53 supplements these top nutritionists take themselves

Have you ever wondered what vitamins and supplements food experts use themselves? We’ve asked them for you 

Unless you can afford your own personal health advisor, deciding which supplements to take can feel like a guessing game. That’s why Healthista have started asking some of our favourite health experts what they swear by and why in supplement terms. This week it’s nutritionists. Last week, we asked top personal trainers.

Rick Hay – Nutritional Director at Healthista.com

Rick-Hay-supplements-food-experts-take-themselves

What supplements do you take and why?

I take quite a few supplements for different reasons. I take a multivitamin/mineral to make sure I am getting all of the nutrients that a busy London lifestyle requires. I also make sure I am getting all of the minerals that may no longer be in soils in optimum amounts due to our modern agricultural practices. Try Natures Aid – Multi Vitamins & Minerals, £7.99

I also take some Algae Oil to help with cognition and to help fight inflammation. I am a vegetarian otherwise I would take Fish Oil to do the same thing. Try Natures Own – Fish Oil, £14 and Blue Green Algae – Upper Klamath Algae, £15.95

I take superfoods of all colours. I love Healthista’s Glow Food to give me all of the immune and skin boosters as it’s packed with potent antioxidants from berries. I take Synergy Natural Super Greens as they are organic and help with natural cleansing. I also take Dr Dunner’s Phytovitality range of herbs and vitamins for nervous system support and for immune support too.

Magnesium helps with stress and I take Co Enzyme Q10 for energy as well as resveratrol to help slow down the ageing process – I hope!  Try Solaray –  Resveratrol Plus and Nuzest Good Green Stuff

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

Yes I also take probiotics, vegetable digestive enzymes and vitamin C for immunity, every day. My multi vitamin helps with gut health, skin, cold and flu and metabolism. Try Biocare – BioAcidophilus Powder, £26.60

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

It’s all about the formulation for me and the co factors used too. For example in nature vitamin C comes with bioflavonoids so I look for supplements that have the two together. I also like companies who are into research too. As a formulator myself I can see when cheaper ingredients have been used. I like the Fushi brand for this reason.Try Lifeplan – Vitamin C And Zinc, £7.69

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

I do I use it in a few ways. I use it in a fruit and veg smoothie in the morning weekdays for breakfast to help with nutrient density and weight management and I use it as a healthy snack option and after the gym or after exercise to help with lean muscle mass and toning. I love Healthista’s Lean Vegan Vanilla as it has co-factors for recovery, energy, visceral fat reduction and gut health etc. If I run out I will use Sunwarrior as it is vegan too. I take it once or twice a day.

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

I think a women’s multi is essential to help with mood and energy. Wholefoods Multi by Real Health is a good one as is the Nutri Advanced Women’s Formula – take as directed usually one to two a day.

I also recommend fish or algal oil to help with skin health and cognition and I like a Supergreen or Superred product like Synergy Naturals Organic Spirulina or Chlorella and/ or of course, Glow Food to boost antioxidant intake and immune function and to decrease inflammation. One teaspoon a day.

Do you have a top eating secret and why?

Sure, I have a snack buster that I use. If I feel like I am going to grab biscuits or cake I try to have an apple with a handful of almonds. This combo of the protein from the almonds and the pectin from the apple works wonderfully to stop cravings and balance blood sugar.

I try to have fruit and veg combo smoothies with a serve of Healthista’s Lean Energy Vegan Protein for breakfast most days. It keeps me full and provides nutrient density which means more energy.

Also I try to have plant based protein soups with veggies and spices as often as I can. Soups are great for weight management and are rich in fibre to aid digestion and help balance blood sugar levels.

Rob Hobson – Registered Nutritionist and Author 

rob-hobson-supplements-food-experts-take-themselves

What supplements do you take and why?

I believe supplements have a useful role to play in terms of optimum nutrition.  The idea that you can get everything you need by eating a balanced diet is great but naively ignores the fact that most of us don’t.

I take a vitamin D3 supplement between September and April. I had my levels tested last year in September using a company that send you the test by post and you send it back to them and I was low in vitamin D. I have a good diet given my job, but you cannot get enough vitamin D from your diet and have to rely on the sun. The sun is not strong enough during the winter to provide enough vitamin D.

I also take a probiotic. The health of your gut is bedrock to good health as this is where food and nutrients are assimilated and waste is removed. Gut bacteria are key to this and I think that the wider aspects of gut bacteria on health are fascinating.

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

I take probiotics with the intention of maintaining a healthy gut. I take vitamin D because my levels have been shown to be low during the winter months and to insure I am getting enough. I am aware of the research that shows this nutrient may have a protective effect against upper respiratory tract infections such as colds.

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

First of all, get the right advice to figure out whether you need to take a supplement. Supplements are not a wonder cure, replacement or quick fix solution to an unhealthy diet. Their effectiveness is even greater when you confront wider lifestyle issues around your health (smoking, exercise, sleep, mental health).

Asking questions such as these can help you to choose a supplement: Do you eat at least five a day? If not, maybe consider a multivitamin and mineral. Do you eat at least one serving of oily fish every week? If not, maybe consider an omega 3 supplement. Have you recently taken antibiotics or have a gastrointestinal bug that caused sickness and diarrhea? Maybe consider a probiotics.

In terms of how to choose – don’t be seduced by pretty packaging, celebrity endorsement or a hefty price tag as the real value lies in the detail. Opt for a supplement brand that can prove the quality of their supplements and provenance of ingredients.  Supplements get a bad rap in the media but they are in fact very highly regulated by both health claims and also Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines.  Choosing a brand that clearly says they are GMP approved insures that what you are taking has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that appears on the label. Supplement brands such as Healthspan UK (for which I am an ambassador) are well respected for their adherence to these and other industry wide guidelines around quality and assurance.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

Most of us get enough protein in our diet. Saying that, I think there is a place for protein powders. I train a lot and use protein shakes as a way of maintaining my weight, as an additional meal across the day because this is easier than eating another solid meal alongside the other three meals I eat. I boost my shakes with other ingredients such as avocados and berries. They make a great ‘on the go’ breakfast option if you struggle to eat in the morning or are in a rush.

To be honest, I get sent a lot of powders from different brands and I’m not fussy about which ones I use. I prefer the whey varieties as I find the vegan ones to be a little bit gritty and I have no digestive issues with the whey (some people find these to be bloating and gassy). I have used Healthista lean whey diet protein powder, Healthspan whey protein powder and also PHD Diet Whey protein powder and all have been great.

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

Food should come first and supplements are there to support optimum nutrition whilst you get your diet back on track. In some cases supplements may have an additional benefit such as PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Magnesium – This supplement is often associated with women’s health. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey has shown that 50% of teenage girls and 11% of adult women do not get enough magnesium in their diet. Stress may also deplete the body of magnesium. This mineral is associated with many chemical reactions in the body and is required for muscle relaxation and energy metabolism (converting food into energy). Supplements have been shown to help reduce irritability, depression, anxiety, bloating and tiredness and may help to reduce painful periods associated with PMS but only shown to be effective if you are lacking in this mineral. Magnesium may also help with sleep and constipation. Take a daily supplement (270mg) for three months to see if this helps.

Rob Hobson is author of The Detox Kitchen Bible and Cheats & Eats

Eve Kalinik – Nutritional Therapist 

eve Kalnik

What supplements do you take and why?

I take Symprove, a liquid probiotic, religiously every morning to keep my gut health on tip top form. During the winter months I also take Wild Nutrition Food-Grown Vitamin D as we tend to be ‘lacking’ in the sunshine department here in the UK.

Those are my constant supplements but depending on where my body is at I may dip in and out of taking magnesium. I like Viridian High Potency, or a B complex like Thorne Research if I feel like my body needs a boost.

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

Yes I take Symprove probiotic for gut health. I have just started trying a new prebiotic supplement called Bimuno that is designed to feed the microbe and support gut health. I’ve also recently been taking collagen powder from Ancient & Brave as part of trying intermittent fasting, I do feel as though my energy and concentration has improved.

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

Research is a big one, particularly where probiotics are concerned so make sure the company/brand has credibility there. Ensure that there aren’t too many bulking and filling agents that can sometimes be in the cheaper supplements otherwise you are just getting less bang for your buck. Quality over quantity one might say. Also try to avoid overdoing it where supplementation is concerned. Too much of a good thing…well isn’t. Try to get your nutrients through your diet first and foremost.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

No I don’t generally use protein powder, but if I do need some, or perhaps want to suggest some for a client, I rather like The Organic Whey Co or SunWarrior if they are vegan. I try to get enough through my diet and encourage clients to do the same but sometimes these can be great to add as a boost to a smoothie or similar.

Do you have a top eating secret and why?

Actually not really. I think nutrition is actually rather simple when it comes down to it and without following too many rules and regulations. Variety and diversity in the diet is the way I approach my eating. I don’t think that counts as a secret!

Sarah Flower – Nutritionist and Author

sarah flower headshot healthista

 What supplements do you take and why?

I take a range of supplements, sometimes this changes depending on my health or time of year, but as a rule, these are my absolute daily additions:

Krill Oil – I use Nutrigold’s Krill oil as I know it is a pure version and I prefer this to standard fish oil. I take two a day.Try Natures Own – Krill Oil, £30.20

I think we should all opt for a more anti-inflammatory diet. My diet is low carb, grain free, sugar free, Mediterranean style, so lots of oily fish, vegetables and salads, along with organic dairy and meat. I also take Curcumin Megasorb by Nutri-advance as a general anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. I take three a day.

Vitamin D3 I take every day. I either use Nutrigold or Nutri-advanced. It is an absolute must. Vitamin D has been seen to help with mental health problems, heart health, bone and joint health, multiple sclerosis and even cancer. It has been shown to increase movement in joints and decrease pain, especially in those suffering from arthritis. It plays a vital role in cholesterol, boosts our immune system, helps lower blood pressure and can even help with asthma. I take one Vitamin D3 1000iu a day. Try Bioglan – Adult Vita Gummies Vitamin D3, £9.99 and Lifeplan – Vitamin D3, £9.99

Supamag Plus by Nutrigold is a magnesium-rich formula, delivering a range of vitamins, minerals and plant extracts, including B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iodine, manganese and more.  I take two-three, three times a day.

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

Bio Kult probiotic is useful, especially for when I’m feeling run down or experiencing any gut problems. I also eat a prebiotic rich diet, with sauerkraut, kefir, onions, artichokes and leeks.

I also take collagen powder every day, adding this to my coffee – I love it. Collagen powder helps keep my skin, hair and nails in good condition, it helps my joints, repairs connective tissue and regulates metabolism. It is also a good tool for weight loss. Try KIKI – MSM Powder, £9.95

If I want to stimulate my metabolism a little more, I will switch my normal coffee to Skinny Blend Coffee and add my collagen powder to this. Skinny Blend Coffee contains added spirulina, green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, ginseng and garcinia cambogia to help reduce bloating, speed up metabolism and reduce appetite. Try Biocare – Garcinia Cambogia Plus and Bioglan – Superfoods Spirulina

Ensuring my gut health is tip top keeps my immune system at its best. I rarely get colds, but if I do, I would just increase my intake of vitamin C and zinc. I also use New Era J for general cold symptoms. These melt in the mouth and really do help speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation without suppressing it. Try Lifeplan – Vitamin C And Zinc, £3.99

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

I would not recommend most high-street brands as they often have poor ingredients your body cannot utilise. A 99p supplement is not really going to do all that much for you! The companies I always use for myself and my clients are Nutri-Advanced, Nutrigold, Lambert’s and Biocare. Look at the ingredients, especially try and avoid fillers. I prefer to have my minerals in citrate form.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

I don’t use protein powder. I prefer to get my protein from food sources.

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

Magnesium is an absolute must. I recommend magnesium citrate supplementation taken two or three times a day after food, as this is in the most bioavailable form. As a rough guide, you would need around 6mg per kg of body weight, though much depends on your overall health. You may also find some benefit from taking an Epsom salt bath to help ease muscles and absorb magnesium through the skin, it is also useful to ease insomnia. Try: Biocare – BioMagnesium, £17.60

Magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining the electrical charge of cells, especially for the heart, blood vessel muscles and bowel muscle. It can also help ease constipation. Magnesium also helps regulate our blood sugar, maintain our bones and teeth, boost our immune system and can protect us from allergies. Often a go to supplement to help relax the muscles, magnesium can also help ease insomnia and anxiety. Try Biocare – Adult Multivitamins & Minerals, £11.95

May Simpkin – Nutritional Therapist 

may-simpkin-supplements-food-experts-take-themselves

 What supplements do you take and why?

I generally eat a varied and balanced diet, so I don’t need to take any additional supplements on a regular basis. However, as I get older, I now take a daily vitamin C supplement to help with collagen production for skin health and I also feel it helps to boost my immune health and ward off nasty colds.

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

I’m a huge fan of vitamin C! Otherwise, my diet provides me with good fibre and nutrients for good gut health, which is fundamental to my general and overall health and energy levels.

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

It is important to choose a brand that offers a good therapeutic dose of the the nutrient you are looking to supplement. Check also that it is in a bio-available form that the body recognises and can use immediately. Generally, more expensive brands offer this whilst cheaper brands may have also contain unnecessary fillers.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

I don’t – I like to include good quality protein in my food choices at each meal.

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

Vitamin C! It’s a great antioxidant to combat effects of stress, good for skin health, collagen production and boosts your immune system. 1000mcg tablet daily.  Try Biocare – Vitamin C 1000mg, £15.95

Do you have a top eating secret and why?

My top eating secret is always start with the vegetables you will base your meal around. I then build the meal up from there, adding protein and carbohydrates in that order. That way you’re ensuring key nutrients and you’re well on your way to securing your seven-a-day (or ten-a-day in my case!)

Charlotte Watts – Nutritional Therapist and Yoga Teacher

charlotte watts

What supplements do you take and why?

Lamberts Multiguard  – I have two with my breakfast. It’s a multivitamin and mineral with extra magnesium for nervous system calming and stress-coping.

Higher Nature Omega 3 Fish Oil – again, two with breakfast. This provides anti-inflammatory support as I tend to have atopic (inflammatory) issues such as acne and IBS; it’s also useful for mental function in the face of stress.

Higher Nature Rhodiola – I’ll have one with breakfast for stress-coping and cognitive function.

Pharma Nord MSM with silica – I’ll have one with breakfast , the sulphur compound is good for your skin and provides detoxification support.

Biocare P-5-P Complex – I will have one with dinner. It’s active B6 with magnesium and zinc, for sleep, female hormones and mood support.

Lamberts L-Glutathione – I take two with dinner. The combination of amino acids helps to support liver function, gut healing and immunity.

Higher Nature Milk Thistle High Strength -Take one with dinner. Liver support for skin, digestive and mental health.

Better You D-Lux 3000 Spray – I will have three sprays a day, except in high summer. The vitamin D3 spray is great when there is very little to no sunshine, especially over this winter!

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

I use companies I trust such as Biocare, Nutri-advanced, Lamberts, Viridian and Higher Nature, but then be sure to check formulations. I prefer to have a basic, good quality multi and add in factors I need, rather than lots of complicated formulations.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

No, I eat plenty of good quality protein and don’t tend to make anything like shakes where I would add them…

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

It’s difficult to state a ‘one size fits all’, but a liver support such as Higher Nature Milk Thistle High Strength supports female hormone balance and coping with life’s challenges via digestion and mental health.  It also supports detoxification pathways.

Also magnesium – 300-500mg a day, which can be with active B6 as I take about in the Biocare P-5-P for female hormones or in a single supplement such as Nutri-Advanced Magnesium Glycinate. This is a really commonly low mineral that is crucial for our self-soothing mechanisms. When depleted it can show up as conditions such as anxiety, poor stress-coping, IBS, insomnia, headaches and mood issues. Try Biocare – BioMagnesium, £17.60

Charlotte Watts is author of The De-Stress Effect (Hay House 2015)

Melissa Pierson – Nutritional Therapist

Melissa Pierson Nutritional therapist roots and shoots nutrition]

What supplements do you take and why?

I make sure I take a good probiotic to support gut health and feed the good bacteria in our guts. This helps with a whole host of things as well as improving our digestion and gut motility. It can strengthen our gut, which holds 70% of our immune system and ensure optimum absorption of all the micronutrients we need through the food we consume. I use OptiBac, they are widely available, a good price and have a large enough number of cultures.

I use the multivitamin Terranova full spectrum. This ensures we are taking in all the essential vitamins and minerals in times when we may not be getting some through the food we consume, which can usually be through a lack of variety in our diet. Try Biocare – Adult Multivitamins & Minerals, £11.95

Vitamin D spray – Winter can seem like a long time in the UK. Its important to ensure that our Vitamin D status stays at an optimum level throughout this time. Vitamin D is essential for our immune function, bone function and to ensure we are absorbing calcium through foods. Please check your levels before supplementing however as too much can also have a negative effect on the body. Try Good Health Naturally – Vitamin D3 and K2 Spray, £19.95

Do you take any supplements for specific health reasons?

Yes absolutely for gut health. As a nutritionist we are taught ‘everything starts with the gut’. Your gut health has so many knock on effects to other areas of our body. With all my clients I try to ensure gut integrity is optimal and fully support this through my protocols. Try Bioglan – Gastrohealth, £19.99

What tips do you have for spotting and choosing a quality supplement

Poorly made supplements have fillers and excipients which bulk it up and help bind the ingredients together, this may help the manufacturing process but doesn’t help the human body! The most common being magnesium stearate, carageenan, stearic acid, gelatin and silicon dioxide. You should always check the ingredients of the supplements you are buying and opt for ones that have the least amount of fillers & binders. Terranova for example is a very clean brand without any binders, fillers or excipients.

Do you use protein powder? Which one and why?

This can be quite a divided question. I do not religiously use protein powder and sometimes this shocks people. I agree that protein is ESSENTIAL in your diet, however I try to get mine through food. The recommended intake is 0.8g per KG of weight. This is pretty reasonable to consume on a balanced and varied diet with a lean protein source at each meal.

Is there a supplement every woman should be taking? Why?

I tend to think each person is different in their nutritional needs and in their supplemental needs. Each woman will be different (their diet, exercise levels etc.) and take supplements for different reasons. My advice would be to always tailor your supplements depending on why you need them and what you are already getting from your diet.

Do you have a top eating secret and why?

I focus a lot on protein and vegetables and try and vary my meals as much as possible to ensure optimal absorption of the right nutrients and minerals. One thing I see for pretty much 100 per cent of my clients is their lack of water intake. Water is something that I always start with. It seems that we are a dehydrated nation who don’t value the importance of drinking our two litres per day. This can have a huge knock on effect for almost every physiological process in our body. Changing this alone in some clients can have a profound effect.

Melissa Pierson is the founder of Roots and Shoots Nutrition.

More:

Exactly what supplements do personal trainers take themselves?

14 best supplements of the year

6 best supplements for people who exercise

10 best supplements for vegans

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