Here’s the scoop on the top 5 supplements Zen Fertility Center recommends to keep you and your family growing strong. Of course, a balanced nutritious diet and regular exercise are the keys to a healthy lifestyle, but supplements can provide extra support, important nutrients and fill in the gaps when needed.
#1 – Multivitamin
As our environment becomes more polluted, our food supply deviates further from how nature intended animals and plants to grow, and our stress levels climb ever higher, multivitamins are essential to help provide the micronutrients your body needs to function optimally.
#2 – Protein powder
Protein is an important nutrient needed by everyone on a daily basis. It is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the "building blocks" for healthy bodies. The body is able to make non-essential amino acids from other amino acids in the body. However, the body is not able to make essential amino acids and the only way to get them is by eating high quality protein foods. Protein sources that contain all of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. Whey protein is a naturally complete protein.
If you ask what most people eat for breakfast, you are sure to hear: carbs, carbs, and more carbs in the form of cereal, toast, bagels, pastry, etc. Although carbohydrates can be consumed in moderation, the danger is overindulging without eating protein with it, causing blood sugar levels to wildly fluctuate.
This is why investing in a high quality protein powder can be a lifesaver. Many people cite “a lack of time” as the reason for why they don’t consume protein (or anything healthy for that matter) at breakfast.
For people like this, adding a scoop of whey protein to a shake that takes 60 seconds to prepare and can be consumed on the way to work is the perfect way to help get their nutrition in order.
Note: Soy-based protein supplements are not recommended because of its plant-based estrogen content which can potentially be harmful for hormonal regulation.
#3 Fish Oil
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are fatty acids that our bodies cannot make and therefore must ingest through diet. EFAs are necessary to make cell membranes and for many of the important hormones and other chemical messengers that tell our body what to do.
There are two families of EFAs: omega-3 and omega-6. The typical Western diet of processed foods causes an overconsumption of Omega 6 as compared to Omega 3.
Unless you regularly consume fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel), a concentrated source of animal-sourced omega 3 fats (i.e. fish oil) is needed to re-establish a reasonable cellular ratio of essential fats.
#4 and #5 Vegetable and fruit powder
Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that counteract the damaging, but normal, effects of the physiological process of oxidation in animal tissue.
Oxidative stress occurs when the production of harmful molecules called free radicals is beyond the protective capability of the antioxidant defenses. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals damage cells, proteins, and DNA. The same oxidative process also causes oils to become rancid, peeled apples to turn brown, and iron to rust.
It is impossible for us to avoid damage by free radicals as we age. Supplementing with fruit and vegetable powders provides high levels of antioxidants and contains all the co-nutrients your body needs to be able to absorb and assimilate your vitamins.
One final note: you get what you pay for with supplements. So although it’s tempting to get the bulk bottle at a discounted price, go to a reputable health foods store like Whole Foods Market or Sprouts Market. Less expensive vitamins are more difficult for your body to process. For your convenience, at Zen Fertility Center, we carry all of the above recommended supplements although our multivitamin is a prenatal multivitamin.