Remedies and Supplements I Take

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Since I’ve been in the health and wellness world for over a decade, I’ve learned a lot about supplements. As I’ve evolved and my health has improved, so has my supplement usage. I’ve learned a lot about what our bodies need and also which ones work well for me. 

I often get asked which supplements my family and I take. I like to focus on a few core supplements every day. Others I experiment with for different things and seasons to see how they support me. This means I don’t take many supplements on a regular basis. 

And, while I was pregnant or nursing for much of the last ten years, I would focus on my core supplements for pregnancy and nursing.

Why Take Supplements?

Unfortunately, in today’s world, some supplements are needed to maintain health. While I love getting most of my nutrients from food, that’s no longer possible. Declining soil and food quality and the ever-increasing presence of chemicals that can block nutrient absorption have made it almost impossible to get everything we need from food.

However, in the wellness world, there’s a ton of information floating around about supplements. Recommendations are constantly changing, and new products are being offered as new research is released. 

Social media adds another level of information to filter through. It seems like there’s always a hot new supplement that everyone’s taking. And many companies realize the income potential of supplements because they’re consumed daily so they focus on marketing them. 

I know a lot of people who jump on the bandwagon and take the newest supplement without doing research to see how it works for them or if they even need it. Before you know it, you could be taking a whole slew of supplements if you aren’t paying attention! That not only wastes time but money. 

Which Supplements Should You Take?

With all the options available, which supplements are needed to maintain health? I look at supplements in two categories: core supplements and supplements for specific needs. There’s no blanket answer to this question because each person has different nutrient needs and deficiencies. 

But there are some supplements that everyone can benefit from taking most of the time. These are the ones I consider to be my core supplements. I’ll take these most days because of their benefit for overall health. 

Other supplements are more specific to our deficiencies and offer things our bodies might be lacking. It’s our job to find out what our body needs, what works for us, and what doesn’t. Specific health problems can be a good clue of an underlying nutrient deficiency (or rarely, a toxicity) in the body. 

Before Starting Supplements

Before starting any supplements, the first step is to clean up our diet. If we begin with a poor diet and try to add supplements to override it, we’re throwing our money away. Unfortunately, you can’t supplement your way out of eating poorly.

Along with cleaning up your diet, there are other things you want to focus on to make sure your body is functioning at its best. Work to cut out processed foods, get enough sleep, minimize stress, get enough minerals, exercise, hydrate, and take a probiotic. These are all ways to help overcome deficiencies in the body. I like to follow a minimum effective dose plan to get started.

When you’ve dialed in those things and still need an additional boost, supplements may be worth considering. There are several that have been extremely helpful to me (when taken under the care of my health practitioner).

Core Supplements I Regularly Take

As I mentioned, the need for specific supplements varies widely from person to person. However, there are some core supplements that most people benefit from taking. My family takes very few core supplements to support our nutrient-dense diet. I vary these supplements as well so my body doesn’t get used to any one supplement.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral in our bodies, responsible for over 3600 chemical reactions alone. And sadly, magnesium deficiency is something most people struggle with.

Magnesium is used in the body for everything from proper hormone function to cell regeneration and healthy bone formation. Having adequate magnesium levels has even been correlated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Correlation doesn’t prove cause, but since magnesium is an important nutrient in many ways, I find it worth supplementing.

My family supplements magnesium in several ways: 

  • Magnesium oil spray – This is my favorite way to supplement magnesium. Because it bypasses the digestive system, it’s a more effective way to absorb this mineral.
  • Oral magnesium – I alternate between a pill form or a powder form of magnesium sometimes. I like these options when I’m traveling too.
  • Magnesium bath – I love enjoying a bath or foot soak with magnesium crystals or even Epsom salts. This alone isn’t usually enough to bring magnesium levels up, but it’s a good addition.

Minerals

Aside from magnesium, many other minerals are important for our health. I’ve been experimenting with different ones and have found some that work well for me. Two minerals I’ve been taking are humic and fulvic acid. Both are organic minerals, meaning they’re plant-based and derived in their natural, ionic state. 

This is a great short podcast to help understand these plant-based minerals. And this episode shares even more information.

Both minerals help with hydration, brain fog, muscle cramps, anxiety, and sleep issues. I like to take these minerals and my athlete kids also take them.

Another mineral that’s important is salt to replace electrolytes. Instead of drinking electrolyte drinks loaded with sugar and other bad chemicals, I like to add LMNT packets to my water. These contain salt, potassium, and magnesium so they’re helpful to replenish after a hard workout.

I’ve also been experimenting with Eidon’s silica recently. It helps manage calcium in our systems and promotes healthy hair, nails, and skin as well as helps with anti-aging. Check out this podcast to learn more about this supplement!

Probiotics

Another element that’s often missing or insufficient in our diets is probiotics. We’ve learned over the years how important our gut bacteria is to our bodies, everything from our brain health to our mental health

There are several ways to make sure you get probiotics:

  • Eat more probiotic-rich foods – Fermented drinks like kombucha and water kefir and fermented foods like sauerkraut increase your probiotic intake.
  • Oral probiotic supplement – When taking a probiotic supplement, make sure to choose a spore-based one so it can survive the digestive process so you’ll get the benefits.
  • Oral prebiotic supplement – If you think of your gut as a garden, prebiotics are the fertilizer (or food) for your gut and probiotics. My kids love the way this supplement tastes!

Vitamin K27

This is one I’ve recently begun taking regularly because of all the amazing benefits. As we consume calcium, we want that to go to our teeth and our bones. We don’t want it going into our arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin K2 directs the calcium in our bodies where it needs to go. 

Collagen and Gelatin

Collagen (and its cooked counterpart gelatin) is a protein that comes from bones and cartilage (usually from cows). There’s also a relatively newer version of marine collagen made from fish skin, scales, bones, or cartilage. 

This protein makes up about one-third of the protein in our bodies. Collagen also supports our hair, skin, and nails, and helps with skin elasticity and aging signs. It’s also great for joint health and improving digestion. As we age, the natural collagen in our bodies reduces significantly. This is why it’s important to add it into our diet.

Ways to Get Collagen:

  • Homemade bone broth – This is a great source of collagen and an easy way to use leftover bones. If you don’t have time to make it, this brand is also good.
  • Add to smoothies – A scoop of collagen in a smoothie gives it a great protein boost.
  • Make homemade jello – Use gelatin to make a fun, healthier version of this kid favorite!

It’s important to find collagen and gelatin from a company that sources it from grass-fed, humanely raised cows. This will ensure it’s clean and higher in nutrients. We use this collagen and this gelatin regularly. 

Supplements I Take As Needed

In addition to our regular core supplements, there are some we take as needed. This can include something I’m working on health-wise in the short term. For example, in the summer when I need more sun protection. Or when I’m working on remineralizing my teeth.

For Digestion

When my digestion is feeling slow or sluggish, I add in these digestive enzymes. This supplement helps us absorb more of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the foods we eat. And because you’re digesting the food better, it also gives increased energy, mental clarity, and focus. This supplement also helps avoid food allergies or sensitivities that can happen when protein isn’t fully digested.

For Immune Support

When cold and flu season is upon us, or I feel something coming on, I like to add vitamin C to my supplements. Since we can’t make our own vitamin C, it’s a great boost to your immune system when you need it. But it’s hard to get all you need from food. This supplement is great because it’s made from organic superfoods.

For Anti-Aging and Fighting Cancer

Sulforaphane is a potent cancer-fighting and antibacterial compound found in cruciferous vegetables and sprouts. My favorite way to get this compound is with broccoli sprouts. I usually have some growing in my kitchen and eat them on a regular basis. But when I don’t have time to grow them, I love to add this supplement. It helps block inflammation, support immunity, and enable detoxification.

For Increased Focus

When I’m working on a big project that requires focus or just need to be at the top of my game, I like to add in nootropics. These supplements promote better memory and focus, boost energy, and enhance problem-solving abilities. And they also support long-term brain health. One of my favorites is Qualia Mind, which has 24 ingredients known to support optimal brain function. 

Supplements My Kids Take

Since kids are younger and still growing, I try to focus more on their diet and less on supplements. I make sure they’re consuming a lot of high-quality protein, an abundance of green veggies, and plenty of healthy fats. I do give them some supplements.

Gut Health

Children’s gut flora is still developing, and taking a daily probiotic is important. Supporting it now will have a much greater effect than trying to supplement later in life (though I recommend it then too). If your kids can’t swallow pills, they can be opened and added to food.

My kids also take prebiotics to help the probiotics flourish. They love this one because it tastes delicious! They often use it to take their other supplements with.

I also give my older kids who are athletes digestive enzymes. These aid in their absorption of key amino acids and vitamins, increase their energy levels, and give them better digestion.

Vitamin D

I’m a firm believer that kids should get their vitamin D outside, in the sun, and preferably barefoot. But that’s not always possible. Most children’s vitamins contain vitamin D (though not enough!). Supplementing vitamin D in children can be controversial but I like to. My kids each get a 5,000 IU capsule of vitamin D3 per WEEK. 

Because you don’t want to take too much vitamin D, I check their levels in the winter to make sure their levels are good.

Vitamin C

I always keep vitamin C on hand for when we feel a cold coming on. We’ve avoided many trips to the doctor because of this and homemade elderberry syrup

I add about 1/4 tsp of vitamin C powder to the kids’ water or smoothie once a day (it is bitter!). This helps to keep their immune systems bolstered, mainly in the winter. When someone’s sick, we take the full dose of vitamin C powder until we hit bowel tolerance (diarrhea). Then, we back down to 3/4 of the dose until the illness is gone.

Magnesium 

Just like adults, kids can greatly benefit from magnesium supplementation. I typically use this magnesium spray on my kids before bed. It helps them sleep and is an easy way to boost their levels. Sometimes, I’ll add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts or magnesium crystals to their bath water for a relaxing bath.

Once you get your basics of diet, sleep, exercise, and hydration dialed in, start to look at where you feel you’re lacking. If you need more guidance, work with your doctor or practitioner. You can work on getting lab tests to see where you’re deficient or focus on what you need to heal.

What supplements do you take? What do you give your kids? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

219 responses to “Remedies and Supplements I Take”

  1. Sara Pratt Avatar
    Sara Pratt

    Hiya, We are in the UK, and some of the supplements you link to are not available here. How do you select a brand to buy? Surely the £1 option is not as good as the £10 option… It’s difficult to tell on the online descriptions which is ‘best’. Thanks 🙂 (have you tried ‘Forever Living’ brand, I think they are American)

  2. Gabriela Avatar
    Gabriela

    Would it count to consume Multivitamins pills that contain Vitamin D, instead of purchasing a single Vitamin D bottle, or is it better to buy a Vitamin D/Magnesium/etc., bottle? If so why? I’ve always wondered about this…

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      for Vitamin D, the best is the sun when it is available. Most multivitamins don’t have anywhere near the amount you need and you’ll absorb it better from a single supplement or from something like Fermented Cod Liver Oil which has it in balance with Vitamin A> For magnesium, almost every multivitamin I’ve ever seen has more calcium than magnesium, so it is likely that you won’t absorb any of the magnesium (they have to be taken in a careful ratio depending on your body) and that it might even pull magnesium to digest the calcium.

      1. Gabriela Avatar
        Gabriela

        This helps out a lot, thank you! Do you take multivitamins by the way? and if so, what brand(s) do you recommend?

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          I don’t take any general multivitamins, but just supplement specific nutrients when they are needed, and get as much from food as I can 🙂

          1. Gabriela Avatar
            Gabriela

            That seems better! I purchased my Vitamin D3 today : ) but had trouble deciding on what Magnesium bottle to purchase. Which one of the two (Magnesium citrate 250 mg Chelated Magnesium 250 mg) is a better option, would you say?

            MAGNESIUM CITRATE 250 MG 120 TABLETS

            Chelated Magnesium 250 mg 180 Tablets

          2. Wellness Mama Avatar
            Wellness Mama

            I’d take the magnesium citrate, or use a magnesium oil personally…

  3. Gabriela Avatar

    Hi,
    I want to start taking Probiotics but do you think Digestive Enzymes and L Carnitine are necessary too?
    I experience a lot of bloating, throughout the day but never gain weight.

      1. Gabriela Avatar

        thanks, I just sorta inflate from the time I eat in the morning to the afternoon. I don’t have “smaller belly” as I do when I wake up first thing. Hm I can try them…

      2. Jaime Avatar

        I was wondering about the probiotics. Before I found your site, I tried activia with terrible intestinal discomfort and had to stop on day 3 of the “14 days” thing. Recently I’ve tried drinking some Kombucha I found at a local “Natural Market”. I only drank about a third of the bottle because a co-worker suggested that it may cause an intestinal upset and boy did it ever, it took almost a week to recover from that. I have also tried some probiotics from Melaleuca, again, severe intestinal discomfort. Am I doing something wrong? I’ve heard some people say you just have to tough it out, but generaly speaking, how long should it take for my body to adjust? I’ve cut sugar from my diet only using natural stevia as a sweetener, I’m weaning myself away from grains and I haven’t eaten any processed foods in 3 months. Any ideas? Thanks!

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          I’d check out the blog SCDLifestyle.com… I’m not an expert on digestive health but I’m guessing it might be SIBO, as that is the only thing I’ve ever heard with that strong of a reaction.

  4. Pat Avatar

    I read somewhere on here that you suggest not to take vitamin c in the ascorbic acid form. I googled it and found some powder forms that claim to incorporate all of the components that make up the true vitamin c but was wondering if you had any recommended brands or forms? Thanks.

  5. McCall Avatar

    I ordered the fermented CLO/butter blend and it says it has omega 3, 6, 7, and 9. I know we don’t need to get too much omega 6s due to inflammation. Did I order the wrong one or does the one you reference have omega 6?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It does have small amounts, but they are in balance with higher amounts of Omega-3s. All natural sources like this do contain some of each though, and it is fine in this balance.

  6. Wahine Avatar

    Great list – thanks! I take Probiotic, Vitamin D, Omega 3, a liquid B Complex and drink CalMax Sleep for Calcium and Magnesium. I also drink one cup of coffee every morning that has ganoderma (reishi) infused in it. What are your thoughts on Pregnenelone supplementation for a 47 year old female who just went through menopause? My doctor prescribed it as a 30-50mg supplement daily when they noticed I was in early menopause according to my blood work – have not had a period in over a year. Feel pretty good – just mild mood swings and I can’t shake the extra 15 pounds that have crept on over the past 5 years..

  7. Robin Avatar

    Has anyone had fluid retention with the primal diet especially in your ankles?

  8. Megan Avatar

    I really want to start taking magnesium, especially I want to try the transdermal magnesium. But I simply cannot afford the amounts I would need of the Ancient Minerals magnesium I see recommended everywhere. Do you know anything about Swanson Ultra “Dr. Barbara Hendel’s Magnesium Oil” ? 

    There site lists only this information:

    INGREDIENTS: 100% Pure Magnesium Chloride Brine from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in the Netherlands. 

  9. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    I have a question about the source for your information about the 287 molecules of magnesium it takes to process a molecule of glucose.  I went to the source reference for this fact and it is not stated in that source reference.  Can you tell me what the correct source is?  And it’s not really useful without a translation to mg.  Supplements aren’t sold in molecules.  

  10. Shardae Avatar
    Shardae

    I know for me and my husband we get our vitamins and supplements from Nutrilite. They have definitely made a difference.

  11. Nik Avatar

    So it was recommended to me to take a calcium magnesium citrate. Won’t these two minerals cancel each other out? I’ve also heard that our body’s are depleted of trace minerals since they no longer can be found in the soil. I have been considering a colloidal form of mineral supplementation, what do you think?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Trace minerals can be great if you need them. Unless you have a specific verified calcium deficiency, it is more likely that you are deficient in magnesium and that taking it with calcium will just slow the absorption…

  12. Jean Avatar

    Do you have any guidance for someone who can’t stand the itching from magnesium oil? I understand that probably means I need it, but I can’t stand the itching.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Try an internal one first, like Natural Calm, and then once your levels are higher, you shouldn’t itch when using it on your skin…

      1. Ann Avatar

        Hi there,

        I started taking Natural Calm after reading your post, and started slowly as they advised. It’s been a few days now and I’m insanely itchy all over my body! Nothing seems to calm it down. I looked up magnesium supplement side effects and it seems like that’s the cause of my whole body itching. I haven’t done anything else differently, so I think that must be it. I’m about 5 weeks pregnant and am worried about the effect that this inflamation / histamine response might have on the pregnancy.

          1. Ann Avatar

            Thanks for your reply Katie. I stopped taking it the day I read about the possibility of it being an issue with the supplement. It’s been 4 days now. It hasn’t subsided at all. Any idea as to what else it could be? I haven’t done anything differently this past week, other than take Natural Calm. Have you ever heard of this happening with magnesium supplementation? The midwife center I plan on going to doesn’t generally see women until they are 10-12 weeks.
            Thanks so much!

  13. Grena Avatar

    Just curious how you take the chlorophyll. In smoothie form?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Liquid in water. The kind I use has a minty taste, so it isn’t bad at all…

  14. Erica M Avatar
    Erica M

    Katie, 
    After reading your article on being deficient in magnesium, I ordered some Natural Calm. I’ve been taking it now for a few weeks and my skin has become really dry and flaky. I have not changed anything else in my diet, skin care, etc. Can the magnesium have a drying effect? If so, how do you counter it? Any help would be fantastic. Thank you

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Try using coconut oil as a moisturizer or drinking about 1/4 cup a day to moisturize internally

      1. Erica M Avatar

        Thank you for the tips. I do use coconut oil as a moisturizer, but not every day (I don’t like the slimy feeling from any type of moisturizer). I will work on incorporating it externally at least 3 days a week, and work my way up from there. I also cook/bake with coconut oil, and I use coconut milk in smoothies. I will try incorporating the oil in my smoothies as well as in my herbal tea (as I have seen you suggest in some of your other posts). 

  15. Pat Tompkins Avatar
    Pat Tompkins

    Hey! I’m most definitely not trying to be THAT guy but did you have a reference for the coconut oil -> Alzheimer’s and thyroid benefits? I’m just extremely interested in reading about CO lately! Love the blog, great post. Our supplement list matches up almost exactly 😉

  16. Jenni Avatar

    I believe that D3 is an important one. If I take nothing else, I want D3. There is a difference between D2 and D3 and if you are wearing sunscreen you aren’t getting it from the sun from what I understand!!

  17. Samantha Avatar
    Samantha

    Is it safe to take these while pregnant and nursing? Mostly I’m wondering about probiotics and magnesium.

  18. Jeanette Flaaterud Avatar
    Jeanette Flaaterud

    I take Kelp right now, as my throat started feeling thick again. I took an iodine patch test just to check, and the patch was totally gone in 6 hours (I forgot to check it sooner), so I immediately started taking Kelp (and coconut oil). I suspect my thyroid is living its own life, but Kelp always helps.

  19. Jess D Avatar

    Ok I’m starting!  I just purchased gelatin, cod liver oil and magnesium… seems like a good start (can’t really spend more at the moment).  Any suggestions on which to add into the mix next?  Also, should I start them all at the same time, or phase one it at a time (which is what I’m leaning towards…)

  20. Gissel Avatar

    As far as magnesium I bought a bottle of magnesium oil where should I spray it on my body to get the best absorbency? Also I noticed my hands tingle when the oil comes in contact any part of my body, is there a reason why?

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