By Kristin Yancy
I’m not going to lie to you, Fly Gyal, I took my Flintstones vitamins well into my high school years. Deep down, I’ll always be loyal to those tiny cavemen, but these days it’s hard not to be a little bit curious about the world beyond the multivitamin. Here are six daily supplements you can add to your diet and why they might give tiny Fred Flintstone a run for his pre-historic buck.
The Vitamin: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (you’ll see this one in stores as “Fish Oil” capsules)
The Boost: Brain performance and memory; aids in future blood vessel health.
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: If you’re looking to add Omega 3s to your meals, look for fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, as well as walnuts, almonds, and olive oil.
The Vitamin: Vitamin D
The Boost: Bone growth and healthy immune function.
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: Most people know that you can take in your daily dose of Vitamin D by soakin’ in the rays (of natural sunlight, that is), but you can also get it from tuna, salmon, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, and milk or orange juice products that have been fortified with vitamin D.
The Vitamin: Calcium
The Boost: Strong bones and teeth, helps muscles and blood vessels to expand and contract, and supports the sending of messages through the nervous system.
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: Find calcium in milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy, or in dark green veggies like kale and broccoli.
The Vitamin: Grape Seed Extract
The Boost: This keeps you young! Grape Seed Extract helps reverse free radical damage, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Some pill forms help maintain collagen and elastin, which will keep your skin oh-so-smooth!
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: Unfortunately, this comes in pill-form only; grape seed extract is produced specifically for diet reinforcement.
The Vitamin: Resveratrol
The Boost: Healthy blood vessels, prevents blood clots, and may help to lower your cholesterol.
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: Resveratrol is most present in grape skins- so hit up grapes and berries, grape juice, and a little bit of vino for your regular dose. Cheers!
The Vitamin: Flaxseed
The Boost: Helps to lower cholesterol, boost your immune system, and is thought to protect against some cancers, including breast cancer. Flaxseed also may help with healthy hair and nail growth, as well as revive your skin.
Have Your Supplement and Eat It Too: The fatty acids in flaxseed oil or compressed flaxseed gel capsules contain most of the boost that help your heart and immune system; try whole flaxseeds for the full benefits (look for them added to oatmeal, cereal, and granola).
Keep in mind; these are healthy additives, not magic pills. Taking one supplemental vitamin the day of an audition most likely will have no effect on your performance. Rather, target the supplement that balances the part of your diet you find is missing, and add that to your daily routine. Living in an urban community? Add Vitamin D. Don’t eat fish? Make Omega 3s your best friend. Always talk to a doctor or a nutritionist if you’re unsure of what to take, and remember, if possible, it’s always better to eat these nutrients in food than to take the pill versions. Happy Supplementing!