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What Supplements Are Worth Taking: I'm a Nutritional Therapist.

I wholeheartedly endorse supplements in my clinic, as a way to help my clients address root causes and achieve success. I will guide you on what supplements are worth taking that truly make a difference for high performing creatives, helping you discern what to prioritize and what to disregard. Don't worry, I'm not here to waste your time with discount codes and consultant fees.


Supplements in pill organizers

Many people turn to supplements to "solve a problem;" your low energy, your brain fog, your tossing and turning at night, your visually ageing skin. The influencers caught wind of this long ago, and have since used radiant social media content to promote their own lines of supplements with lofty promises that they can "heal" or "cure" or "reverse" whatever condition you (the unsuspecting consumer) are looking to address.


fyi- if anyone or any organization are sharing a supplement product with you and using words like "heal," "cure," "reverse," or "prevent," run the other way because that's an unlawful health claim.


There are definitely occasions where you may benefit from supplements. The reasons for this are varied and whilst no supplement can outdo the overall benefits of a well- rounded diet and optimal balance between work and recovery, they can provide a nutrient boost when it feels like you need it most.


I have worked with clients in special conditions where supplements have become a very useful tool to support specific situations such as:


  • pregnancy

  • managing IBS whilst working on cruise ships

  • supporting gut health whilst on antibiotics

  • supporting thyroid health


And more. If that sounds like you, and you find the world of supplementation daunting and misleading, then check out how I can help you clear the air and take the right supplements for your health concerns and goals in the Empowered Nutrition clinic.


You could very well be doing the best you can to eat more nutritiously throughout your day. To balance the "nutrient dense" with the "less nutrient dense" (which is a tool that many of my clients use to improve their energy and body confidence without sacrificing what makes them happy), and fueling your body for the demands it has to meet daily.


Yet- you could feel like there's just that little bit more that needs to be done. That extra inch that you feel like is missing because, despite your efforts, it's hard to maintain.


I am a firm believer and advocate for supplement use to support every day functioning and better health because, let's face it: our food is less nutritious today than it was fifty years ago (Wang et all, 2022). Which is clearly displayed in your immaculate food diary perhaps not reflecting the perfect efforts you thought it would in your blood work. Or in the still sleepless nights you're having in spite of all the sleepy time snacks and teas. Or in the fourth cup of caffeine- free coffee alternative you're reaching for as you try to reassure yourself that the midday slump won't take two hours to pass...again.


Keep reading to discover what supplements are worth taking, and what to take into consideration when making supplement choices for yourself.

 

Digestive Enzyme


I personally love a digestive enzyme when I travel, and my clients do too because you're eating out a lot and the food can be really heavy/ indulgent/ cooked with a lot of extra creamy goodness. If you're someone who's navigating the ins and outs of dysbiosis, eating out can feel like a death sentence- which is where a digestive enzyme can provide relief to common experiences with dining out such as bloating, cramping, acid reflux, and feeling excessively heavy after a meal out.


Not only that, a digestive enzyme works well in an office setting too. Your nervous system is structured to operate in either of two systems: "rest and digest," or "fight flight, and freeze." Emotional stress elicits the same neurotransmitters that running from a tiger would- your body is on high alert, you're sweating because your manager expects you to meet an insane deadline by Friday afternoon, and the pressure is on. You're chugging your third cup of coffee, and questioning whether the jittery feeling is going to supercharge your mission, or just cause a lot of typos.


You could feel like you're fully capable of working through your lunch hour, but your body physically doesn't want to digest nutrients and deal with the tiger (your imposing boss) at the same time. Digestive enzymes help support the naturally occurring acids and salts needed in your stomach to break down food particles to send into the small intestine. Perfect when you're on the go- physically, mentally, or emotionally.


Magnesium Glycinate


Magnesium comes in a few forms, some more bioavailable than others. I prefer to recommend magnesium glycinate for clients because it gives you all of the benefits of magnesium supplementation (supporting normal blood pressure, promoting muscle and nerve function) without the additional potential side effects such as diarrhea, stomach cramping, and nausea.


Which, if you know you're dealing with IBS or have clearly identified that the cause of your roller coaster energy levels, sleepless nights, and higher-than-normal anxiety-all-of-the-time stressed out state is in fact to do with dysbiosis...then magnesium glycinate is safe to supplement because it supports your ability to relax in the evening and supports a calmer nervous system.


NB- if you have a kidney disorder, or are currently taking any medication, double check with your care provider that magnesium supplementation is right for you and your goals. If your care provider is unreachable at this time, book into the Empowered nutrition clinic and I can discuss with you further.


Probiotic


If you haven't heard, I have a four minute guide for you that will help you pick your probiotic like a nutritionist, without the influencer subscriptions or the expensive consultant fees. You can access the guide, for free, here.


A probiotic really does have endless benefits, the major one being that it supports the diversity of your gut flora. I find with clients, particularly those who are traveling for work commitments, are often restricted in what they're eating purely because the food that's available is monotonous- which is where a probiotic can support the diversity your gut needs when food is just blah for whatever reason it may be.


I really utilize probiotics in my clinic to address specific client needs, because certain strains/ yeasts can be more helpful in certain situations than others. My clients have experienced faster relief of their symptoms and quicker "return to normal" rates when their probiotic is working for them, instead of just being a waste of time. If you're looking for more generalized support of your gut health, I would definitely recommend starting with increasing your fibre intake, consuming enough water, and eating mindfully to restore eating in a relaxed state.


Vitamin D


Ireland, I'm going to call you out here; one- fifth of your older adult population is deficient in Vitamin D (Trinity College, 2020).


It's not just the Irish population that has to deal with this. I see vitamin D deficiency in clients who:

  • work in theatre

  • who spend their weekends networking at conferences for work

  • who work shift work

  • who are over-zealous in their skin protection regime

  • who work from home


Whilst it's not an officially diagnose-able "disease," Vitamin D supplementation is a great one for you if you travel a lot, and especially if you experience seasonal sadness (which is further mimicked by a lifestyle that rotates around shift work, living in a space that doesn't have easy access to natural sunlight, and/ or living in northern latitudes).


Having adequate levels of Vitamin D can contribute to decreased bone density, decreased muscle weakness and pain, and better mood (who doesn't want any of that??).


Omega 3


I couldn't imagine having a fish allergy, personally, as I love salmon. I always order it when I'm out to eat, and I particularly enjoy that it's a dense source of beneficial fatty acids.


Now, if you do have a fish allergy A) I'm sorry, and B) this is definitely a solid supplement choice for you.


You don't have to choke down a fish oil supplement. There are newer products on the market that carry a potent concentration of EPA/ DHA, and happen to be sourced from algae oil.


Having algae available is basically a no-brainer way for everyone- vegans, those who are allergic to fish, and those who don't like the actual taste of oily fish- get the recommended ratio of EPA to DHA that's necessary for things like:


  • clearer/ more organized thoughts (supporting neurotransmitters in doing their job so you have less brain fog).

  • less joint pain (EPA and DHA give your muscles and joints lubrication to work, like a well- oiled machine).

  • expression of anti-inflammatory markers (which means your body is responding to inflammation in the way it's built to, as that is a normal process that happens on a daily basis in the natural day-to-day operations within your body).

 
supplements and nutritional therapy

As I'm sure you've seen in other places, your supplement routine isn't meant to replace the benefits and support of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.


However, needs must, especially in today's society where food quality isn't the best, balancing work and rest is becoming increasingly more vague, and an influx of external stimuli (social media, technology, binge-worthy tv shows) are taking us away from what life was like even thirty years ago.


It's not all bad though: supplements incorporated in a targeted way can empower your on-the-go lifestyle to be more energetic, more confident, and more productive.


Leave a comment below if you include any of these supplements in your diet already.





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