Hi!

My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

VITAMINS: SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM?

VITAMINS: SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM?

Warning: Adult language

Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.

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photo credit: pixabay.com

photo credit: pixabay.com

Here's the dealio.

There are literally hundreds of vitamins, minerals, and supplements to choose from out there. This is a very individual decision and everyone has their own issues and ailments.

I've gotten a lot of requests about what vitamins and supplements I take. This article in no way shape or form is to get you to take everything I take, we are all different and have our own individual needs. I just wanted to answer all the peeps who keep asking me and to explain not only what I take, but the benefits I get from taking them. However, taking vitamins and supplements is a personal choice. 

Note:

Please talk to your doctor before taking new vitamins or supplements.

{This article contains affiliate links. See bottom of page for details.}

Multivitamins:

A great place to start for everyone is a multivitamin. If I could only take one thing, it would be a multivitamin.

There have been countless studies, theories, and personal opinions on whether multivitamins are actually needed. Depending where you look, you're gonna find several different views. Most of the medical community as well as other health experts recommend taking a multivitamin daily. But there are still some views out there that find it unnecessary. Most of the views stating that multis are not needed are arguing that a healthy diet can supply you with all the required vitamins and minerals. I personally don't think it's possible to get every single vitamin and mineral in with nutrition alone. Do you have any idea how long the list is of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc? 

Believe me, my eating is spot on, I take extra care of what goes into my body, and I make every calorie count and there is still NO way I can get everything in. Not a chance. I'd have to line up a smorgasbord a mile long and eat my way to combustion to get it all in. No thanks, I'll take a multivitamin and forget about it.

Taking a multivitamin cannot make up for a poor diet.

So if your diet mainly consists of processed foods and greasy foods, no multi in the world is gonna get you out of that mess. Multivitamins are meant to accompany healthy eating so that most of your vitamins and minerals are indeed coming from the fresh foods that you eat. The multi serves as a back up and fills in any gaps. So taking a multi doesn't mean that all day you can sit on your ass in front of your TV and all night you can scarf down chicken wings and pound brewskies. It doesn't work that way. I know... what a downer.

One common agreement among most experts, no matter which side of the vitamin theory they fall on, is that it can't hurt you to take a multi-vitamin. The worst that will happen is you'll piss out all of the extra stuff. So, no biggie there. Your body will dispose of any extra vitamins through your urine.

Note:

An important point to mention here is that you should always take your multi with food. There are many nutrients that need fat to help with absorption.

There are a plethora of choices out there. I personally recommend a multi that is vegetarian. Many of the one-a-day vitamins out there are man-made. The vitamins are synthetic and do not come from a natural source. With a vegetarian multivitamin, each and every vitamin and mineral are taken straight from a natural plant or vegetable source.

Personally, I cannot stomach the synthetic vitamins. Literally. Even when I take them with food, I still become nauseous and vomit. Nice huh? Well, my body doesn't want fake synthetics. It doesn't recognize them and puts up a fuss when I try to give them to it. I have no problem whatsoever with the vegetarian vitamins. There are many out there.

I take GNC's Ultra Mega Vegetarian Multivitamin. This bottle is a 6 month supply.

If you don't want to take a bunch of pills everyday, believe me, I totally get it and I don't blame you at all. But if you're going take one and only one, make it a multivitamin.

It will pick up the slack for what you're not eating and will guarantee that you're getting all the essentials that your body needs to run with all cylinders firing all day long.

“To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong.”
— Hulk Hogan

Fish Oil (Omega 3):

Many people don't give much thought to anything other than a multivitamin. And honestly, I didn't either...until a few years ago. But Omega 3 Fish Oil is definitely worth a mention here. It is very difficult to get in the necessary omega 3's through diet, especially in this country. 

We do not use foods like fish and shellfish as a staple like many other cultures. Unfortunately, we are a Big Mac and fries type of people.

The benefits that omega 3 offers are extensive and should not be ignored. First and foremost, omega 3 takes heart health to a whole new level. The American Heart Association (AHA) confirms that fish oil reduces the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It also lowers triglycerides, corrects abnormal heart beats, and prevents and treats atherosclerosis (which leads to clogged arteries).

Another biggie is that omega 3 reduces any type of inflammation, including joint tenderness and joint pain. People with arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis can benefit greatly from taking fish oil daily. Studies have shown fish oil also alleviates depression, including postpartum depression. Fish oil also promotes eye health and lowers the risks of prostrate, breast, and colon cancers. Healthy hair and healthy skin are yet some other perks. Moreover, fish oil promotes an optimal fat metabolism and improves brain function. And let me tell ya, the brain function thing is definitely an added bonus. Between my mommy brain and my bouts of insomnia, I can use all the help I can get in the brain department. I swear some days my four year old could outwit me, for reals. Fish oil is something you should consider, especially if you are past your twenties. 

Note:

One thing I need to mention though is that most fish oils come from some type of shellfish, so if you have a shellfish allergy, you need to make certain that you are taking an omega 3 that comes from a non-shellfish source.

Probiotics:

Many people overlook this supplement and do not even let it enter into their radar but let me tell you, this one is a goodie. This is something that will be beneficial to anyone, including children! 

 And if you are a female, forget about it, this is a MUST! Chicas, this should be a daily supplement for you! Probiotics will keep your lady parts happy and healthy!

There are countless brands and cell counts out there to pick from. I have tried quite a few and my favorite is Probium Probiotics Multi Blend.

Probiotics are what your doctor will recommend you to take if you are on antibiotics. The reason for this is that when you are on antibiotics, it strips your body of the 'good' bacteria as well as the 'bad' bacteria and this causes an imbalance. This imbalance is not healthy for anyone but women especially. Probiotics replenish the 'good' bacteria. When there is a shortage of good bacteria, things can go wrong. This is why antibiotics so often result in yeast infections for women. The 'good' bacteria keeps everything in check and without it, well, things get all crazy...and itchy. Ew.

It's good for children to take probiotics daily just as adults, but especially when they are taking antibiotics! Probiotics will keep them balanced and will prevent any diarrhea which is a huge side effect from antibiotics. Talk to your child's pediatrician on what probiotic they recommend for your child. My little girls take banana chewables by American Health. I give my kids probiotics every morning after breakfast. They have no problem taking the chewables and they are actually quite tasty!

But truth be told, being on antibiotics is not the only time you should take probiotics. Probiotics not only keep a woman's 'area' in check but they help everyone maintain healthy digestive systems and fully functional colons. Furthermore, this supplement will help tremendously with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Probiotics should be taken daily for maximum benefits.

Probiotics are very affordable and can be found just about anywhere. A general rule is the higher the bacterial count, the better. But any count is better than nothing. Probiotics are finally starting to get some attention and are promoted more now than they have ever been. In fact, some vitamin companies are now including probiotics in their multivitamins.

Kelp:

Here's a supplement most people are unaware of but for certain people, it can be very helpful. Kelp is a 'sea vegetable' and has been used by some cultures for centuries. The reason I stumbled upon this supplement is because of my thyroid. I had my thyroid tested during the four beginning months of my weight loss journey. I was not dropping weight despite all my efforts and my doctor suspected my thyroid at first. It turns out I was insulin resistant and that was the real culprit but in the meantime I did find out my thyroid wasn't functioning optimally. Now, I need to point out here that my thyroid did test within the normal range. I do NOT have a thyroid problem. However, my thyroid did test on the very bottom of the 'normal' range and it was apparent that even though I did not have a bona fide thyroid issue, it wasn't working like it should have been. So I was told about kelp and did some research on it.

Turns out kelp does more than help with thyroid function...a lot more. The reason kelp helps with thyroid function is that it's loaded with iodine. Iodine does wonders for the thyroid and most people have some level of an iodine deficiency.

Iodine deficiencies can slow your metabolism by as much as 50%! This can result in substantial weight gain and obesity as well as other health problems. Taking kelp will increase your metabolism and energy levels. It also boosts immunity and brain function (again, I need all the help I can get). Kelp also prevents osteoporosis, impotence, and anemia.

The benefits of kelp are impressive and grossly under-reported. Do a little research for yourself and find a brand that's right for you. Your health could greatly be impacted by taking kelp. I'm sure most brands are comparable to each other; however, I use the brand Swanson Kelp.

Important Note:

If you do indeed have a thyroid problem and especially if you take thyroid medication, please talk with your doctor before taking kelp or any other supplement. You want to make sure there are no drug interactions!

Glucosamine:

Glucosamine helps in reducing joint inflammation and pain. Glucosamine rebuilds damaged cartilage and connective tissue and speeds up muscle recovery.

It is for this reason that many people who weight train take glucosamine daily. In addition, anyone who suffers from any type of arthritis or joint pain can benefit greatly from glucosamine. If weight training is not an integral part of your fitness regimen, glucosamine would not be necessary. But if you are serious about building lean muscle mass and make weight training a priority, it's definitely something to look into. There are a ton of options out there. Do some research and google top recommended brands and pick what fits your needs best. I personally prefer the NOW Foods brand for my Glucosamine.

B-12:

In addition to my multi-vitamin, I take an extra B-12 daily. B-12 is the only vitamin that contains the essential mineral cobalt.  

B-12 is not found in fruits or vegetables. It is found mostly in meats, fish, and dairy products. If you are a vegetarian, taking B-12 is a must. Check the amount of B-12 in your multi, some multi-vitamins have less B-12 than others.

I don't think there is a huge difference in this stuff. Do your homework, talk to your doctor, and figure out what you should be taking. This is the B-12 that I take.

My intention is NOT to get you to take all the vitamins and supplements that I do. Every person has their own individual needs and requirements. 

However, I DO suggest that every one take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about it. Taking a multi is just an added assurance that your body is getting everything it needs. And not only is it healthful and smart to make sure you are getting all the essential nutrients, but it will also help your body lose weight. 

When we want our bodies to lose weight and build muscle, we are asking a lot of it. It's no easy task for our body to engage in all of the necessary functions that allow weight loss and muscle building to occur. Providing your body with all the nutrients and energy it needs, lets it perform optimally and consistently. 

As for the other supplements I touched upon, I simply wanted to make you aware of the benefits that they offer. As to whether you should take them, that is up to you and your doctor. I by no means want to give the impression I know what supplements you should be taking, I only know what works for me. But if I can get great results and benefits from something, maybe somebody else out there can too. I get a lot of questions about vitamins, which prompted this blog article. If you are unsure what you should be taking, I encourage you to do some research.

We simply can't get all of the important vitamins and minerals we need by eating healthy. In fact, most of us get into eating patterns (even if they are healthy ones). I know I do. For instance, currently I am on a greek yogurt kick as well a turkey-swiss melt kick. It seems for almost every meal I'm eating greek yogurt and a turkey (low-sodium) and swiss (reduced-fat) melt on Ezekiel Bread. Last month I was on a serious egg kick. Some days I was having eggs for all three meals. I honestly thought I was going to start friggin' clucking. 

When we get in grooves where we are eating the same things, a multivitamin can really help out. It'll pick up the slack and make sure we are getting what we need. There's no reason to be lacking in something if you don't have to be.

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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Please Note: The affiliate links provided in this article are for products that I purchased and use regularly. I did not receive these products free nor was I asked to do a product review.

 *Affiliate Disclaimer: Half of Gabby has recently become an Amazon Affiliate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all affiliates to put a disclaimer on their website/blog. Most disclaimers are so filled with confusing lingo that you don’t even understand what they're saying. I’m going to break it down for you the way I'd want it to be broken down for me. I’m not a fan of complicated and unclear regulation jargon. So here’s the dealio. Half of Gabby takes up a tremendous amount of my time. But because I love it so much, I really want to continue dedicating my time to it. For six years now, I have been providing product links to products that I use and love and in turn recommend them to my readers. These products have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or improve my family life. I have helped sell countless products for six years and have never received any commissions… Until now. As of September 15, 2016, I will be providing links just as I've always done, but now will receive a very small commission if you purchase an item through the affiliate link that I provide. An affiliate link is simply a link that brings you to a place where you can buy that product. I will not earn a commission by you simply clicking on the link, you must actually purchase the item(s) within 24 hours of putting it in your Amazon cart. Prices are exactly the same for you if you purchase through an affiliate link on Half of Gabby. You will NOT pay more by clicking through the link. My promise to you is that I will never recommend a product that I don’t fully 100% believe in and/or use myself and recommend to close friends and family. This will allow me to continue working hard on Half of Gabby without it using up time that I need to otherwise dedicate to contributing to my household. I'm happy to be able to continue my blog and to continue talking with, meeting, and helping people all over the world with their health journeys!

 

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