Yes, it’s that time of the year when we all make our New Year’s resolutions, and some of us even keep them. The top New Year’s resolution is usually “I’m going to eat healthier!” That’s also the promise that is the most difficult to keep and the easiest to break. So, to help you eat healthier during the New Year add to your health resolutions to take smart nutritional supplements.
SUPPLEMENT-SELECTING MADE FUN AND SIMPLE
Imagine you come into my medical office for a consultation, which may open something like this: “Dr. Bill, I want to eat healthier, but my busy lifestyle doesn’t always allow me to. I’m also overwhelmed by all the advertising and supplement bottles on supermarket shelves. Help me select what you believe are the best nutritional supplements to get the health I want.”
I open with what I call Dr. Bill’s triad:
- Show me the necessity: do I need it?
- Show me the science: what’s the proof?
- Show me the source: where does it come from?
Next, I say to my patient: “Hold up your fist. Do you eat a minimum of two fistfuls of wild salmon every week?” The answer is usually variations of “no.” It could be “I don’t like seafood” or “I’m a vegan.”
“Okay,” I add, “if you don’t eat it but you need it here’s how to take it. The fabulous four top nutrients that you need to eat for the health you want are: omega-3 fats, astaxanthin, vitamin D, and fruit and vegetable concentrates. There is no other food on the planet that contains as much of these four smart nutrients than a fillet of wild salmon. So, let’s take each one of those nutrients and figure out how to get the most of them from the best nutritional supplement.
1. Omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA. These are the smartest fats in the brain and would be my vote for the smartest supplement you can take. More than 22,000 scientific articles have proven that the more of these omega 3s you eat or take the healthier nearly every organ in your body will be. That would be our first supplement suggestion: 1,000 milligrams of DHA/EPA combined per day. For more about various doses of omega 3s for various ages and stages, see my book, The Omega-3 Effect.
2. Astaxanthin – one of Mother Nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Astaxanthin is what makes salmon pink. Think the redder the fish, the more astaxanthin it contains, which is why wild sockeye and king salmon are our top picks. It’s also nature’s powerful antioxidant that keeps the vigorously-exercising salmon so healthy. If you don’t eat at least 2-3 fistfuls of wild salmon per week, then take astaxanthin in capsule form.
Another tip in choosing a supplement is to eat as close to nature as you can. Here’s where astaxanthin shines. I recommend Natural Hawaiian Astaxanthin, which comes from algae grown in lakes in Hawaii. The fish get their astaxanthin by eating the highly concentrated astaxanthin in the sea plant algae, and so should we. For how much Natural Hawaiian Astaxanthin a day to take for the health you want, see my book, Natural Astaxanthin – Hawaii’s Supernutrient. You can also read more about Natural Hawaiian astaxanthin on our website: AskDrSears.com/astaxanthin.
3. “More vitamin D for me.” Add this supplement to your New Year’s must-take list. Wild salmon is one of the richest sources of vitamin D. Besides my two favorite sources of vitamin D, salmon and sunshine, most people need a daily vitamin D supplement. Best is to have your healthcare provider order a blood test for your personal vitamin D level. For better health of every organ in your body, strive for a blood level of 50. (New research shows that the old “normal” level of 30 is insufficient for most persons.) With the guidance of your healthcare provider, you’re likely to need at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
4. Fruit and vegetable concentrates. Now that you know the top three supplements you should take to fill in the gaps from the seafood you don’t eat, next look at your fist again and ask yourself: “Do I eat ten fistfuls of combined fruits and vegetables every day?” Most likely you don’t, so add to the triad of omega 3s, Hawaiian Astaxanthin, and vitamin D a fruit and vegetable concentrate, usually in a powdered form in a capsule. (See AskDrSears.com/safesupplements for the fruit and vegetable concentrates we recommend.)
What the fabulous four supplements – omega 3s, Hawaiian Astaxanthin, vitamin D, and fruit and vegetable concentrates – all have in common is science that supports they help build a healthier immune system. I wish you a happy, healthy, and supersmart nutritional-supplemented New Year!
*Consult your personal health care provider before undertaking any new diet, exercise or health plan. Always seek medical advice if you believe you are sick or are experiencing a medical condition. Dr. Sears serves on Nutrex Hawaii's Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Bill Sears has been practicing medicine for over 40 years. He received his medical degree from St. Louis University and medical training at Harvard University, the University of Toronto and the National Institute of Health. Dr. Sears has been a clinical professor at the University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine and University of Irvine School of Medicine.
Dr. Sears is the author of 45 books including nutrition and wellness titles, including The T5 Wellness Plan, Prime-Time Health, The Family Nutrition Book, The Omega-3 Effect, The Inflammation Solution, The Healthy Pregnancy Book, The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, L.E.A.N. Kids, among others. He has spoken at numerous scientific conferences all over the world and has successfully motivated others to make positive health behavior changes through practical applications of simple and science-based strategies. Dr. Sears has been featured on 20/20, Dateline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, PBS, CNN, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and Oprah.