’ve turned to for my occasional joint aches and pains, and is my personal secret weapon against the lung inflammation that’s triggered by mold exposure or viral respiratory illnesses. Take on an empty stomach between meals for maximum anti-inflammatory effects.