There's nothing we love more than taking an intriguing peek into the wellness-focused lives of the best nutritionists in the industry. We love asking them what they eat, what they don't eat, what they think about certain wellness and diet crazes, and even for their super-stealthy healthy recipes. However, one topic we've been especially curious about recently is supplements. With so many to choose from, and considering how highly individual and important a customized supplement routine can (and should) be, we wanted to know which supplements top nutritionists actually take on a day-to-day basis—the formulas they feel actually make a positive impact on their health.
Of course, with a topic like supplements comes an inevitable gray area. As we said, supplements (and whether or not you should or shouldn't take certain formulas) are highly individual, and as each and every nutritionist we spoke to pointed out, consulting a trusted doctor who is familiar with your current and past health history is crucial. High-quality sourcing is also important and is a thorough process our nutritionists feel just as passionately about as the actual supplements themselves.
"As supplements (yes, even vitamins!) are not regulated by the FDA, you have to be an educated consumer and do your research on the company making and selling your supplements," explains Ali Heller, MA, MS. "Look for third-party-certified and GMP (good manufacturing practices) brands. It's even better if the company's website features transparent ingredient and sourcing information. Plus, as far as starting a supplement regimen, I can't stress enough that you should consult with your dietitian or physician first on what supplement(s) might be appropriate for you. Taking too much of or combining certain supplements could potentially be dangerous, and so it is safest to discuss first with a medical professional."
Additionally, the nutritionists we spoke to advocated that, if possible, it's best to try to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals through your diet and to only rely on supplements if you have to. All that is to say we chatted with a total of seven different nutritionists to pinpoint which supplements they personally take each day (again, this doesn't necessarily mean they're the right option for you—check with your doctor!) and feel have made a positive impact on their well-being. Curious? Keep scrolling for 23 supplements seven top nutritionists actually take in a day (and why they love them).
"I am a strong believer in the power of supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc.) not only to support the body's functions but to support and manage what ails us—everything from joint pain to digestive upset, to cramps, and beyond. I have a pharmacy of supplements in my cabinet, not only including my daily regimens but on an as-needed basis as well. While I'm often putting myself on some type of protocol (a detox, a GI support protocol, etc.), I have several supplements that I keep in my routine at all times. First up, is a B vitamin complex. I recommend a methylated or activated complex which is most readily absorbed over a normal B complex." — Brooke Scheller, MS, CNS
Omega-3 + CoQ10
"In the evening, I take omega-3s by Nordic Naturals that also contain some CoQ10. I don’t eat enough fish (as much as I would like) due to my schedule and family’s taste buds, so I take this to help with brain and heart health, as well as skin inflammation. We get a lot of omega-6 and -9 through our diet daily, but 3s are harder to capture." — Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
"I also take a multivitamin. Recently, I’ve been taking Garden of Life Kind Organics for Women. They are chewable and taste great, not my usual route but recommended by a friend and by a brand I trust so I gave it a try." — Amy
"Although I am not a vegan, my blood levels for B12 are low. It is an important nutrient for energy and digestion, so I take it sublingually every morning. (It gets absorbed fastest this way!)" — Amy
"I live in the NYC area, so in the winter months, I make sure to keep vitamin D3 as part of my regimen. In the more northern latitudes, the sun is not strong enough from October through May to make vitamin D from the sun. Therefore, it is imperative to take it in through the diet or supplementation. Since vitamin D–rich foods are limited (found in fish like salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms, to a small degree), a supplement can ensure you're getting enough in your diet. However, I do typically recommend having blood levels tested before supplementing to make sure you're taking the proper dosage. At your next visit with your primary care doc, ask them to test your vitamin D levels." — Brooke
"I take these by Gaia Herbs daily to help with general inflammation and because I don’t consume turmeric regularly in my diet but want to enjoy its health benefits. My capsule also contains black pepper, which is necessary to help with the absorption of it." — Amy
"Probiotics are a daily regime for me. I love ProViotic because it's vegan and sourced from a flower, and I find it to be the most effective for me. Probiotics are important to keep your digestive health and immune system strong. I like to think of probiotics as your inner army. They're very delicate and usually die in battle (stress, anger, and unhealthy foods can all affect this), but you need them there anyway." — Meryl Pritchard, holisitic nutritionist
"Propolis is a product made by bees that has been shown to be antimicrobial and antifungal. I like the one from Beekeeper's Naturals. It tastes great, and I always have it in my travel bag!" — Amy
"I’ll also take colloidal silver during cold and flu season to boost immunity—a few droppers' full under the tongue keep me going all winter long." — Amy
"Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that supports the bodies detoxification pathways. Glutathione is produced by the body and considered the master antioxidant. It is a powerful detoxifier and also provides immune support. I initially started taking it because it helps flush out excess estrogen, and I have kept it in my regimen because it helps protect against free radicals, environmental toxins, and stress." — Courtney Swan, MS, integrative nutritionist
"This is a great supplement to add as it supports liver detoxification! CDG supports your already hardworking liver and gives it an extra hand in filtering out toxins we are inadvertently exposed to, as well as supporting the detoxification pathways of the liver to help filter out alcohol and everything else your body sends to the liver to be filtered out. It also helps to decrease LDL cholesterol, assists in protein digestion, and it helps remove excess estrogens. It's great for women coming off of birth control." — Courtney
"I take this for my thyroid, and I noticed a huge difference in my anxiety, fatigue, and stress when I started taking it. This is one supplement I will recommend that you wait to start until you get lab results. You don’t want to mess with your iodine levels without first knowing where yours are, so please talk to your doctor if you suspect your thyroid needs some extra help and get your iodine tested first before starting this." — Courtney (See her blog post on her supplement routine here!)
According to Medical News Today, "Iron is a mineral vital to the proper function of hemoglobin, a protein needed to transport oxygen in the blood. Iron also has a role in a variety of other important processes in the body."
"When searching for supplements, I always look for high-quality brands that are free of GMOs, soy, fillers, and binders. Do your research. ConsumerLab.Com and NSF Laboratories provide independent, third-party testing. I do my research and identify several high-quality brands and then I stick with those couple of brands to buy all my supplements from. Another good way to sift through good brands is to buy from a store that you know does the research for you. Places like Whole Foods or your local natural food store have very strict standards on what is allowed in the store, so chances are you can trust the brands they supply on their shelves. Lastly, don’t buy the cheapest or the most expensive one; buy somewhere in between." — Courtney
"Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster!" — Courtney
"I take this supplement as it supports the liver and detoxification pathways." — Courtney
"CBD has replaced my daily glass of red wine to help me wind down at the end of the day. I'm so happy to have discovered it and can't say enough about how much it's improved my stress levels. I used to think of cannabis as a harmful, dirty plant (because that's what society was conditioning me to think). After doing some of my own research, I've learned how beneficial, medicinal, and sustainable the plant is. I'm so passionate about the benefits, I've created a special formula with my co-founder, Alyson Eastman, that will be launching in the New Year called Remedy Plant Lab. Stress is what I use it for, but CBD has been shown to benefit pain relief, seizures, anxiety, cancer, sleep issues, diabetes, etc." — Meryl
"This is probably my favorite Ayurvedic supplement for cleansing and strengthening the colon. Unlike a laxative, which is drying irritating to our bowels, Triphala is very gentle and cleansing. It's made up of three different fruits which work together to tone, support, and cleanse the walls of the colon. Like most herbs, it's best to use for short-term support, not daily. This is one of my top recommendations for clients when they travel to help keep them regular and not feel bloated." — Meryl
"Magnesium is key for mood, brain function, muscle health, and sleep. I take mine right before bed each night." — Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
"I love taking zinc, as it's key for immune health, mood, brain health and focus, gut health, and more!" — Isabel
"I take 1200 milligrams daily of NAC, and this helps the body with cellular metabolism and may help with anxiety as well. I have ADD, and it helps me with anxiety and focus." — Isabel
"I am a new mom of a seven-month-old daughter and am still breastfeeding, so I still take my prenatal vitamins and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. I always stress that we should be getting our nutrients from food sources, but prenatals are a great 'insurance policy' to make sure you are getting everything you need for yourself and your baby—especially in the bleary-eyed early days of being a new parent, where you might not have the time or energy to make and eat nutrient dense meals. The omega-3 supplements are particularly important for your baby's brain development while breastfeeding. My supplements of choice are these from Rainbow Light and Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA ($25)." — Ali Heller, MA, MS
"I take about 1/4 of a dose nightly. It has a blend of GABA (key for the production of key brain chemicals), magnesium, taurine (has calming properties), glycine and others. It's a lifesaver." — Isabel
"Rich in antioxidants, I take elderberry at any sign of a cold or flu—two teaspoons in the morning and two in the evening. Elderberry has been shown to cut the duration of cold and flu if taken at the onset of your symptoms."