CREATE A CAPSULE CABINET
Seven supplement shelf staples
The basic staples of any good supplement shelf.
You may have heard of the “capsule” wardrobe—a minimalist wardrobe comprised of practical basics that are easily mixed and matched. Here, we’ve narrowed down the basics for your supplement cabinet. With countless supplements perched on shelves in stores and markets, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you actually need in your personal capsule cabinet. You could literally fill your entire bathroom (and then some) if you purchased everything in sight.
Luckily, we’ve tapped two of our favorite experts—Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, and Kelly LeVeque, a certified holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and health coach—to give us the real spiel on natural supplements that everyone should keep stocked in their cabinets. It’s like taking the guesswork out of the equation—so take note and start perusing the aisles with your newfound knowledge!
A Multivitamin Like the little black dress every woman needs in her closet, a multivitamin is a must for your natural medicine chest. But not all multivitamins are created equal, so it’s important to do your homework and make sure you’re buying a high-quality formula. “Just because a multiple contains vitamin E doesn’t mean it’s the best form of vitamin E,” says Bowden. Th e same goes for many additional nutrients on shelves. Adding a multivitamin into your daily regimen will allow you to “fi ll in the gaps” by adding things you may not normally take separately (think selenium and folic acid)—and cover all the supplement basics.
LeVeque suggests seeking out a multivitamin rich in B vitamins and CoQ10. “Th e B vitamin family consists of B1 (thiamine), B2 (ribo avin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), and B12,” she says. “Known for their effect on cellular energy, each B vitamin has a different specific function like reducing in ammation, supporting hormonal function, supporting nerve and heart health, and maintaining a healthy metabolism and digestive system.” Omega-3s Omega-3s, found predominantly in fi sh oil, should be on everyone’s radar when it comes to supplements. “Virtu- ally everyone can benefit from more omega-3 in their diet, and fi sh oil is the best way to get it,” says Bowden. “Omega3s are anti-in ammatory, help lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and are good for the brain and the heart,” he notes.
“Due to large doses of industrial seed oils, most of which are almost exclusively omega-6, Americans now have an average in ammatory ratio of 15:1 (omega-6: omega-3) instead of the ideal 1:1 ratio,” states LeVeque. Look for omega-3 capsules containing both EPA and DHA omega-3s. LaVeque recommends cod-liver oil (which contains both EPA and DHA) stored in a dark
Resveratrol packs a punch when it comes to fighting signs of aging—and also acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
bottle to prevent oxidation, or an algae-based omega 3 with vitamin E added to prevent oxidation.
Insider tip: Concerned about unpleasant sh-oil burps? Store sh-oil capsules in the freezer to solidify, take them right before eating a meal, and, most importantly, make sure you buy a top-quality brand.
In addition to omega-3s, Bowden also touts omega-7 supplements—which can be found in fi sh and sea buckthorn (although he prefers those that come from fi sh). “In one study at the Cleveland Clinic, omega-7 was found to lower in ammation by over 40% (as measured on the hsCRP test, a standard test for systemic in ammation),” he relays. “Th e dose used in that study was 210 mg, which is the dose I recommend.”
Often referred to as “good bacteria,” probiotics are responsible for keeping your gut and skin healthy, while also boosting the immune system. “[It’s] one of the biggest areas of research in nutrition right now,” says Bowden. “We know that the health of the microbiome affects just about everything and is related to obesity, schizophrenia, depression, and probably many more conditions yet to be uncovered.”
Shopping for probiotics, however, can be tricky. You’ll want to research different types of strains. Most good formulas include a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. And make sure they’re in proper packaging. Look for an opaque container to protect against damage from light.
Another often overlooked supplement is magnesium. “[It’s] needed for over 300 biochemical reactions [and] almost no one gets the optimal amount,” says Bowden. It opens up the arteries, lowers blood pressure, regulates blood sugar, and helps with muscle cramps, to name a few benefits.
Additionally, LeVeque notes that “[magnesium] is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione, responsible for boosting our immune system and ghting in ammation.”
If anti-aging is a top concern, you’ll want to add resveratrol supplements to your arsenal. As one of Bowden’s top 10 supplements, it packs a punch when it comes to ghting signs of aging—and also acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-in ammatory.
“Most companies standardize their resveratrol to 10% trans, meaning that only 10% of what’s on the label is the kind of resveratrol you actually need,” says Bowden. So a 500 mg capsule “standardized for 10% trans” would deliver only 50 mg of the bioactive compound. It’s best to seek out a brand that uses 100% trans-resveratrol to reap maximum benefits.
Vitamin D is often overlooked as a must-have when it comes to supplement staples, but is something everyone should keep handy for a bevy of standout reasons. “More than 100 million Americans are deficient in vitamin D,” says LeVeque. “Every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D, and it has the ability to affect up to 2,000 genes. [It’s] a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for immune regulation, absorption of calcium and phosphorus, maintenance of healthy bones and protection against multiple diseases including cancer, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and the u.”
“[Vitamin D] is more like a hormone than a vitamin,” states Bowden. “Low levels are associated with more diseases than you can count—from seasonal affective disorder to MS to cancer—and almost no one gets enough. Ask your health practitioner to check with a blood test and try to get your levels up to at least 50 ng/ml.”