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!

Sources
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

220 responses to “Remedies and Supplements I Take”

  1. Melissa Avatar

    Katie- What would you recommend for dosage with the bio kult probiotics for a 3 year old, 5 year old and 10 year old? Also, can you tell me what regimen I should use for my 3 year old who is currently on antibiotics for pneumonia? Thanks!

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I can’t help with specific dosing since I”m not a doc. I personally take 3-5 a day if pregnant or nursing and 2 a day if I”m not and give one to each of my kids. On antibiotics, I double my normal dose.

  2. Stephanie Avatar
    Stephanie

    You mention that you take both Vital Proteins Collagen Protein and their Collagen Peptides. Why is it necessary to take both? For cost reasons, would you recomend one over the other?

  3. Robbie Avatar

    Great article. I just purchased some of the cod liver oil/butter oil blend. Should I not take additional fish oil supplements? or maybe just on days I don’t take the cod liver oil?

  4. Mia Avatar

    I was told by a dentist that my 4 year old needs 2 root canals on the second to last molars on each side on the bottom, and they want to do the ones behind for good measure (whatever that means). This has prompted me to do my own research and i fell upon your site. I am going to buy the Cod liver oil/butter oil that you recommend. As well as making the toothpowder and (she is already gluten free because of eczema) trying to mostly limit other grains.
    For a picky 3 year old which form and flavor do you recommend of the green pastures? Maybe to mix it in yogurt with some other vitamins she already takes?
    Thank you you for this wonderful website!

  5. Stephani Avatar

    I want to give my boys and husband the cod liver oil but I’m worried about the new info that came out saying any fish oil is linked to prostate cancer.

    Any thoughts on that?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I’d research it more and make sure you are comfortable with it before you give them anything, but the studies I saw just showed this with regular fish oils which can be rancid

  6. Becky Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the last 2 years with no luck. I really want to try natural remedies as we have been doing fertility treatments with no luck. I have been taking Clomid and we did our first IUI last month and it did not work. I really do not want to take Clomid anymore and would like to try a natural approach. What supplements do you recommend when trying to conceive? Right now I am taking a prenatal and fish oil and that is all. Also is there anything you would recommend for my husband, since his sperm count is a little low. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

  7. Vandana Prasad Jain Avatar
    Vandana Prasad Jain

    Hi Wellness Mama,
    Is there a vegetarian alternative to Gelatin?

  8. debby Avatar

    how much of the fclo/high vit butter oil do you take? a tsp,HALF A TSP OR A 1/4 tsp?

  9. Dana Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    I want to buy some fermented cod liver oil and I’m interested in the one with royal butter. I recently read one of your posts about making coffee with grassfed butter and coconut oil in it. If If I take the cod liver oil without royal butter in the morning and have a cup of your coffee, will that have the same type of benefit? I’m afraid of incorporating too much fat into my diet.

    Thanks!
    Dana

  10. Sraas Avatar

    I am looking at ridding my house of household cleaners, store bought health and beauty products and processed foods. What is your daily routine? What can I purchase to get started on making my own replacements for household products? What herbs, spices and supplements would you suggest purchasing? I want to replace everything at once and start over fresh. I know that you have all of this stuff on your website, but locating it and getting it all in once place is proving to be a challenge.

  11. Kim K Avatar

    Katie
    Love your blog!! I looked on the website for the chlorophyll brand you mentioned and saw on the ingredients list methyl and propyl paraben. I don’t put those on my skin and certainly wouldn’t want to ingest them, thought took should know.

  12. annie Avatar

    I give my children the Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA, 250mg, Chewable Soft Gels and Natures Plus Animal Parade Vitamin D3 Chewables. What do you think of these two? Do you think I can switch to the one you recommend (cod oil) for the whole family?
    Thanks!

  13. Raya Avatar

    I’m a first time FCLO/Butter Oil buyer and I want to buy the gel since it’s way more cost effective, but I’m really worried about not being able to get it down. Any ideas on how to take it? Also, if I sneak it into a smoothie, will it ruin the taste or smell? Is chocolate the only flavor that would blend best into a smoothie?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I haven’t been able to add it to a smoothie. I just keep in the fridge to let it harden and scoop out small amounts, scrape off with my teeth and swallow like pills. It isn’t bad at all

  14. Whitley Avatar

    Thank you so much for all of your wonderful information! I have been trying to transition into a healthy, all natural life style and your blog has been a big help. I would like to know if you would give any of the supplements mentioned in this article to an infant. My daughter is 9-months-old, formula fed (I know, horrible, but I was not successful at breast feeding.) She has had several illnesses lately: cold, flu, cough, etc. I want to give her the best nutrients possible to support her immune system and promote overall health. I also have a 2-year-old son, but I’m assuming he can have most of these already.

  15. Naomi Avatar

    Hello,
    I see in a couple other posts that you also take astaxanin and maca powder and gelatin as supplements but they are not on this list. Do you have an updated list of everything you take? This list above is great by the way. 🙂

  16. Laura Pullim Avatar
    Laura Pullim

    Thank you for the information – I am trying to determine how many of the FCLO/Butter Oil blend capsules to take. The bottle says 2. The Weston A Price website says 10 from what I am reading….(http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#clarify). Ten capsules a day seems like a lot (not to mention the $$$). Can you advise on the average person’s dosage? I am 28 year old, healthy female trying to get pregnant. Thank you for any advice from the great WellnessMama or anyone else who has had this issue!

  17. gail Avatar

    What if I use the vitamin C in my bath water to cancel the chlorine, and also use epson salts which has magnesium?? Will they cancel out each others benefits? Acid + base?

  18. Jennifer Avatar

    I stated taking gelatin in water and the taste is not so good.. Do you mix your gelatin in anything other then water?

  19. Kira Avatar

    Hi there, I’ve tried the calm to add instead of traditional sports drink ingredients, also just in tea, started with more and went down even to 1/4 spoon but it makes my stomach gurgle all night. Do you have any advice?

  20. Jayme Rios Avatar
    Jayme Rios

    on the topic of the fermented cod liver oil what would be the best bet to get a toddler to take it?

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