The Ins and Outs of Vitamins and Supplements

March 31, 2015 by Emily Koegler

The world of vitamins and supplements can be overwhelming. And if we’re being honest here, a bit pricy. If you eat a wide variety of foods then you should be able to get the majority of your vitamins through your diet, but there are still a few that need to be supplemented.

Since I am a vegetarian, mostly vegan, I take a sublingual b-12 every morning because I don’t get this from my diet. I know that I am low on b-12 if my energy is starting to plummet or if I suffer from nightmares a couple of nights in a row (weird, but true). A lot of different foods are beginning to be fortified with this vitamin. My favorite one is nutritional yeast, which can be found online, and at most specialty food stores. I sprinkle this in my soups or on salads.

I also take a vitamin D+K every day because I live in New York and have a desk job and don’t get nearly as much sunshine as I should. If you have a desk job or live in a part of the world where the sun is not shining every day, you probably need to supplement vitamin D. Both of these vitamins added to my daily routine have helped my energy and mood increase substantially.

Probiotics are another thing I try to take every day. I suggest buying the probiotics you need to refrigerate, as this has a higher quality of probiotics. This is great for increasing healthy digestion and also your immune system. If you’d rather get your probiotics through food sources, add more fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt to your diet.

Fish oil is another important supplement if you are feeling moody or have a foggy brain. Omega-3s help fight depression and have been shown to improve healthy brain function. I make sure to take this every once in a while, but don’t feel the need to take it every day. Although I don’t consume land animal products, I do eat the occasional seafood. If you are the same as me, make sure your fish oil capsules are not made from beef gelatin. Foods high in omega-3s are salmon, mackerel, sardines, hemp seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula is another one of my favorites. I take 2 capsules daily to support my immune system, and during a cold I’ll take 6 capsules twice daily. This stuff does wonders, but is hard on the stomach (probably due to the high garlic content). I always make sure to take this with a meal.

Which brings me to a question I’m sure you are all wondering – How do you remember to take all of these vitamins/supplements every day? Well, that really depends on your daily routine.

For me, I keep all of my vitamins at my desk and take them after I eat my breakfast. For the weekends, I have two plastic baggies that I will fill up with my daily doses to take home with me so that I’m not carrying around a bunch of bulky bottles.

Filling up individual plastic bags with your daily doses is another easy way to make sure you remember to take them. You can buy individual pill bags on Amazon. These are easily reusable and make traveling with vitamins no problem. This just takes a little prep before the beginning of the week or the month – however many days you want to plan for.

Another great way is to buy a pill case that has each day of the week already sectioned out. Just like with the individual pill bags, you would have to do a little prep for the upcoming week, but other than that, you just have to remember to take your pills. You can find a wide variety on Amazon as well, but these are also easily found in your local pharmacy.

Finally, you can also set an alarm on your phone to remind you daily. I would shoot for a time that you know you’ll be available to see the alarm. 10:00AM is the perfect time for me, as I am always at my desk and usually eating breakfast at this time.

What vitamins or supplements do you take every day and why? What’s the easiest way for you to remember to take them?