Getting Started with Supplements

Supplements. Where to start? What to take?

If you are interested in natural health and read up on the latest “miracle” supplements that are out there, you might have found yourself wondering aimlessly down the supplement aisles, looking at what we carry asking yourself “Should I grab this? I’ve heard it’s good…” Or “My friend told me about this. I probably need it as well.” Have you ever found yourself at the till, ready to purchase a few supplements, not knowing fully if it would help your health in the short or long run?

Well, read up! Here are the essentials of what to take if you don’t know where to start.

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Of course, if you have a specific condition, specific symptoms, or certain things that have been recommended to you by a health practitioner, we always advise that you follow their instructions. However, if you’re just wondering what the most important vitamins, minerals and supplements are to take for over all health and well-being, here are our thoughts on the subject.

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Unfortunately, even if you are on a healthy diet, with the state that North America is today, you might not be meeting your essential nutritional needs for optimal health and longevity. Our soil is deficient in minerals, pollution is in the air, stress hinders our central nervous system and digestion, sea food contains toxic heavy metals and conventional meat lacks the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need most.

So what now? Here are the essentials, regardless of where you are at:

Omega 3s, Probiotics, B vitamins and a multi-vitamin. And here is why.

Omega 3s

Did you know? 95% of the population is deficient in OMEGA 3s. Not only that, but the average ratio that people have in their body from omega 6 to omega 3 is a 20:1. In order to enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of essential fatty acids, you should be sitting at a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately, in today’s society, there are much more omega 6s than omega 3s in our diets. Having such a gap between Omega 6s and omega 3s in our body actually creates more inflammation that we would have from simply being deficient in omega 3s.

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One thing to keep in mind is that there are only 2 direct sources of omega 3s: Fatty fish and algae. Any other plant sources of omega 3 like flax or chia, for example, only have a 1 to 5% conversion rate to EPA and DHA (the active compounds within omega 3 that bring us all of the wonderful health benefits.)

EFAs (Essential fatty acids) are the building bocks of EVERY cell membrane in the body. Having a proper balance of EPA and DHA insures that the cell membranes stay healthy and FLEXIBLE! Which means: Nutrients from the food we eat can enter more easily and toxins can exit better.

Keep in mind, your body will find fats regardless to build your cell membranes. If there are only “bad” fats, such as saturated fats, that is what your body will use. Making your cell membranes rigid and unhealthy. Which means, the nutrients from the food we eat will not be able to make their way into the cells and toxins trapped in there will remain trapped and will keep doing damage inside the cells, making it hard for your body to detoxify and for you to feel your best!

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You have probably heard of the amazing benefits of probiotics for your digestive system. But did you know that bacteria plays a direct role on mood, aging, mental clarity and physical energy? For every human cell, we have 4 bacteria. We are actually more bug than we are human! Three trillion of those reside in our gut and play a variety of different roles, from producing certain vitamins and minerals to communicating with our brain through the Vagus nerve. Having an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria that feed on sugar and simple carbohydrates can make you feel symptoms such as fatigue, mental fog, anxiety and stress. These bacteria will even ignal your brain to crave certain foods that they feed on such as bread and alcohol. 75% of our immune cells reside in our gut. 90% of our serotonin is produced and stored in our gut. Certain strains of our gut microbiome will signal our body to convert 5HTP to serotonin: our happy hormone. Needless to say, having a healthy environment in our gut and having a varied ecosystem full of “good” bacteria is beneficial for overall well-being, health and longevity.

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Each B vitamin has a very specific and very important role within our body. They give us energy and support our metabolism, help repair our DNA, nourish our central nervous system and brain, play a big role in overall communication between our brain and the rest of our body, are extremely beneficial for skin health and hair growth to list a few. What’s important to know about B vitamins is that they are water soluble. Meaning that we lose them through tears, sweat, and urine and we need to replenish them in some way. Even though each B vitamin plays a different role, it is important to take them together as a complex as they work much more efficiently that way. When we look at B-vitamins rich foods they are always found as a complex, and nature has it that way for a reason!


Depending on the state of your diet, we also recommend that you take a multi-vitamin. We say depending on your diet because if you are already eating a diet that is rich in many different vegetables and fruits and that you are conscious about eating the rainbow, you may not need a multi-vitamin! We are also conscious that this may not be realistic for everybody as some have very busy lives, are mostly on the run or on the road and don’t necessarily have the time to cook home cooked meals everyday rich in the many vitamins and minerals our body needs to run optimally. If that is your case, have no fear! Amaranth will always have the essentials that you need in order to be and feel your best.

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Don’t know which brand to pick from for these? Rest assured that Amaranth always has friendly and helpful staff available that are educated and able to point you in the right direction. Come in to your closest location and meet our team! See you soon!

Nino Euzen, Wellness Lead at Arbour Lake.