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Best Supplements to Take Every Day, According to a Doctor

Most people don’t need a multi-vitamin cocktail.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As a physician and wellness expert, I've helped thousands of people find harmony with their sleep, mental health, and overall wellness. I've seen people try just about everything to get well and feel the stress and strain of not feeling better despite their efforts. The truth is that it's not so much the wellness effort or method, but instead the way it's executed, that determines whether or not it works. More than 86 percent of Americans take some form of dietary supplement every day, but in most cases—roughly 75 percent—those individuals are taking a supplement they don't need rather than one that could potentially help them. For example, if you opened the medicine cabinets of about 50 percent of American adults, you'd find a standard, run-of-the-mill multivitamin, containing small amounts of many different nutrients. The truth is that most people don't need a multi-vitamin cocktail. Instead, you might find high-quality supplement formulas to be more useful. Including thoughtfully selected supplements at the appropriate serving levels in your daily routine— with the guidance of a qualified physician— may help to support a healthy and enjoyable life. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".

1

Turmeric May Support Joint Health

turmeric
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There are 360 joints in your body. Each day, you put pressure on them to exercise, make breakfast, walk the dog, pet the cat, type emails for work, and send text messages to your loved ones. When your joints— and the cartilage that cushions them— are healthy, it's easy to take them for granted. Very few people walk down the street thinking, "I wonder how my knee cartilage is faring these days." But, considering the health of your connective tissues and joints can likewise support your twice-daily walk with Brutus and your Wordle habit, and still leave room to hug your spouse and bend down to pick a few wildflowers on the side of the road. Adding turmeric to your daily routine may help support your joint health and your lifestyle.

Turmeric is a commonly known spice used in Indian curry. Historically, it's also been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Chief among the reasons for its popularity is turmeric's potential to support joint health. And that potential comes from curcumin, a potent compound in turmeric widely known for its antioxidant capability and ability to support a healthy level of inflammation. These properties may help to maintain connective tissue and may support flexibility, normal range of motion, strength, and comfort in your joints. Curcumin's potential is so interesting that it has attracted the attention of the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is currently funding studies to learn more about the possible capabilities of curcumin in supporting and maintaining joint health.

2

Ginger May Support a Healthy Heart

Ginger tea with lemon, honey, and cinnamon
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Your heart beats roughly 100,000 times per day. Over the course of a lifetime— and more importantly, a long, healthy lifetime— that amounts to more than 2.5 billion beats. Each of those beats sends nutrient-rich blood to all the organs and tissues in your body via a complex system of veins and arteries, while simultaneously contributing to the removal of toxins and waste. When your heart is healthy, it's easier to go for that morning run, take the stairs instead of the elevator, play catch with your children and grandchildren, and enjoy the surprises that each day brings. Adding ginger to your daily routine may help support heart health and an active lifestyle. 

Ginger— popular in China and India for thousands of years— has recently garnered attention for its potential to support heart health. That potential comes from gingerol, a bioactive compound in ginger with documented antioxidant properties and an ability to help support healthy inflammation levels in the body. In ginger, these properties may help to promote healthy cholesterol levels, while supporting healthy blood pressure and healthy blood circulation.

3

The Phytochemicals in Phyllanthus Niruri May Promote Healthy Liver Function

liver disease
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The ultimate multitasker, your liver performs 500 essential functions to keep your body healthy and functioning. One of its most important jobs is to act as a filter for everything that goes into your mouth, from the smoothie you had for breakfast to the ibuprofen you took at lunch for your headache and even the cocktail you had during happy hour. It figures out what to keep, what to use for energy, and what to get rid of. It's also responsible for the proper management of blood sugar and fat, and even the recycling and cleaning of your blood. When your liver is healthy, you're more likely to feel energized, have clarity and an easier time remembering things, and have a general sense of wellbeing. Adding Phyllanthus Niruri to your daily routine may help to keep your liver healthy so it can complete its 500 essential functions to keep you healthy.  

Phyllanthus Niruri is packed with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are robust antioxidants that protect the plants they are found in from cell damage caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other "invaders."  As a supplement, Phyllanthus Niruri may pass these benefits on to help your body maintain healthy liver enzyme levels. Liver enzymes play a crucial role in everyday health by breaking down toxins, producing blood-clotting substances and bile, and helping your body to fight infection.

4

Cinnamon May Support a Healthy Digestive System

cinnamon stick and powder
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We've all heard the phrase, "you are what you eat." Turns out, when it comes to your health, the situation is a bit more complicated and deserves rapt, daily attention. Roughly 70 percent of your body's immune system exists in your digestive tract, so what you put in your mouth may have a direct correlation with your ability to avoid catching the flu. A healthy digestive tract also plays several other important roles in the daily functioning of your body. Your digestive tract breaks down food into nutrients you use for energy, mental acuity, healthy vision, healthy weight, and glowing hair and nails. It also maintains an ongoing conversation with your brain through the language of nerves and hormones. It's how you know when you're hungry, when you're thirsty, when you're satiated, and when you maybe ate something you shouldn't have. Adding cinnamon to your daily routine may help to promote a healthy digestive system. 

Cinnamon is instantly recognizable around the world for its spicy aromatic qualities. But this spice is more than just an alluring scent and taste. Some historical reviews of herbal remedies suggest that cinnamon may help with occasional muscle spasms and may support healthy bowel movements and the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

5

Garlic May Help Support Better Sleep

garlic cloves
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To achieve and maintain peak health, the average person should sleep roughly 229,961 hours in their lifetime. That's not as many hours as it sounds. It breaks down to that figure your doctor has been repeating for years: eight hours per night. More important than the numbers of hours you spend asleep is the quality of that sleep. When you're sleeping well, it's noticeable because you wake refreshed. What's behind that refreshed feeling is even more important: proper brain function. When you're getting enough sleep and your brain is at the top of its game, it's easier to maintain a healthy weight, be productive at work and at home, exercise and maintain healthy activity levels, protect your mental health and immune system, positively engage in your relationships with others, and even recover from injuries and illnesses. Who knew that sleep and the brain could do so much? Adding garlic to your daily routine may help support better quality sleep and ultimately, your brain.

Garlic—a hallmark of Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine—has a second starring role to play outside of world kitchens. The pungent plant is characterized by high levels of the sulfurous compound allicin. Studies suggest that Allicin may promote relaxation by reducing tension in the blood vessel walls, promoting restful sleep. And while you are enjoying the extra sleep without tossing and turning, garlic may also take on another role in promoting the health of your cardiovascular system. The herb has also been shown in clinical studies to help manage healthy cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood pressure.

5

Final Word From the Doctor

As trite as it may sound, before you rush out to the grocery store or hop online to purchase a supplement, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will conduct lab tests to determine which types of supplements can best support your wellness goals in both the short and long term. With more than 85,000 supplements on the market, the majority of which contain ingredients lacking rigorous health and safety research, you can't be too careful. Once you know which types of supplements could support your goals— liver health, heart health, sleep health, joint health, digestive health— spend time investigating supplement brands. It's a good idea to purchase supplements with ingredients that are backed by rigorous scientific research proving they do what they promise, like Karallief. 

It's equally as important to avoid those supplements with no rigorous scientific research to back them up, and perhaps even more so, to remember that even when supplements contain similar ingredients, they're not all created equal. The quality, cleanliness and origin of ingredients matters, too. So, in addition to searching for science-backed supplements, look for those manufactured in a NSF Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility. After all, when it comes to your health, you have both everything to win and everything to lose. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Dr. Vrushali Gersappe, MD, is a physician with expertise in psychiatry and a Scientific Advisor at Karallief.