Back when I first started exploring supplements, I had so many questions.
How do I know what supplements are good?
When do I take this?
Should I take that with food?
Which ones should I take together?
Which should I avoid taking together?
And on and on…
I figured that if I had these questions, there had to be others who were also confused. This is why from early on in my days of wanting to be a formulator, I always knew that part of my mission would be to make the process of taking supplements, vitamins and minerals as simple as I could.
That is why I make the content both on my website and social media, surrounding immune supplements, fasting supplements, anxiety supplements and many more.
While it’s best to get the majority of our vitamins and minerals from eating a well-balanced whole food diet, supplements can provide us the extra that we are not able to get from our diets due to pesticides, EMFs, PFAS, changes in our soils, the transit of our food from one place to another and more. Supplements literally supplement our diet.
But because of bioindividuality, not everyone needs the same vitamins and minerals. Of course, once you figure out what supplements are the ones that are right for you, you need to figure out how you need to take them as each has some specifics to consider.
Here’s a list of recommended vitamins and minerals you should consider taking. REMEMBER, not everyone needs to supplement with all of these. Each person will need different supplements based on their diet and other environmental factors that affect their life, health and body.1
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all supplements that should be taken with some form of fat such as avocado or nuts for optimal absorption.
(there are eight different B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12)2
Vitamins B and C are considered water-soluble vitamins. Water dissolves them, and your body doesn’t store them, so most must be taken daily. You can take these vitamins with or without food but keep in mind that for vitamin B12, you will absorb that one better with a meal. If you also use vitamin C, put 2 hours between them. Vitamin C can keep your body from using B12.3
You absorb iron best on an empty stomach but it has been known to make some people nauseous so if that happens for you, then take it just after you’ve eaten. Iron and vitamin C work well together so you can consider taking them at the same time. You should avoid taking it with magnesium, a multivitamin, calcium, milk or caffeine.4
Zinc supplements are most effective if they are taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. As with iron, sometimes it can cause an upset stomach so if that’s the case then it can be taken with a meal.5
There are a few things to keep in mind if you are taking any mineral supplements. If you’re taking large doses of minerals, these can compete with each other to be absorbed. Avoid using calcium, zinc, or magnesium supplements at the same time. Also, these three minerals are easier on your stomach when you take them with food, so having them at different meals can also help.3
If you’re taking magnesium, it’s also best not to take with bisphosphonates, antibiotics, diuretics, acid reflux drugs, and peptic ulcer drugs.
There are other things to take into consideration such as any medications you may be on so it is always recommended to speak with your physician before starting a new supplement, especially if you take any other medications.
Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or USDA so you do need to do some research to make sure you are getting quality supplements. You can check my blog, 9 Tips to Help You Choose a Quality Supplement for tips on choosing a good supplement.
1. schneik4. “9 Vitamins and Minerals You Should Take Daily.” – Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, 29 June 2022, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/which-vitamins-should-you-take/amp/.
2. “B Vitamins.” The Nutrition Source, 11 Aug. 2020, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamins/vitamin-b/.
3. “Best Ways to Take Different Vitamins.” WebMD, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/ss/slideshow-best-ways-to-take-different-vitamins.
4. “Iron Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Proper Use.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Sept. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/iron-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/proper-use/drg-20070148#:~:text=Iron%20is%20best%20absorbed%20when,food%20or%20immediately%20after%20meals.
5. “Zinc Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Proper Use.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 July 2022, http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/zinc-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/proper-use/drg-20070269#:~:text=Zinc%20supplements%20are%20most%20effective,your%20zinc%20supplement%20with%20meals.