The standard western diet lacks Vitamins D, E, and A as well as minerals such as magnesium and calcium. So what can we do? Having a daily vitamin plan is a good start.
In addition to eating a clean diet of whole foods, what vitamins should you take? Is swallowing a multivitamin a cheap and easy way to cover our bases? Here’s our approach and daily vitamin plan.
our daily vitamin plan
What Vitamins Do You Need Daily?
The short answer: it’s confusing.
Googling the term “multivitamin” comes up with a hefty volume of articles and opinions on either side of the fence. Amongst the disparity, there is one universal agreement: your best option is to eat a balanced diet, a variety of whole foods and plenty of veggies.
Hopefully that article, and the downloadable grocery shopping cheat sheet, will take some confusion out of stocking your cupboards and fridge with healthy foods.
The root cause here is that our bodies do not manufacture (or do not manufacture in sufficient amounts) many nutrients that we need to survive – called essential nutrients.
Thus, essential nutrients must be obtained through your diet or supplementation. The list of essential nutrients includes all vitamins, many minerals, and some amino and fatty acids.
Identifying A Daily Vitamin Regimen
For Ryan and I, we wanted to get to know what vitamins we needed and create a daily vitamin plan. Our primary motivation was that Ryan has a recent health scare.
Tests showed that he had very low testosterone in his 20s and was burned out. We went to a doctor to perform the slightly controversial hair mineral analysis test to reveal mineral deficiencies and imbalances.
Our hair is a way for our body to excrete minerals and toxins, similar to our urine and blood. However, hair provides a 3-month “overview” of what our body has been up to. The controversy is of its accuracy are the overreaching conclusions that some doctors come to with the results.
For us, we viewed it as a crystal ball. We feel 100% healthy today but could our mineral deficiencies point to potential problems in the decades to come?
With our results, we decided to add several specific vitamins to our daily plan to supplement our healthy diet. Not to mention, the doctor’s recommended daily vitamin plan along with tons of sleep, did help Ryan recover from job burnout.
Our Current Daily Vitamin Plan
1. Vitamin D3
There are many health benefits of sunlight, and nearly all Americans are Vitamin D3 deficient from lack of sunlight.
Almost every doctor we’ve spoken to prescribes this no matter what to support your moods, quality sleep, and immune system.
2. Fish Oil
An essential nutrient is omega-3 fatty acids with the types EPA and DHA found in fish.
Unless you’re eating 3 – 4 cans of sardines weekly (Ryan is obsessed and still only has 1-2 consistently,) it’s typically recommended to take 1,000 mg of fish oil concentrate daily. Your doctor may prescribe more to counterbalance your omega-6 fatty acids consumed in vegetable oil.
Not only does your body need omega-3 fatty acids to function, but it also helps with heart health, depression, brain function, and decreases inflammation. We take our fish oil with meals, typically dinner.
As recent studies show, it is best absorbed while sleeping. We purchase molecularly distilled fish oil. Here is what fish oil we take.
Also, keep fish oil pills in the refrigerator. For some reason, that seems to help eliminate “fish burps.”
Adults are typically recommended 1,000 mg of calcium daily.
Calcium helps strengthen bones and can protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Ryan and I take calcium supplements before bed for a higher quality of sleep. Here is what calcium we take.
Our doctor recommended sea kelp to provide a full spectrum of minerals such as iodine, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E.
Kelp detoxifies the body and improves longevity and nail and hair health. Kelp is especially suitable for women during their menstrual cycle and pre- and during pregnancy.
Kelp is high in folic acid, which is essential for baby development (although, dietary folate found in food is still the best option.) Women who plan to have children in the coming years should begin to include more folate into their diets today.
Ryan and I take our kelp supplements with breakfast as its iodine can provide a mid-day energy boost.
We were recommended to take 1800 mg daily and work up to a maximum of 4000 mg daily – depending on how deficient you are with iodine. Taking more than 4000 mg daily could increase mercury and arsenic levels in your body. Here is what kelp supplement we take.
Since we eat a mostly vegetarian diet, kelp also helps us get iron into our diet. The sprouts that we grow at home also provide a powerful source of iron.
Shakeology is our nutrient-rich, whole food shake that acts as our bioavailable multivitamin, probiotic supplement, and digestive enzymes.
We have this as a healthy snack daily. It’s is not a protein shake, those typically aren’t necessary. We do a fine job of getting our protein from the foods we eat.
Shakeology has 70 superfood ingredients sourced fair-trade from around the globe provide nutrients to fill in the gaps. We eat an incredibly clean and healthy diet, but we still can’t always eat every color of the rainbow daily. Here is a useful chart that shows the nutrient spread.
We also love Shakeology for healthy digestion and improved gut health. Gut health is so popular these days, and the new findings are incredible. Your gut has your brain on speed dial.
So, if your gut isn’t satisfied with healthy foods, your brain will quickly receive that message. The brain’s response will be junk food cravings.
A Word From A Doctor
We asked our friend, Dr. Renee Buster, a health professor at Texas Woman’s University and former physique competitor, to weigh in on the best daily vitamin plan:
“Vitamins and supplements can be a great way to aid your healthy lifestyle and curb minor health ailments. Personally, I take vitamin C & E regularly for the major health benefits to my immune system and skin. I also enjoy a protein shake for an in-between meal or a post-workout/pre-workout treat. However, it is important to understand the benefits/risks of vitamins and supplements.”
“There are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, with B vitamins and C vitamins being water-soluble, there is virtually no upper limit. However, vitamins A, E, D, & K are fat-soluble and definitely have an upper-limit (you can take too much and it can have health consequences.) As for supplements, like vitamins, there are upper-limits and negative health consequences if taken too high a dose or ignoring synergistic effects (this means some supplements can interact with medications, lessening or canceling the intended effects of the medication.)”
“A helpful site for all your vitamin/supplement questions as well as research about risks/benefits can be found at the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. It is important to always research what you put into your body, regardless of health benefits, there can be too much of a good thing!”
Questions or feedback on our daily vitamin regimen? Is there a daily vitamin, type or brand, that you swear by? Share with us in the comments below and let’s spread the health.
The Ultimate Healthy Food Guide And Shopping List (PDF)
Do you ever wonder which foods have the highest nutritional quality or "bang for their buck?" Check out our guide and prepare for success before your next grocery store visit. We list our pantry staples, and healthy foods in order of the highest nutrition value.
Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.
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