I am a supplement junkie. On any given day you can see me taking anywhere from 5-10 different vitamins or herbs. When I walk down the vitamin and supplement aisle at Whole Foods I read the labels and I’m convinced I need to add them all to my daily routine. Immunity? Yes. I should be taking vitamin C everyday, right? Stress relief? Definitely. Do I need magnesium and ashwagandha and holy basil? Antioxidants and anti-aging pills? Yes….but of course. Detox and liver health? Well…yeah. I need that too. So it’s safe to say I’ve amassed quite a collection of supplements. But which vitamins do I really need?
I recently invited Corina Crysler, co-founder of GliSODin Skin Nutrients, into my New York apartment and emptied out one of my supplement cabinets (yes, one of them). And—I kid you not—she could not believe how many supplements I actually have. Corina is a nutritionist, which means she knows all about what our bodies need to stay well, and she specializes in beauty supplements.
She helped me answer some very important questions: Which supplements are worth taking? What effects do they really have on our bodies? How often should I take them? When do I see results? What brands should I be buying?
Take a look at our chat here. And in case you’re at work and can’t watch the video just yet, below you’ll also find our main takeaways about each of the supplements we discussed.
Magnesium doesn’t have a specific function like some other supplements, but what it does is help your body absorb nutrients—like calcium, for example. You should take it daily at nighttime, because it helps the body’s rejuvenation process that occurs while you sleep. P.S. I started taking magnesium to help with migraines and headaches. It is magical and it works!
Which should you get? I prefer a magnesium powder like this one. It’s easy to stir into water or a smoothie. I keep it on my desk.
Zinc is great for any hormonal issues, and also to boost the immune system. So it’s particularly helpful in the winter, when you’re more likely to get sick. I take 30-60mg each day. Corina gave me the thumbs up.
Which should you get? I’m very loyal to Source Naturals 30mg Zinc. I take one morning and night.
Ashwagandha and other adaptogens like holy basil are great stress-fighters. You can take it every day to boost energy levels and feel more calm. You’ll be able to see results after four to six weeks of taking ashwagandha consistently. I take this to help with stress relief and I see a notable difference.
Trace mineral drops
Corina gave me the all clear on adding minerals to my water. A lot of us drink water that’s been stripped of many of the minerals naturally found in water. So adding a few drops of trace minerals to your water bottle is a great idea.
Which should you get? I prefer Concentrace Trace Minerals. It’s a bit salty and hard to tolerate in plain water, so I suggest adding to a juice or smoothie.
Your body is constantly fighting free radicals, so vitamin C should be taken every day to protect against them. But Corina adds that you need to take a lot of it. If you’re not taking more than 1000 mg daily, you might as well not be taking it. She also suggests checking your multivitamin (or any other supplement you’re already taking) to see if vitamin C is in there.
Which should you get? Personally I buy Dr. Mercola Liposomal Vitamin C.
After speaking with Corina, I realized I was taking this herb all wrong. While milk thistle is great for the liver, it’s not going to do much if you take it after a night of drinking a little too much wine. You should do a treatment program with milk thistle instead. Every six to eight weeks, you can take milk thistle consistently for two weeks. This will cleanse, protect, and rejuvenate the liver.
You can also prepare your liver for a period when you know you’ll be drinking more (your upcoming Italian vacation, for example). For a couple weeks leading up to that period, you can take milk thistle daily.
Which should you get? I prefer these drops to pills.
Oil of Oregano
This is a great oil with antibacterial and antifungal purposes. It’s particularly helpful for stomach issues or boosting your immune system when you have a cold. I was also using this herb all wrong. Like milk thistle, it is not for everyday use. If you’re going on vacation and know you’ll be eating differently than you’re used to, bring your oil of oregano with you and take a little before each meal. Corina suggested keeping herbs like milk thistle and oil of oregano in a separate spot in my cabinet since they’re not to be used regularly .
Which should you get? These drops are pretty potent.
Skullcap is in my cabinet and I use it as a calming agent. It helps with anxiety and is most commonly used by people who have trouble sleeping. You should take it about an hour before you want to go to sleep. I keep both skullcap and melatonin in my cabinet to help with sleep. Corina suggested that I probably don’t need both. Personally, I find skullcap to be more effective as it doesn’t give me a sleep hangover as melatonin sometimes does.
The main takeaways from my very informative chat with Corina? Some supplements are important to take daily, while others are treatment-based and should be taken in specific situations. It’s helpful to separate our supplements into these two categories. Also, if you are taking a skin supplement, like Corina’s Advanced Skin Brightening or Advanced Anti-Aging supplements, check the ingredients carefully because you might be doubling up.
Also, Corina suggests keeping supplements we need for the day in a bowl on the kitchen counter (or somewhere else we’re likely to see them) as a reminder. Every morning she takes each pill out for the day and places them in a small bowl. Great tip! I already started doing that.
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