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Good nutritional supplements provide beneficial nutrients that boost your health. Choosing which supplements to include in a daily supplement protocol, however, may seem daunting due to the variety of supplements available. In this article, I provide three simple steps to create a daily supplement protocol for each member of your family. As you follow the steps, you will know which supplements each member of your family should take. I also provide a sample daily supplement protocol and tips to identify good supplement brands.

Please know that taking nutritional supplements is not necessary for everyone. If your health is good, digestion is working properly, environment is clean, stress is low, and diet is balanced, then nutritional supplementation may not be necessary for you.  Remember to always check in with a healthcare provider before starting a supplement protocol. 

Read more: Nutrients From Supplements VS Food – Dr. Green Mom. 

3 Steps To Create An Individualized Daily Supplement Protocol

When creating a daily supplement protocol to support good health, I always follow the same three steps and I want to share them with you! Following these steps can help you create an individualized supplement plan for you and your family members.

1. Inventory your diet to look for areas that may be lacking.

Dr Green Life Organics - Winter Immune Deals Save 20% when you bundle.

2. Note additional requirements caused by health or environment.

3. Review and change your protocol seasonally.

What Is Missing In Your Diet?

Getting all the nutrients we need from food is ideal, but it isn’t always possible. Sometimes schedules are hectic, kids go through picky phases, or healthy food isn’t accessible. At these times, supplementing can help.

Multivitamins, omega-3 fish oils, beef liver capsules, and probiotics can help fill gaps in your diet and, at times, offer benefits above and beyond what you would get from food alone (1- 12). Below is a list of supplements and context for when to consider adding them to a daily protocol. Use the steps provided in this article to select supplements for you and your children.

Daily Supplements To Enhance Diet

  • Multivitamin 

Multivitamins are a great choice for providing well-rounded nutrient support (1, 5, 8).

  • Omega-3 Fish Oils

Fish oils provide support for the eyes, nervous system, and cardiovascular system as well as reduce inflammation and improve mood. If eating less than two servings of fatty fish a week, fish oil supplementation may be helpful (6,7). 

  • Beef Liver Capsules

Beef liver is a nutrient powerhouse. Beef liver capsules may be helpful for anyone who isn’t eating enough meat or needs a boost to energy and stamina (4).

  • Phytonutrients

Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. They also contain various health boosting nutrients, such as polyphenols, beta-glucans, and alkaloids. Supplementation with nutrient dense herbs or greens powders may be helpful for those who don’t eat enough plant-based foods (9). 

  • Vitamin D

Although sunshine isn’t part of a well balanced diet, vitamin D from sunshine is super important. If you’re not able to get enough sunshine exposure, a vitamin D supplement is advised. Vitamin D is also recommended for breastfed babies (10,11).

  • Fiber

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains all provide dietary fiber. However, since the standard American diet usually includes many processed foods, it is easy to not consume enough fiber. Fiber is essential for healthy bowel health, good metabolic health, and a healthy cardiovascular system (12). For people at risk of fiber deficiency, functional foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, or psyllium provide a simple boost to fiber intake.  

What Additional Health Requirements Do You Have? 

We live in a world that is vastly different from the one that our bodies have evolved for. On a daily basis, we deal with more stress, pollution, and dietary toxins and we are exposed to more pathogens. Our food is less nutrient-dense, organic, and local while being more sanitized. Our busy lifestyles allow less access to sunshine, community, and nature. 

A boy blows his nose outdoors near a flowering plant.

Thus, in some seasons, we need to focus on nutrients depleted by stress (eg. B vitamins and vitamin C) while in others we need to focus on detoxifying, or dealing with increased oxidative stress* (like during wildfire season). In the fall, many people focus on building their immunity whereas during the dark months of winter, many focus on supporting their respiratory systems and moods. The list of daily supplements included below gives some ideas about various types of targeted support. 

* Oxidative stress happens when the body produces more reactive oxygen species than can be quenched by the available antioxidants in the body. Things that increase oxidative stress include: UV radiation, environmental pollution, heavy metals, certain medications, and more. Evidence shows that oxidative stress can contribute to many different diseases (37). One possible way to combat oxidative stress is to consume more antioxidants (38). 

Daily Supplements For Targeted Support

  • Immune Boosting Botanicals & Nutrients

Ideally, people should begin to consume immune boosting supplements about a month before they are needed. I like to change things up about every three months so that the body doesn’t get used to a certain supplement. Herbal options include echinacea, elderberry, medicinal mushrooms, astragalus, and more. Nutrient options include vitamin A, C, D, zinc, and quercetin (13, 14). Probiotics are also in this category (15). 

  • Stress Support

During periods of increased physical, mental, or emotional stress, supplements can support the body. Adaptogen herbs like rhodiola, ginseng, and schizandra may be taken daily during stressful periods and offer mood, energy, and immune support (16). During periods of stress, people often need extra magnesium, B complex vitamins, and vitamin C (17). 

  • Mitochondrial Support

Mitochondria are the energy source for the body’s cells. Mitochondrial function may need support during times of increased toxin exposure or after recovery from an illness if health and vitality aren’t returning as quickly as they should. Nutrients to consider for mitochondrial support include glutathione, coenzyme Q10, B complex vitamins, vitamin C & E, L-carnitine, magnesium, resveratrol, and N-acetylcysteine (18-20). 

  • Mood And Nervous System Support

Some phases of life require extra support for the nervous system, whether it’s due to a demanding job, emotional ups and downs, or periods of extra brain growth (babies, toddlers, and teens). Nutrients that help the nervous system include magnesium, fish oil, B complex vitamins, and L-theanine (21-25). 

  • Respiratory Support

Now that “wildfire” is a regular season in many parts of the country, additional respiratory support may be required daily. Some helpful nutrients for healthy lungs include N-acetylcysteine, quercetin, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin C (26-30).

  • Preconception, Prenatal, Postnatal Support

Pregnancy and lactation are periods of increased nutritional demand. Adequate nutrition is necessary during these periods for the proper development of a healthy child. Important nutrients include folate, B12, choline, iodine (1). Omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics are also important (31-36). 

Review And Change Your Protocol Seasonally

Because our lives, diets, and needs are constantly changing, a good supplement plan should evolve and change as needed. Here is what a yearly supplement protocol looks like in my home:

Spring: Nature’s Nutrients, beef liver capsules, Neuroimmune DHA 900 and probiotic

Summer: Neuroimmune DHA 900, beef liver capsules, and Nature’s Nutrients.

Fall: Super Nutrients For Kids, Oh My Cod Liver Oil, probiotic, Organic Immunity Boost, and Immune Support Max.

Winter: Oh My Cod Liver Oil, probiotic, beef liver capsules, and Essential Immune Support.

During times of increased stress, we add in extra adrenal support herbs and magnesium. This is what works for my family. Please remember that your family’s needs may differ, and you should consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice. 

*When putting together supplements, it is important to keep an eye on Vitamin A. It is possible to overdose this fat soluble vitamin, and it is present in multivitamins, immune support blends, cod liver oil, and beef liver capsules. See this article for more information including age-based limits and overdose symptoms: Benefits Of Vitamin A & Pediatric Dosing

Putting It Together: Basic Supplement Protocol

A basic protocol for health maintenance would often include the following supplements: multivitamin + probiotic + fish oil. However, as mentioned above, supplement plans can and should be customized for each individual. 

Sample daily supplement protocols for all ages and stages of life are available in the Dr. Green Mom VIP Membership (launched in July 2023) where you also get practical tips for using Dr. Green Mom products and other natural remedies. 

How To Identify Good Supplement Brands

Choosing a good supplement brand is essential! If you buy low quality supplements, you may get higher or lower doses of vitamins than listed on the label, ingest unhealthy fillers, or consume difficult to absorb or utilize forms of vitamins and minerals.

Though this topic deserves an article of its own, here are some of the most important things to look for in a supplement company:

  1. Supplements are manufactured in an NSF GMP certified and FDA registered facility.
  2. Herbs are harvested & processed in ways specific to the medicinal requirements of each plant.
  3. Active forms of vitamins (for example methylfolate and methylcobalamin) are used.
  4. Non-medicinal ingredients are safe and non-toxic.

Dr. Green Mom and Dr. Green Life are obviously my favorite supplement brands! However, a few brands that I like include Thorne Research, St. Francis Herb Company, and Boiron. When in doubt, ask a knowledgeable healthcare provider for recommendations.  

Summary

Nutritional supplement needs vary by each individual or family and change throughout the year. A good daily supplement protocol is flexible and adaptable. Choose quality supplements and always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement protocol.

References:

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Dr. Green Mom

Dr. Mayer is a naturopathic medical doctor and an expert in nutrition and wellness as it relates to pediatrics and families. Her passion for prevention of disease as cure fueled her desire to immerse herself into specializing in adult onset chronic conditions, as well as childhood chronic illness.

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