Best Supplements to Take for Overall Health
Supplementation can be very confusing and sometimes even dangerous. In this article you’ll learn about the best supplements to take for overall health as well as which supplements I take, why I take them, which supplements I avoid, why I avoid them, and so much more!
I have been sharing health and wellness content online since 2018 which is the same year I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
If you are not familiar with my story and healing journey you can read this post – My Hashimoto’s Story: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Healing Journey – to learn more.
I often get asked about which supplements have helped me the most on my healing journey, but to be honest, I hesitate to share because what works for me might not work for you.
But I also don’t want to withhold information that might help someone so in this post, I plan to share which supplements I take, why I take them, which supplements I avoid, why I avoid them, and so much more!
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)
I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.
With all of that being said, this is not medical advice. I am only sharing my personal experience with supplementation.
Every person is different. Each person has different deficiencies, infections, sensitivities, imbalances, and genetic mutations going on inside their body.
So although the supplements I am going to share have benefited me greatly that doesn’t mean they will benefit you.
I encourage you to read this post in its entirety and talk to your doctor before trying any of the supplements below.
Why I Choose to Take Supplements
I choose to take supplements because I believe my body was/is severely vitamin and mineral deficent primarily due to stress (especially during early childhood), a poor diet, and not being breastfed.
Vitamins and minerals are crucial for optimal health.
Unfortunately, most of the processed products masquerading as food on grocery store shelves aren’t really food at all and they do not contain anywhere near the amount of vitamins and minerals our bodies require.
And even whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs don’t contain the vitamins and minerals that they originally did due to modern farming practices.
Monoculture farming, rototilling, herbicides, and pesticides destroy the quality of the soil. Much of the soil that fruits and vegetables are grown in and animals graze from has been depleted of many of its nutrients.
That means even real food doesn’t contain the nutrients it once did.
And to make things worse – most people are living extremely stressful lives.
Stress depletes minerals in the body. And not just mental and physical stress although that will do it as well, but environmental stress like toxins and EMFs.
Since we are unable to completely avoid mental, physical, metabolic, and environmental stressors (we can reduce them as much as possible but we can’t completely eliminate them) it’s vital to our well-being to replenish our minerals on a daily basis with food and whole food supplements.
Also, it’s not just about your diet now as an adult or your stress levels now as an adult but think back to your childhood.
Were you breastfed? Did you eat a healthy diet as a child ie: fruits, vegetables, grass-fed beef, high-quality eggs, butter, milk, etc.?
Did you have an extremely stressful childhood? Did you experience trauma as a child?
The quality of your childhood greatly impacts your health as an adult and your need for vitamins and minerals.
I’m currently learning about trauma and nervous system dysregulation and its link to autoimmune diseases and let’s just say my mind is blown!
In a nutshell, traumatic events (especially in early childhood) can dysregulate your nervous system and put your body in a constant state of stress.
When we are under stress, stress hormones are released. When stress hormones stay chronically elevated they can do significant damage to bodily organs and the immune system.
So with all that being said food-based supplementation can help to restore vitamins and minerals within the body that food alone can not.
Not everyone needs to take supplements but if any of the information you just read resonates with you, you may benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Whole Food Supplements vs Synthetic
Since becoming a Root Cause Protocol consultant I’ve learned a lot about the dangers of synthetic vitamins and synthetically enriched foods.
They are not the same as the real thing. Vitamins and minerals work synergistically with other vitamins and minerals. They do not operate in isolation.
For example, foods naturally rich in vitamin A also contain the necessary cofactors to metabolize vitamin A.
There are risks associated with consuming isolated synthetic vitamins and foods enriched with isolated synthetic vitamins.
The primary risk is mineral dysregulation and mineral dysregulation can lead to different types of metabolic dysfunction.
Nature knows what it is doing and it knows best!
Potential Negative Side Effects of Supplements
It’s important to be aware of the negative side effects that can occur from taking supplements and why they occur.
Extreme Mineral Deficiency
Although people who have extreme mineral deficiencies can greatly benefit from supplements, they can also experience negative side effects.
Mineral deficiency can lead to heavy metal toxicity. If your body is not getting the minerals it needs it will begin to absorb less desirable elements such as heavy metals.
For example, if you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, then lead will begin to accumulate in your bones instead.
Also without sufficient magnesium in the diet, aluminum will begin to accumulate in the brain.
When you have an abundance of heavy metals in the body and a lack of essential minerals, those heavy metals will begin to displace certain minerals.
But the good news is when you have adequate amounts of essential minerals coming into the body they will compete with the heavy metals and displace them.
Eventually, the heavy metals will be excreted from the body.
This is a good thing but it doesn’t mean it is without potential negative side effects.
Detoxing heavy metals from the body can cause negative side effects such as diarrhea, headaches, and fatigue.
Histamine intolerance occurs when the body develops too much histamine.
Symptoms of histamine intolerance include:
- Nasal congestion
Diamine oxidase (DAO) is the enzyme responsible for breaking down histamines. DAO deficiency usually leads to histamine intolerance.
Supplements can trigger a histamine response in some people.
Many people who experience negative side effects from supplements tend to blame the supplement but they fail to realize the side effects are most likely due to histamine intolerance caused by a DAO deficiency.
Supplementing with grass-fed beef kidney can help replenish DAO. You can learn more about beef kidney supplementation below.
Although, vitamins and minerals are crucial for optimal health – too much can be a bad thing. If you experience negative symptoms from taking supplements it could be your body telling you it doesn’t need it.
If you begin to experience negative side effects from taking supplements it is important to identify the reason why. I would recommend stopping supplementation until you find out what is causing the negative side effects.
If side effects are due to extreme mineral deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity they will subside over time. But if they are due to vitamin/mineral toxicity they will continue to get worse.
I would recommend working with a healthcare professional to figure out what is going on.
The Root Cause Protocol
Many of the supplements I take are recommended by the Root Cause Protocol. You can read this post – What is the Root Cause Protocol? – to learn more about it.
After following the protocol for about a year I decided to become a Root Cause Protocol consultant although I do not currently work with clients.
The Root Cause Protocol helped me address many vitamin and mineral deficiencies that were going on inside my body.
The Root Cause Protocol is the perfect place to start for people who are new to the world of supplementation. The RCP handbook contains everything you need to know about the protocol and it’s 100% free!
With all of that being said, I no longer follow the exact protocol on a daily basis. At one time I did. But my body has come a long way and I just don’t feel like it needs as many vitamins and mineral supplements as it once did.
Also, some of the supplements I take are not part of the protocol.
Best Supplements to Take for Overall Health
Before I share about my favorite supplements I feel like I need to preface this by saying I do not take every supplement on this list on a daily basis.
These are simply the supplements that have helped me the most on my healing journey.
There is a quote about friendship that goes something like this: “You have friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for life” and I believe that quote can also be applied to supplementation.
I believe there are supplements that you take for a reason, some you take for a season, and some for life.
Shilajit is a tar that is excreted from different mountains throughout the world, including the Himalayan, Tibetan, and Siberian mountains.
Shilajit is a complete trace mineral source. It contains more than 84 carbon-bonded organic minerals that are easily absorbed by the body.
Shilajit can help bring mineral balance to the entire body.
It is a rich source of fulvic acid which is a compound that increases the delivery of minerals into the cell.
You can read this post – Health Benefits Of Shilajit – to learn all about it.
I’ve tried several different brands of shilajit and the one I keep going back to is Panacea from MitoLife.
Panacea is a pure tablet form of shilajit from the Siberian mountains in Russia. I prefer the tablet form because it is a convenient and easy way to consume shilajit.
You can use the code HAPPYHEART to receive 15% off of your purchase!
I highly recommend that you read some of the reviews for Panacea. It is honestly changing lives which proves the point that many of our chronic health issues are due to mineral imbalances and deficiencies.
I took shilajit daily for quite a while but I have recently cut back. I just don’t think my body needs it as much as it once did when it was severely mineral deficient.
But it is still a go-to whenever I’m feeling run down and my body needs a little extra support.
Beef liver pills completely transformed my health and I’m not exaggerating at all!
Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It truly is nature’s multivitamin.
Below you’ll find the nutritional profile of one serving size (6 capsules) of one of my favorite beef liver supplements.
Vitamin A – 5099 IU
Retinol – 1385 mcg
Retinol Activity Equivalent – 1391 mcg
Alpha Carotene – 3.1 mcg
Beta Carotene – 65.0 mcg
Beta Cryptoxanthin – 3.6 mcg
Vitamin C – 0.4 mg
Vitamin D – 4.5 IU
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) – 0.1 mg
Vitamin K – 0.9 mcg
Thiamin – 0.1 mg Riboflavin – 0.8 mg
Niacin – 3.7 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.3 mg
Folate – 81.2 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 14 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 2.0 mg
Choline – 120 mg Calcium – 1.4 mg
Heme Iron – 2.2 mg
Magnesium – 5.0 mg
Phosphorus – 108 mg
Potassium – 87.6 mg
Sodium – 19.3 mg
Zinc – 1.1 mg
Copper – 2.7 mg
Manganese – 0.1 mg
Selenium – 11.1 mcg
I’m not going to spend too much time discussing the benefits of beef liver because I’ve already written two lengthy, in-depth posts about beef liver that you can check out below.
I highly recommend you read at least one of those posts before starting beef liver supplementation.
Beef liver can help to boost your energy, improve eye health, boost thyroid function, and more.
I believe I benefited greatly from beef liver supplementation because I was extremely deficient in vitamin A.
After taking beef liver daily for about two years I have recently cut back. Now I only consume fresh beef liver or take beef liver pills about once a week.
This is my favorite brand of beef liver supplements that I highly recommend.
Vitamin E is so important. Its main role is to act as an antioxidant and decrease free radicals in the body that can damage cells.
Vitamin E helps to improve mitochondrial respiration, improve circulation, protect against lipid peroxidation, protect against calcification and iron overload, and so much more!
Vitamin E is extremely beneficial for people who consume a high PUFA diet.
If you don’t know what PUFAs are I recommend reading this post – What Are PUFAs & Why You Should Avoid Them.
High PUFA diets take quite a bit of vitamin E out of the body.
Vitamin E deficiency can lead to heart disease, dementia, gallstones, liver and kidney problems, and so much more!
Vitamin E is essential for fertility, hormone production, and metabolic function. Low vitamin E levels can lead to estrogen dominance and increased stress hormones.
I highly recommend this book to learn more about the importance of vitamin E.
The body does not store vitamin E as well as it stores other fat-soluble vitamins. If you consume a diet high in PUFAs it is so important to replenish your vitamin E levels with foods rich in vitamin E and/or take a vitamin E supplement.
This is the vitamin E supplement I use and recommend. You can use the code HAPPYHEART to get 15% off.
Prior to learning about the dangers of PUFAs, I consumed an extremely high PUFA diet which I believe led me to be extremely vitamin E deficient.
I take vitamin E every single day. Vitamin E has helped to improve my energy levels, it has helped heal different skin issues I had going on, and it has also helped to reduce PMS symptoms.
If you decide to try vitamin E make sure to always take it with a fatty meal to avoid an upset stomach.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is amazing mainly due to its high vitamin A content. As I mentioned before, I believe I was significantly deficient in vitamin A.
Cod liver oil has helped to restore my vitamin A levels. Cod liver oil also contains naturally occurring vitamin D.
Supplementing with cod liver oil can help to improve immune function, vision, reproduction and cellular communication, thyroid function, and brain health.
The only cod liver oil I take and recommend is Rosita’s Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil.
Most commercial cod liver oils are highly processed with heat that wipes out the naturally occurring vitamins A and D and damages the fragile omega-3 fatty acids.
To make up for the loss of vitamins and nutrients, most cod liver oil producers will add synthetic vitamins to their cod liver oil.
Rosita is in complete control of the entire process from fish to bottle, giving you the most precious and nutritional cod liver oil on the market.
Like vitamin E, it is important to consume a fatty meal before taking cod liver oil to avoid an upset stomach.
And although vitamin A can improve thyroid function, too much vitamin A can be thyroid suppressive if you currently have low thyroid function (which many women do).
So if you have a sluggish thyroid it’s important to introduce cod liver oil (and beef liver) into your diet very slowly.
Start with a very small amount and gradually increase the amount you consume over a long period of time.
Grass-fed Beef Kidney
I love to take grass-fed beef kidney because it contains a significant amount of selenium as well as the DAO enzyme which is great for histamine health.
For years I had an extreme intolerance to sugar and anything with coconut in it. I believe that was due to histamine intolerance.
Grass-fed beef kidney is also rich in kidney-specific proteins, peptides, enzymes, and cofactors that support overall kidney health.
This is my go-to beef kidney supplement.
Oysters are a great source of naturally occurring zinc, b12, copper, and iodine. Oyster pills are a great way to get the health benefits of oysters without actually having to consume fresh oysters.
I primarily take oyster pills for the naturally occurring zinc. Zinc helps protect the body from oxidative stress. It’s also great for hair, skin, and nails as well as hormone health.
Fresh oysters are considered an aphrodisiac and this is due to their high zinc content which helps boost the libido.
My favorite oyster supplement is OysterMax. I’ve tried other brands and in my opinion, they are not as effective as OysterMax. The company is based out of Ireland and shipping can take a while but in my opinion, the wait is worth it.
Taking oyster pills on a consistent basis has increased my energy levels, improved my strength and endurance during workouts, boosted my libido, and so much more.
It’s also been extremely beneficial in healing my teenage son’s acne that he’s been struggling with for the past few years.
I cannot sing the praises of oyster pills enough. They are amazing.
Fresh oyster, of course, is also an option. But it can be kind of pricey and I’m not a huge fan of the flavor.
At the beginning of my healing journey, I would take oyster pills, beef kidney, beef liver, and cod liver oil every single day. Now I rotate through different supplements.
Beef liver and oyster pills both contain very high amounts of copper which for some people is a good thing but for others, it might be too much.
And oyster pills and beef kidney both contain high amounts of B12 which once again might be too much for some people.
After supplementing all three supplements daily for a significant amount of time I think my body had enough based on the different symptoms I was experiencing.
At this time I take oyster pills 4-5 days a week, beef liver once a week, and beef kidney 2-3 days a week. I try not to take beef liver and oyster pills on the same day.
This is just what works for me. You need to pay attention to your body and how you feel to figure out what works best for you.
Wholefood vitamin C is an antioxidant. It aids in energy production and is used in the mitochondria of our cells.
Vitamin C also helps the body synthesize collagen, remove free radicals, and support immune function.
I only take whole-food vitamin C. It is made from fruits and berries. I do not recommend synthetic vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. More about that is below.
This is my favorite pill form of vitamin C. I also like this powdered form because it is a bit more affordable. I like to add it to my adrenal cocktails.
Dissolve-it-all is a supplement that I typically only use for a season. It is a systemic enzyme complex and cofactor blend that consists of enteric-coated serrapeptase and nattokinase.
Its main purpose is to break down excess fibrin. Fibrin is a sort of bio-mesh that is created because of tissue damage and reduces tissue function.
Breaking down excess fibrin may support normal circulation, respiration, and a healthy inflammatory response.
Dissolve-it-all can help to dissolve inner scar tissue, fibroid and breast cysts, parasites, and more.
I highly recommend checking out the reviews and reading all the different ways dissolve-it-all has helped people.
For me, it has helped improve my digestion, decreased joint pain, and helped dissolve a ganglion cyst I had on my foot.
I don’t take dissolve-it-all every day single. But I will take it daily for about a month and then take a break for a while. It all depends on what type of issue I am dealing with.
Typically, if you are dealing with a very specific issue you’ll want to take dissolve-it-all daily until the issue is dissolved/resolved.
Did you know magnesium is required for over 3,400 chemical reactions in the body?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals when it comes to the human body.
Without enough magnesium, your body will begin to break down. Magnesium deficiency can lead to heart disease, diabetes, mood problems, memory problems, depression, anxiety, and the list truly does go on and on.
I highly recommend the book The Magnesium Miracle to learn more about how important magnesium is.
But magnesium supplementation can be a little tricky. There are many different forms of magnesium and not all of them are tolerated or absorbed very well.
In my experience, it’s always best to start with transdermal magnesium before consuming magnesium pills. My favorite forms of transdermal magnesium are below.
- Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion
- Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray
- Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes (I use these in foot baths)
If you tolerate transdermal magnesium well then you can try magnesium in pill form. My favorite magnesium supplements are below.
Keep in mind, magnesium malate tends to be more energizing and magnesium glycinate tends to be more relaxing.
And my absolute favorite form of magnesium is magnesium bicarbonate. Magnesium bicarbonate is a form of magnesium that you take in water.
It is extremely well tolerated and well absorbed and it is my go-to for magnesium.
You can click here to learn how to make it at home.
Or you can click here to purchase it in its ready-to-drink form. You can use the code HAPPYHEART to get 10% off your purchase.
But as I mentioned earlier, magnesium can be a tricky supplement.
I have had a lot of issues when it comes to magnesium supplementation. Sometimes magnesium helps me feel extremely relaxed and other times it causes extreme anxiety.
Although, I have never really had any issues with magnesium bicarbonate mainly just the pill and transdermal form.
It’s extremely important that you are supporting your adrenals with optimal amounts of potassium and sodium before beginning magnesium supplementation.
Adrenal cocktails are amazing for adrenal support.
Without sufficient adrenal support, magnesium can trigger anxiety or insomnia.
It’s also important to make sure you have sufficient B vitamins coming into the body, especially B6, because vitamin B6 facilitates the cellular uptake of magnesium.
You may become deficient in B6 if you are supplementing magnesium without getting enough B vitamins.
Also, if you have high glutamate in the brain you may not tolerate magnesium glycinate well due to the fact that glycine can enhance glutamate activation.
You can click here to learn more about the symptoms of high glutamate.
I have a lot more to say about magnesium so I’ll be writing an entire post dedicated to magnesium soon.
Supplements I Avoid
Many supplements can do more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to synthetic supplements. As I mentioned earlier, synthetic supplements can cause mineral dysregulation.
Below are supplements that I completely avoid.
Synthetic vitamin D supplementation increases calcification in the body and causes potassium waste. It also causes ATP loss and iron storage in the kidneys.
I know this goes completely against the advice of the mainstream health community as well as the alternative health community. You can click here to learn more.
It’s best to get vitamin D from the sun and food.
Synthetic zinc destroys the bioavailability of copper in the body. It’s best to get zinc from natural sources like oysters which contain a balanced ratio of copper and zinc.
We are being bombarded with synthetic iron. Synthetic iron has been added to cereal, bread, pasta, and so much more. The last thing most people need is iron supplements.
Instead, people should learn about iron metabolism and the role that retinol and copper play in transporting iron to the blood.
This is what the Root Cause Protocol is all about, so if you’re confused please click here to learn more.
With that being said, I don’t believe that every single person on the planet is iron overloaded but I do think it’s best to get iron from food sources like beef liver rather than synthetic supplements.
Beef liver contains all the necessary cofactors to metabolize iron.
Ascorbic acid is missing important properties that are found in whole food vitamin C. Consuming vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid can cause mineral dysregulation.
Multivitamins usually contain very high amounts of synthetic iron and vitamin D as well as imbalanced ratios of other vitamins and minerals.
Tips for Taking Supplements
My philosophy when it comes to eating new foods or taking new supplements is to go low and slow.
Start with a very small dosage/amount and increase gradually over a long period of time. This approach helps the body adapt and minimizes possible negative side effects.
Also, it’s best to start with one supplement for several weeks before introducing a new supplement to your regimen.
That way if you have a negative reaction you know which supplement is causing it.
Supplement Shopping List
Below is a shopping list I created with all of my favorite supplements as well as any corresponding coupon codes to help you save money.
Use the code HAPPYHEART to get 15% off your purchase.
- Grass-fed Beef Liver
- Grass-fed Beef Kidney
- Vitamin C Pills or Powder
- Cod Liver Oil
- Magnesium Lotion / Magnesium Oil Spray / Magnesium Bath Flakes / Magnesium Malate / Magnesium Glycinate
Use the code HAPPYHEART to get 10% off your purchase.
Marine Health Foods:
Healthy living and healing are about so much more than supplementation – although I do believe it can be extremely beneficial and I don’t think I would be where I am today without it.
With that being said, supplements are just one piece of the puzzle. If you want to heal you need to start living a lifestyle that is in harmony with your biology.
You cannot out-supplement a poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Also, supplementation can be expensive. Not to get too personal, but my family and I have sacrificed a lot so that we can prioritize our health and afford supplements.
In my opinion, true health is wealth and it’s something unfortunately not a lot of people have.
Many people prioritize purchasing the newest iPhone or a new vehicle or Starbucks every day over healthy food and supplements.
I drive an old car, buy refurbished, old-model iPhones from eBay, and make coffee at home so that I can afford supplements and other healing modalities.
I just wanted to make that clear because I 100% know first hand how expensive supplements can be.
If you are ready to start your healing journey you can click here to discover all of the things that have helped me on my healing journey.