It’s easy to eat poorly, especially when you work all day and don’t have time to shop for good food or prepare good food. You end up with a diet of fast food or pizzas—things you can microwave or just pop into the oven.
If you can’t bring yourself to eat food that is good for you, you should think about taking some healthy supplements.
Here are some essential supplements that will help you live healthier no matter what you are putting into your stomach the rest of the day:
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D comes from sunshine and is found in fortified milk and other fortified foods. If you’re too busy to eat well, you’re probably too busy to get the sunshine you need to build up your vitamin D stores. Vitamin D does much more than improve bone health. Vitamin D is good for the rest of your physical and mental health. Take about 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D per day if you live at a high latitude and don’t get out much.
- Vitamin C. If you don’t drink your orange juice, or get vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, take vitamin C as a supplement. Vitamin C has many healthful benefits, not the least of which that it helps prevent colds and flu. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 65-90 milligrams per day, with an upper limit of 2,000 mg per day. You can’t really take in too much vitamin C and some recommend mega-doses in order to fight off the common cold.
- The B vitamins. There are several kinds of B vitamins that can be gotten from foods like poultry, pork, bread, whole grain cereals, eggs, vegetables, and fish. If you won’t get it in the food you’ll eat, you’ll have to get B vitamins in a supplement. The main purpose of B vitamins is to help food be converted into fuel so we can remain energized throughout the daytime.
- Zinc is an important trace mineral you can find in foods like oysters, beans, seafood, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals and dairy products. Zinc is an important cofactor in many enzymatic functions and can help you fight off colds if you take it soon after developing the symptoms. You need zinc to make melatonin to help you sleep and to make an enzyme used to enhance taste and smell. Zinc is good for the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Vitamin K. You need vitamin K to clot your blood and if you don’t have enough, you’ll have problems with blood clotting. It is also good for your skin and speeds up the healing process if you are injured. You can’t take vitamin K if you are on warfarin, which is a popular blood thinner. Good food sources of vitamin K include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy green vegetables.
- Probiotics are healthy bacteria you take as a supplement to keep the bacteria in your gut healthy and to drive out unhealthy bacteria. You can get probiotics in foods like yogurt and fermented foods like kefir, pickles, and sauerkraut. If those foods don’t appeal to you, you can take probiotics as a supplement. Take the probiotics as a spore that can get through the acidity of the stomach before becoming a bacterium or take a probiotic that is enteric-coated so that the probiotic makes it to the gut instead of being killed in the stomach acid.
- You need iron to make hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen to the cells of the body. A lack of iron leads to iron deficiency anemia and you can become tired or short of breath. If you can’t get iron from red meat or spinach, you should take an iron supplement to keep your blood built up.