I completely believe that you do not need supplements to be healthy, however I do believe that supplements can enhance your day to day and improve how you feel. And I feel like with #CleanEating etc having its moment in the fitness industry, it's hard to get your head around what you need and what suits you. But I feel like by this point in my life, two years down the line from when I first discovered healthy eating, where I've discovered what works for me. Please bear in mind that supplements aren't all an entirely general one fits all. It's important to identify your own needs and go from there.
Chia Seeds aren't part of an everyday diet in that they aren't a compound found in typical foods which in my eyes, makes them a supplement. They're a great source of Omega-3 and are high in fibre, calcium and iron. I love switching up my breakfasts and I'm a huge fan of hot chia pudding for breakfast. They're incredibly filling and are a low-carb option for starting the day. (Carbs aren't bad - I just prefer a high fat or high protein breakfast option). They're probably one of the easiest things to incorporate into your diet as they're flavourless and simply add a crunch - toss them in a smoothie or mix in with porridge - I like them sprinkled over yoghurt. Chia Seeds are readily available at most supermarkets and I really don't think that brand matters.
Compared with chia seeds, maca powder doesn't seem to be overtly popular but I love it. It has a slight caramel flavour and is meant to help hormonal imbalances and natural energy levels. I incorporate it into my diet by adding a tablespoon into my smoothies or in porridge. I use it to help with hormones so I do try and make sure I have it once a day. I can't say I've noticed a massive difference but I'm not sure I would be able to tell the difference if it did. I really like Nutriseed's Maca Powder but I've also bought it at Aldi of all places!
Natural Protein Powders.
Protein shakes and protein powder are a dime a dozen but half the time, they're so bulked out with crap that they do more harm than good. With a lot of cheaper options, there is so much bad sugar and rubbish in the shakes that the benefits are removed. So I've put away overly sweet options and have been enjoying unflavoured natural vegan proteins like Pulsin's Pea Protein. There are so many vegan and dairy free proteins on the market but they're often a mix of soy, pea and rice protein. Because I'm sensitive about hormonal imbalance, I try to avoid soy if I can and find pea protein to have a smooth texture which is ideal in smoothies. Because it's unflavoured, it adds a subtle nutty flavour so I tend to add it in smoothies that have spinach or kale in as they already add an earthy flavour.
I've been taking daily Zinc tablets for the past year or so and I really believe they've helped improve my skin and hair. I definitely get less spots and the texture of my skin has noticeably improved. Zinc is a great anti-inflammatory supplement so can also help if you're working out and prevent any damage from that. Again, I'm not fussy about a brand but am currently using Holland & Barrett's own brand version.
Cod Liver Oil.
Cod Liver Oil is another supplement that I incorporate into my diet. It's rich in Vitamin D and vitamin A as well as being another great anti-inflammatory agent. It's also meant to be beneficial for bone health and brain performance. And because I don't eat much fish, having this really helps substitute the benefits. My version is the Aldi own brand.
My dad is probably one of the biggest advocates for multi-vitamins and I genuinely can't remember a time in my life where he hasn't had one with his morning coffee. I don't think my diet is as healthy as it could be so these act as a reassurance that I'm not deficient in anything. I have two versions on the go, Boots own brand with added iron and Centrum Advance. As I work long days, tired-related sickness is always a potential so if I can avoid this by making sure that I'm not low in anything, then you bet I'll do it.
Now, I'm completely aware that this isn't every supplement on the market but these are what I consistently incorporate into my diet and seem to work for me. I don't have time for finicky things as I'm out of the house between 6am-6pm, I need things that are easy.
Are you a fan of supplements? Let me know if you try any of these things?
*Please note that I am not a nutritionist or qualified to talk about nutrition. These are simply personal opinions and what has worked for me and my lifestyle.*