And I quote: "As a dietitian, one of the questions I get asked most often (other than 'should I go gluten-free') is 'what supplements should I be taking?'"
This question is so popular because the supplement industry is cah-raaaazy. Back in grad school I took an awesome sports nutrition class. I remember an RD from Abbott Nutrition coming in to talk to us about the industry as an insider. I basically learned that because supplements (unlike food) are not at all regulated for safety, effectiveness, or quality, you have to be suuuuper careful both when investigating them for yourself and when recommending them to clients. They're basically innocent until proven guilty.
Now let's get one thing straight---clearly whole foods are the optimal way to get the nutrients you need. They will always reign supreme because the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in food work together uniquely and synergistically to provide us with the perfect little nutrition package. That package can't be replicated in a pill, even if it claims to have a similar nutrition profile. Like that one cookie that claims to have more calcium than milk and more vitamin C than a sweet potato....LOL.
That said, we're all busier than ever. We're traveling. We're eating out. We forget to each lunch (I mean that's never happened to me but I hear it happens). Long story short, sometimes we reach for supplements to give us the little boost that life can't quite give us. And that's ok!
Care/of!! Have you heard of these guys? They're like the personalized supplement fairy that knows exactly what your busy bod needs and drops it on your doorstep in the cutest packaging. No more vitamin bottles hiding in the pantry behind the cumin!
Not everyone has access to a dietitian who can help guide their supplement needs. That's why I love Care/of! They have a team of nutritionists, doctors, and scientists that use a boat load of evidence based research to help you hone in on what you should be taking each day and the strength of research supporting each recommendation. They're a company founded on standards of honesty and quality when it comes to their products and man does it show. I'm a nerd when it comes to research (thank you, graduate thesis) so I loved learning about their elderberry harvested from cooperatives in the valleys of Austria and turmeric made from CO2 and water rather than commercial solvents like acetone.
I remember learning about a study that analyzed brands of ginseng and how only a few of the brands actually contained any ginseng at all! Insane. Luckily there are a couple trusted indicators of quality in this world of mystery for us innocent consumers: the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and National Science Foundation (NSF) certifications. Care/of has both. They're also totally transparent about their supply chain including ingredient sourcing, manufacturing locations, and testing.
HOWZ IT WORK?! First you go online and take a short survey so they can get a feel for your intake, lifestyle habits, and needs. Then they create a personalized list of recommended supplements. Mine only included four, so don't worry about it being a laundry list. You can add or subtract anything as well so you're not locked in based on their suggestions. They're then shipped to your door in a sleeve of 30 individual daily packs you're sure to not forget about. You can cancel or change your order any time in case something in life changes and you need to adjust your routine.
I liked that they essentially recommended what I knew I needed/wanted, including B12, calcium plus (includes vitamins D and K) and probiotics.
Vitamin B12: Found exclusively in animal foods (it's really produced by soil microbes), B12 is especially essential for those on a plant-based diet. It plays a key role in brain and nerve functioning as well as red blood cell production. Deficiencies can cause irreversible neurological damage. One in ten people in the US are deficient!
Calcium Plus: The lovely bone mineral! Calcium isn't something I take daily since I get a good amount from various plant-based foods like tofu, almonds, greens, broccoli, fortified almond milk, and occasionally yogurt, but I like to have it on hand for when my diet isn't top notch.
This complex also includes vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin and the other bone counterpart! While some foods are fortified with small amounts, vitamin D is primarily made when an inactive form is activated in your skin by sunlight. Vitamin D increases calcium and phosphorus absorption for strong bones and also facilitates immune health. Most people are deficient and there's a growing body of research suggesting we need more of it than we think. Increased vitamin D intake is associated with decreased instances of colds, the flu, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of cancer.
Probiotics: Gut health is EVERYTHING. It's no wonder they're now calling it our second brain! An unhealthy gut can lead to hormonal issues, decreased immunity, fatigue, anxiety, and other health issues. There's tons of interesting emerging evidence linking our microflora to the pathogenesis of a slew of conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, the inflammatory response, and even obesity.
Fiber acts as a prebiotic to feed probiotics, those gut-friendly bacteria we're trying to colonize and differentiate. Yet another reason to eat your fruits and veggies! I've also heard recently about research on polyphenols (fruits, veggies, dark chocolate, tea, and coffee <--yay!) helping to differentiate gut bacteria. This is all so fascinating to me!
So let's talk price tag. One of my favorite parts about Care/of is the affordability. I wouldn't ever recommend a product or service to you that wasn't affordable and approachable because that's what I'm all about. It all rings in at around $20 a month or more depending on what you order. Prior to Care/of I was buying Vitamin D, B12, and probiotics on my own so I saved a shiz ton by switching.
More good news! You can cut the cost by 25% by entering the code HUMMUSAPIEN at checkout!! That means a month of personalized supplements for around $15. I hope you adore this company as much as I do!
This post is sponsored by Care/of. Thanks for supporting the brands I love!