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Never Be Lost in the Supplement Aisle Again

When it comes to vitamins, minerals, and good-for-you superfoods, the influx of information can be a little intimidating, to say the least. So how do you know what supplements are right for you? Nutritionist Elissa Goodman is here to break it down. Consider this your guide to navigating the supplement aisle, and read on to find out the one mineral that everyone should be taking.
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Rip & Tan: Is there a one-size-fits-all when it comes to supplements? Is it enough to take a multi-vitamin?
Elissa Goodman: There is definitely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to supplements. Everybody and every body is different, so it takes some trial and error to find out which supplements work best for you.  Some people thrive on multi-vitamins alone and others do better when individual supplements are introduced.

I recommend that people start with a daily, organic, whole-food supplement. Be sure to choose natural over synthetic, look for no fillers and make sure it is derived from whole, organic fruits and vegetables. I do recommend magnesium to 99% of my clients. Implementing this safe and effective mineral is one of the simplest ways I’ve seen drastic positive improvements in my clients’ quality of sleep, digestion, and easing of aching muscles. 
Rip & Tan: What is the difference between vitamins and supplements?
Elissa Goodman: Vitamins are supplements but not all supplements are vitamins. A vitamin is a naturally occurring substance usually found in food that helps your body to be healthy. A supplement is a product that contains one or more ingredients and is intended to supplement one’s diet and is not considered food. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.
Rip & Tan: How can you tell if a vitamin is “working”? Is there a placebo effect when it comes to taking vitamins?
Elissa Goodman: The changes that occur from taking vitamins are often slow and subtle, so being very aware of your body’s little nuances prior to and after taking vitamins is important.

Before starting on a vitamin, write down as many of your current bodily symptoms as you can—this can be anything from mental fog to fatigue, bloating to dry skin. Once you start taking a vitamin, monitor these symptoms to see if they change. Whether or not a placebo is in effect does not matter to me as long as I am seeing positive changes and results!
Rip & Tan: What is the most common vitamin deficiency for women? How can this be supplanted?
Elissa Goodman: Iron is a common deficiency in all demographics within the U.S., but especially in women since we lose blood through menstruation every month (iron makes up hemoglobin which is a protein in your blood). Iron is extremely important since it plays a large role in energy levels, helps us to maintain healthy cognition, allows for faster healing, supports muscle function and so much more. I love Gaia’s Plant Force Liquid Iron Supplement, but it’s important to get your iron levels tested by your doctor before taking an iron supplement because, for some people, it is possible to overdo it.
Rip & Tan: Best Supplements for….
Elissa Goodman:  

 • Sleep: Dr. Whittaker’s Rest Easy Extended Release & Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate or Citrate

 • Immunity: Host Defense Community, Eidon Ionic Zinc Concentrate, Sovereign Bio-Active Silver and Nature’s Answer Alcohol Free Echinacea/Goldenseal

 • Stress: Pure Encapsulations B-Complex Plus, Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm, Gaia Holy Basil Capsules or daily Tulsi Tea

 • Digestion: Seed Pre/Probiotics, Enzymedica Digest Gold ATPro & Enzymedica Apple Cider Vinegar

 • Focus & Energy: Global Healing B12, Gaia Gelatinized Maca & Hawaiian Spirulina

 • Aging: Pure Encapsulations Vegetarian EPA/DHA, Gaia Turmeric Supreme & Tru Niagen

 • Hair, Skin & Nails: Pure Encapsulations Hair, Skin, Nails Ultra & Eidon Silica Concentrate
Rip & Tan: Is it possible to take too many vitamins or to take them incorrectly?
Elissa Goodman: Of course—too much of anything can be bad for you! If you are taking supplements just for the heck of it, it may be time to reevaluate the benefits you are receiving from them. On a separate note, obsessing about health in any way can be unhealthy—that extra stress is not good for your adrenals.

Be sure to always follow dosage recommendations or start with half the dosage to be safe and always check with your doctor or nutritionist before starting on supplements. 
Rip & Tan: Can you touch on some of the lesser-known supplements and what they do? 
Elissa Goodman: Ashwagandha is one my absolute favorite supplements. It is wonderful for anyone who suffers from anxiety, depression or any kind of sleep issues, as its calming effects are incredible. Kava kava is what I call my ‘emergency herb’ since it can practically stop a panic attack in its tracks. Tulsi (aka Holy Basil) is another fantastic adaptogen because it helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormone levels. 
Rip & Tan: We’ve been hearing a lot about collagen peptides lately. Do you have experience with this supplement, and if so, can you speak to its efficacy? 
Elissa Goodman: Anyone who follows me on social media knows that I am a huge fan of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies––it’s found in your skin, your bones, your gut and even your teeth. Essentially, collagen is a sort of glue that holds our bodies together.

It gives your skin elasticity and adds strength to your hair and nails. Studies have shown that taking a high quality collagen supplement can boost skin moisture, reduce wrinkles, reduce joint pain and promote hair growth. I love adding it to my bone broth, matcha, and smoothies!
Rip & Tan: How can the average consumer tell if a wellness trend is just a passing fad or a new innovation?
Elissa Goodman: With all of the new health and wellness information coming to light every day, it is not surprising that some of it will not hold much weight. My recommendation for weeding out the hokey health trends is to follow a reputable nutritionist or functional doctor for up to date information.

If you want to try something on your own, do it slowly and one thing at a time. Listening to your body is the number one thing I can suggest when navigating the health and wellness arena!
Rip & Tan: What are adaptogens, and how can they help the body’s function? 
Elissa Goodman: Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs that can help the body resist all kinds of stressors. These plants have been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic healing and Chinese medicine.

The list of adaptogens that are used today is seemingly endless and the benefit each one administers is even longer. In general, adaptogens function to help regulate your stress and energy levels. So if you are overly energized and cannot sleep at night, some adaptogens will work to calm you. On the flip side, if you are suffering from chronic fatigue, there are adaptogens that will help revitalize you. They are quite miraculous!
Photos by Trevor Smith