You hear about dozens–maybe hundreds!–of different supplements and superfoods from books, blogs, health websites, and magazines. Have you ever wondered: what does one family actually take?
Today, instead of giving you a catalogue of all the supplements and superfoods you could take (because God and man have made many!), I’m just going to give you the details of eight things my own family actually uses and loves.
Our everyday diet includes what you might expect from anyone with a simple, balanced approach to healthy eating. Over the five years since our marriage, we’ve added a few things to our real food pantry that pack an extra nutritional punch–either on a daily basis, or during an occasional immunity-boosting campaign. As our budget and dietary needs change, I’m sure we’ll try other superfoods and supplements. But for now, we’re enjoying the benefits of what we do have, and trusting God to take care of us when we can’t afford every option we’d like to try!
Please note: this post isn’t sponsored by any company, but I do use affiliate links below. As a reader, I always appreciate it when bloggers give links to actual products–it helps me to see exactly what they have in mind, and I can read the review section on the product!
8 Superfoods and Supplements to Add to Your Real Food Pantry
This is a powdered seaweed that we take for its rich mineral composition–especially iodine. Although you could probably add it to soups or pureed vegetable sauces, we usually just add a couple of teaspoons to the blender whenever we make a smoothie. You can read more about the health benefits and purchase quality kelp powder at The Bulk Herb Store.
Raw apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps to balance your body’s digestive system and pH levels. We use it in cooking, but we also like to take it raw to boost immunity, especially during flu season. I typically just add a few splashes to my water glass, but my favourite way to take it is in a mixture of ice water, lemon juice, and raw honey, which I call “sour lemonade.” We like Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, which you can get in some grocery stores (like Meijer!) or on Amazon. Here’s a previous post I’ve written about ACV.
Plant protein powder
After my doctor recommended that I gain some weight, we starting exploring the world of protein powders. It was very overwhelming! After lots of research and asking around, I settled on Garden of Life’s raw organic protein. It adds a pleasant vanilla flavour to our smoothies or to my homemade yogurt.
The runner up in my protein powder search was the grassfed hydrolyzed collagen from Perfect Supplements. The collagen is tasteless and odorless, and dissolves completely in any liquid, hot or cold. This sounds like a really convenient way to boost protein, since my vanilla powder definitely wouldn’t taste good or mix well in a lot of things!
Elderberry syrup is packed with antioxidants, and is a great immunity booster. We don’t take it on a regular basis, but I always make a batch when a cold or flu is going around. This post gives the basic recipe I follow, although sometimes I cut back on the honey to save money. You can source whole, dried elderberries from The Bulk Herb Store.
Molasses is a byproduct leftover when sugar cane is processed into table sugar. Whereas white sugar isn’t nutritional, molasses contains a concentrate of good vitamins and minerals. Sugar cane roots grow deep, so the plant is able to draw a rich store from the soil. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains about twenty percent of your daily calcium needs, twenty-five percent of your iron needs, and nine percent of your potassium needs. It’s also rich in copper, magnesium, and B vitamins. Try taking it in the morning to give you a boost of energy.
Blackstrap molasses is sold online or in grocery stores, but be sure to look for unsulfured. You can mix a tablespoon of molasses into water, but I don’t care for that taste. I just eat a spoonful straight and then brush my teeth immediately afterwards (so the stickiness doesn’t damage them.)
Cod liver oil
We take cod liver oil in capsule form everyday with supper. Cod liver oil’s main benefits are Vitamin D and DHA and EPA fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy nervous system. Cod liver oil also helps to strengthen our immune systems and give us healthy skin, hair, and nails! I prefer the gel capsules rather than the liquid version, because they’re non-messy and easy to pack for trips.
Red raspberry leaf tea
This drink is the secret weapon for pregnant and postpartum mamas! It replenishes your body with a rich supply of nutrients, giving you an easier labor and a faster recovery. After I got pregnant with Little Dude, I began making a mixture of dried red raspberry leaves, nettle, and alfalfa which I steep to make tea. (I bought all of these dried herbs in bulk from the Bulk Herb Store.)
I use about 1 part alfalfa, 1 part nettle, and 2 parts red raspberry leaves and shake everything together in a large jar. To make tea, I add a loose 1/3 cup of herbs to a large saucepan of water, which I boil, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes, and then remove from heat and let steep a few hours. I strain the tea into a half gallon pitcher, store in the fridge, and drink a glass per day. I reuse the leaves for a second, less strong brew.
Prenatal with folate
I’m the only one in the family who takes this! I wanted to find a prenatal that was whole foods based and contained folate rather than the synthetic folic acid. Unfortunately, there are so many brands out there I just wasn’t sure I could trust, and since prenatals can be expensive I wanted to get something that my body can fully absorb and use–something that won’t just pass through my system or do more harm than good.
I did some research and chose the Supermom2Bee Liquid from Beeyoutiful. You can buy multiple bottles to save money, and if you sign up for their newsletter they occasionally run sales or send coupon codes. I’ve been really impressed with their knowledgeable and friendly team.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. I’m sharing what works for our family, but please do your own research and talk to your trusted medical professionals(: