If you’re anything like me, remembering to take one, let alone multiple, daily supplements is pretty low on the priority list. To be honest, my schedule (which currently includes wedding planning) is literally non-stop and jam-packed. So those tiny capsules of nutrition are usually the last thing on my mind. That includes the gummies that taste like candy and instantly take me back to kindergarten.
Most of us, also known as the oft-misunderstood millennial (anyone aged 23-38) generation, believe the most basic supplements are only for our grandmas and aunties. Instead, we’re loading up on adaptogens, collagen powder, and biotin pills that somehow convince us our hair will magically grow overnight. No shade to these any of these innovative pills and potions–especially since some of them actually work–but the old school options are just as good at keeping the immune system strong and in most cases, necessary.
They also help deliver those essential nutrients that we miss when we go a few days without eating fruits and veggies. And let’s keep it real: most of us are going without for weeks when our schedule gets the best of us. According to health expert and nutritionist, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, supplements serve as “insurance” for a healthy diet aka these potent pills that deliver a mega-dose of vitamins that we may lack or miss in our diets altogether.
This is especially crucial if you’ve adopted a vegan or vegetarian diet because there are likely some essential nutrients you’re missing due to avoiding dairy and red meat. And it goes beyond your daily multi-vitamin (which isn’t a one-size-fits-all supplement either). To start, “most people should be taking an omega-3 supplement, ubiquinol, a probiotic and vitamin D,” says Glassman. “And another supplement I recommend is glutathione, which is known as the ‘master antioxidant.’”
If you’re unfamiliar with any or all of these, here’s a quick breakdown.
If you traded in whole milk for almond milk and have no plans on turning back, this is a non-negotiable. According to Glassman, our calcium consumption before the age of 30 could make or break our health years later. “After the age of 30, we no longer store calcium in our bones,” says Glassman. “We need to continue to get calcium through our diet (and include weight-bearing exercise) to keep our skeletons strong.” And with such a large amount on the millennial population opting to decrease or eliminate dairy altogether, opting for a calcium supplement ensures bones stay healthy and strong even though our mid-aged years.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is known to promote heart health and healthy bones. It’s even been linked to promoting a more positive mood. In our diets, we get this vitamin from foods like avocado oil, coconut oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and wild-caught salmon. And you can also get it in pill form at Target or your local drugstore.
Ubiquinol and Gluatathione
Ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10, which is best described as an antioxidant in your body that helps cells grow and maintain a healthy form. Glassman describes this as an antioxidant superhero since it’s most often linked to heart health, balancing blood pressure and oral health.
Similar to Ubiquinol, glutathione is also found in the body and composed of a trio of amino acids that assist in a number of bodily functions, from building protein to strengthening the immune system to reducing cell damage. Taking supplements will boost the effectiveness of ubiquinol and glutathione already in the body.
Unless you reside in the sunshine state and stay outside 24/7, Vitamin D is a must no matter what your age. Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D not only boosts your mood (similar to a day in the sun) but also strengthens your immune system. And since work-life balance can be quite the task and UV exposure has reached dangerous levels (hello, global warming), most of us don’t get enough of it from the outdoors alone.
And finally, a buzz word used frequently in the beauty industry, probiotics are dedicated to improving gut health. Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria found in the stomach that help in digestion, immune systems and reduced risk for various diseases. Taking probiotic supplements not only balance the “good” bacteria within your gut but help to clean out and improve your overall health which has often been linked to a clearer, more radiant complexion.
Of course, when it comes to any medical and nutritional advice, what works for one person may not work for the other. It’s important to speak with your primary physician to see what supplements your body needs for optimal health. But if you’ve been searching for a starter list, this one will get you going in the right direction.