Before I had kids, I thought I had the best immune system. I never got sick! After I had kids, it was a totally different story. I was sick all the time. It was ridiculous. There was one year, when Layla was 1-2 years old, that I literally was sick every month. I’d get over some viral plague, and then get sick again. It was the same for the husband. We were knocked out and miserable. I couldn’t figure out where I was going wrong – I ate well, exercised, but somehow my immune system was a disaster in fighting the germs Layla was bringing into our house! I realized that lack of sleep post kids and the lack of downtime post kids was likely zapping both my energy and immunity. And so, I decided to do a ton of research to bring in some reinforcements.
I always knew that vitamins could be beneficial for immunity, but I also knew that there were a lot of really low quality vitamins out there that basically did nothing when you took them. And on top of that, the vitamin and supplements section of the store can be SUPER overwhelming. Most of the time it looks like this:
There are hundreds of vitamins on those shelves, all of them with marketing messaging saying that they’re the best. So what are you supposed to do if you need a boost for your immunity, digestive health, or overall health? How are you supposed to know which vitamins are the best and actually work?
That’s where this post comes in. After all of my research, I have been able to narrow down the best daily vitamin regimen for adults to help boost immunity, energy and overall health. These vitamins are going to work because they are high quality, come from whole food sources and are easy to absorb in your body. Even the husband was super skeptical when I put him on this vitamin regimen, but now he swears by it. And he was the most anti-vitamin person of them all! When I’m coaching clients with young kids, I always put them on this regimen and they always come back with positive results (e.g. “I don’t get sick anymore even when my kids are sick!” “I feel like I have way more energy now!”).
Many of you have come across my best vitamins post for kids, so just think of this as the adult version 🙂
So what’s wrong with most commercial vitamins?
- Not food based – most of the cheap, widely available, commercial vitamins derive their vitamins synthetically – they don’t come from food. That means your body can’t absorb them as well. For example – they use folic acid instead of folate, ferrous fumerate for iron instead of iron from food sources, their B12 is cyanocobalamin instead of methylcobalamin – to name a few. The vitamins I recommend all come from whole food sources, which means they act like food would in your body.
- Additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients – I found these ingredients on the labels of some popular vitamin brands: Centrum had: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Pregelatinized Corn Starch, BHT (to retard Oxidation), Gelatin, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Yellow 6 Lake; One a Day had: Microcrystalline Cellulose, FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake, Gelatin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose. These preservatives, artificial colors and non-vegetarian friendly ingredients are not ones you want to be taking on a daily basis! Add that to the fact that the actual vitamins in these brands are synthetic and you’ve basically got a totally useless multivitamin on your hands.
So what vitamins should you take instead?
To start, I usually recommend that people take all 6 of these supplements on a daily basis. At first, it can feel like a lot of vitamins! But it is SO worth it. Some are for immunity, some are for digestive health and some are for overall health. I’ve indicated which vitamins do what below so you can pick and choose, but if you’re ok with taking 6 vitamins a day – I’d recommend all of these every day!
#1 | Best Multivitamin (specific ones for Men and Women below): Garden of Life, My Kind Organics
- For Women, I recommend the Garden of Life Prenatal Multivitamin, 3 tablets a day. It’s made from whole food sources so it’s super easy to absorb, and it has a gentle form of iron that won’t irritate your stomach. Even though it’s a prenatal, it’s actually great for non-pregnant women because the combination of vitamins/herbs are more beneficial than the regular women’s once daily. (Note: If you are pregnant, check with your OBGYN to make sure they are comfortable with you taking this prenatal – it contains holy basil which some OB’s recommend avoiding during pregnancy. I took this prenatal with both of my pregnancies and had no issues, but if you are pregnant, make sure your OB is ok with this prenatal before taking it). This is great for just overall health and energy, but also makes sure you’re getting the proper nutrients to boost your immunity.
- For Men, I recommend the Garden of Life Men’s Once Daily Multivitamin, 1 tablet a day. It’s great for the same reason as the women’s one – good for overall health and for immunity.
#2 | Best Vitamin C: Solaray Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, 2 tablets a day. This is for all adults who need an immune boost. The bioflavonoids help you to absorb the vitamin C better, and it gets absorbed very efficiently by the body.
#3 | Best Vitamin D: Jarrow Vitamin D3 1000IU, 1 tablet a day is the one to get here. There are actually a lot of good Vitamin D3 brands out there, but I like Jarrow because it’s a reputable brand, the Vitamin D3 bottle isn’t too expensive, and the capsule doesn’t have any random ingredients added to it. This is for all adults who want to boost immunity and overall health – most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D and it’s really beneficial and necessary for our bodies!
#4 | Best Turmeric with Curcumin Supplement: Naturo Sciences, 1 tablet a day or FineVine, 1 tablet a day. This is another area where there are a lot of brands with turmeric & curcumin – I like this one because it has black pepper and ginger added, it’s affordable, and it’s non-GMO (no random ingredients added). Turmeric with Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant with a number of health benefits (listed here). This is for all adults, to help with immunity and to reduce inflammation in the body.
#5 | Best Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals, Ultimate Omega, 2 tablets a day. Nordic Naturals is my favorite fish oil brand: it’s all natural, non-GMO, nothing chemical added. Their fish oil is pure so you don’t get those “fishy burps” after taking it. And fish oil is great for all adults to take for heart health and cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and brain health.
#6 | Best Probiotic: Garden of Life Once Daily Ultra, 1 tablet a day. I absolutely love Garden of Life’s probiotics. This one in particular, is excellent for immunity. Most of your immunity starts in your gut, so having a strong gut is essential to helping you to not get sick. The best probiotics have these strains in them (which are the most beneficial): L.Plantarum, L.Acidophilus, L.Brevis, B.Lactis, B.Longum – and Garden of Life fits the bill here. For anyone looking to improve immunity or gut health, this one is for you. If you need a probiotic that you can take with you on the go that doesn’t need refrigeration, I recommend this one for men, this one for women, and this one for pregnant women!
For those of you looking for a great multivitamin, or a daily vitamin regimen to help boost immunity and overall health, I hope this post helps you navigate the crazy world of vitamins and supplements out there!