test-Daily Supplements: A Nutritionist's Guide for Beginners
Vitamins & Supplements
Daily Supplements: A Nutritionist's Guide for Beginners
Britta Sather, LN • March 24, 2024

The Best 5 Supplements to Take According to a Nutritionist

Vitamins and other holistic nutrients have been around for centuries to help elevate everyday living, soothe ailments and help us feel our best. With such an extensive history, it may not be surprising that the sheer number of supplements there are to choose from can be wholly overwhelming at first glance, especially if you’re new to incorporating them into your routine.

To help narrow down some of the best supplements to take for beginners, we asked our licensed nutritionist, Britta Sather, to weigh in with her recommendations.

Probiotics

One of the best starter supplements for beginners actually focuses on gut health. Unless you’re looking specifically for digestive health support, probiotics may seem like a strange addition to your everyday routine. However, on a biological level it makes a lot of sense.

Probiotics help maintain microbial balance in our gut, which is directly tied to our overall health. This makes maintaining a healthy microbiome crucial for total wellness.

For example, 70-80% of our immune cells are located in our gut.1 Bolstering immunity is a good habit for everyday living, but if you’re out and about during the week it’s an even better habit to get into so you can continue to feel your best wherever you go.

Beyond digestion and immune defenses, microbial balance in the GI tract can also help with improving mood and brain function. This is because of a network called the gut-brain axis. This unique form of communication connects multiple systems to send signals from the brain to the gut to coordinate intestinal activities and influence mood, cognition and mental wellbeing.2

All the more reason to trust your gut right?

Magnesium

This mineral provides many benefits for everyday living as well. Magnesium comes in many types and forms to make it a versatile solution to address a number of wellness needs from bone health to feelings of anxiousness and stress to sleep support.

The recommended daily intake levels for magnesium are 400 to 430 mg a day for men and 310 to 320 mg a day for women, however as much as 15 to 20% of people do not meet this amount.3,4 Magnesium has been studied to strengthen bone mineral density as well as aid with muscle soreness, making it a favorable choice for those with an active lifestyle.4,5

Because magnesium acts as a modulator of GABA (a neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system), this mineral is also an excellent choice to help soothe an anxious mind, slow racing thoughts and promote tiredness before bed.6

No matter the need, magnesium makes for a dependable daily supplement.

Multivitamins

Perfect for people of all ages, multivitamins are a wonderfully easy way to help fill nutritional gaps in your everyday diet. Recent studies suggest that a daily multivitamin may even slow age-related cognitive decline by as much as two years.7

Not only are multis a great addition to adult routines, they can also help kids stay healthy as they grow. While multivitamins make excellent additions to most diets, it’s important to note that they do not replace essential fruits, vegetables and other foods necessary for optimal wellness… sorry, to everyone who was hoping to skip the broccoli at dinner.

Omega-3s

One of our nutritionist’s favorite daily essentials is omega-3s. These fatty acids have been studied extensively and are well known for their potential to support triglyceride levels to promote heart health as well as improve cognition and mental performance.8,9

There are three main types of omega-3s: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are both found in fish and fish oil or vegan algal oils supplements. Then there is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is found in plants like soy and flaxseed.

While it is recommended to get most of your omega-3s from foods such as salmon, tuna, beans and chia seeds, supplementation with these fatty acids can help add some healthy benefits to your everyday.

Calcium

Last, but certainly not least is calcium. As the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is responsible for many functions from making up most of the structure in our teeth and bones to keeping tissue strong and flexible.

Needless to say, this mineral boasts some mighty benefits when it comes to bolstering bone health, especially when we’re not able to maintain proper amounts of calcium per day.10 Bone health and integrity is an essential focus for women as they age, as bone density can become weak or brittle over time. Adding a calcium supplement can help provide some extra help for keeping bones strong over time but be sure to also look for calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt and cheese.

Other Nutritionist-Recommended Products to Take

Some other popular picks for daily nutrients are hydration stick packs, which are perfect for anyone who struggles to drink adequate amounts of water during the day. Protein, which is perfect for meal replacements, fueling workouts and making sure to meet daily protein intake goals. Vitamin D, which pairs great with magnesium and calcium for better bone health or when we don’t get enough sun.

There are so many more great supplements that can provide extensive benefits to your health, and each person's individual needs will vary, but this can be a great place to start your daily wellness journey. Each wellness journey is unique, and the important part is getting started. These recommendations can be a great place to begin your supplement routine but be sure to incorporate products that best fit your needs.

You be well, now.

Swanson

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Britta Sather, Swanson Health Products

About Britta Sather, LN

Britta Sather is a Licensed Nutritionist with over 14 years of experience in the dietary supplement industry. She has a passion for holistic living and a lifelong belief in natural health practices. Her philosophy is that your health is the greatest investment you’ll ever make, but be sure and enjoy life along the way.

 

Sources:

  1. National Library of Medicine. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Read source
  2. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Read source
  3. Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Read source
  4. An update on magnesium and bone health. Biometals. Read source
  5. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Muscle Soreness and Performance. Journal of strength and conditioning research. Read source
  6. Magnesium in neuroses and neuroticism. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System PubMed. Read source
  7. Effect of multivitamin-mineral supplementation versus placebo on cognitive function: results from the clinic subcohort of the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) randomized clinical trial and meta-analysis of 3 cognitive studies within COSMOS. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Read source
  8. Dose-response effects of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides, inflammation, and endothelial function in healthy persons with moderate hypertriglyceridemia. Am J Clin Nutr. Read source
  9. Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Functions: A Systematic Review. Cureus. Read source
  10. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. Read source
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