Take these every day
Choose a multi meant to be taken twice a day (one-a-day types generally can’t fit in enough of what you need). Buy them in capsule, not tablet, form—they’re easier for your body to break down. Get a natural version, without sugar, lactose, or artificial colors. If you see magnesium oxide (a cheap and less nutritious form of magnesium) on the label, it’s probably not a good-quality vitamin. Quality is a big issue when it comes to all supplements.
Even if you get plenty of sunshine, there’s a good chance you could use more vitamin D (see page 136)— especially in the winter, when the sun is low and we spend less time outside. Deficiencies are associated with cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Make sure your supplement contains D3 (not D2), and check with your doctor on the right dosage for your levels.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
High-quality fish oil is kind of a magic potion, lowering your risk of heart disease and lessening inflammation, which protects you from type 2 diabetes and arthritis. It also helps with depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. Check to make sure the fish oil you buy has been tested for mercury.
Doctors have finally caught on that antibiotics are depleting our bodies of essential bacteria and now recommend taking a probiotic to balance the gut when they prescribe antibiotics. But to maintain the level of good bacteria we really need, we should be taking probiotics every day, not just when we’re on antibiotics. The probiotics you should buy are usually kept in the fridge (not on the shelf) and should contain at least 20 billion viable bacteria per serving. Some people think if they eat a lot of yogurt, they’re getting the probiotics they need. But commercial yogurts are not a good source of probiotics; pasteurization kills most of the good bacteria.
Low Blood Pressure
If you have very low blood pressure, take licorice root extract—150 milligrams twice a day. It’s a natural boost for the adrenal glands, which are related to low blood pressure. (Don’t take it if you have normal or high blood pressure.)
If you’re a vegan or a strict vegetarian, take B12, which comes from organ meat, fish, eggs, and dairy and helps keep your energy up. Also take B12 if you’re over 65 (even if you’re a meat-eater), because the body’s ability to absorb the vitamins in food starts to decline as we age.