Even the healthiest of diets can lack the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. And as we age, it becomes more important to get the right amount. That’s what makes supplements so beneficial. But as you navigate the flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to know which to prioritize. What brands are reliable? What dosage should you take? How do you avoid added fillers and harmful ingredients?
Before you head to the store — whether it be online or in-person — read through our list of recommendations to guide you along the way. As always, consult with your primary care physician or nutritionist before starting a new supplement. Above all else, it’s important to choose supplements with safe ingredients.
Supplement #1: Vitamin D
One of the key ways to build and maintain healthy bones lies in our bodies ability to absorb calcium, which isn’t easy without vitamin D. While it may seem like we get plenty of exposure to vitamin D through sunlight, it’s actually one of the most common deficiencies in the world. Among its many benefits, vitamin D supports your immune system, which has never been more important.
Supplement #2: Vitamin K2
Unfamiliar with vitamin K2? You’re not alone. Like vitamin D, this nutrient can play a role in maintaining strong bones by metabolizing calcium. Beyond that though, it is a key component in preventing blood clots and improving your heart health.
Supplement #3: Probiotics
Do you experience gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea? Evaluating your gut may help you find the root problem. Probiotics are a great way to balance the bacteria in your digestive tract and are especially important if you struggle with any of the symptoms mentioned above. Some brands of yogurt and kombucha have added probiotics to their list of ingredients, but if you don’t consume these products on a daily basis, a supplement may be helpful. Probiotics also support your immune system, helping you fight off illnesses quicker.
Supplement #4: Fish Oil
Unless you eat foods like salmon or tuna a couple of times a week, you likely aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. One of the many benefits of taking a fish oil supplement is its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease or manage the symptoms if you’ve already been diagnosed. In addition, it can aid in managing depression, Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, and even arthritis.
Supplement #5: Turmeric/curcumin
The famous spice that gives curry its yellow coloring isn’t just flavorful. The power of this herb has the potential to prevent issues like heart disease and Alzheimer’s. And when added to your daily routine, it serves as an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation. So as we head into the winter months when inflammation in the body is typically high, a turmeric supplement can do just the trick.
Supplement #6: Coenzyme Q10/Ubiquinol
Like many nutrients, our bodies naturally produce Coenzyme Q10, which acts as an antioxidant. But as we age, it’s common for these levels to decrease. It may not be a quick fix, but taking this supplement over time can help with fatigue by replenishing cellular energy. It also has the potential to improve diabetes and reduce migraines.
If you’re over the age of 50, there are several other supplements you may want to consider taking. Always consult with your primary care physician or nutritionist with any questions before starting a new supplement.
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