Diet + Nutrition

Top 5 Supplements for the Everyday Joe or Jill

Are you a supplement newbie?  Or do you have a collection of bottles, potions, and liquids that seems to need an inventory spreadsheet?  Gather round folks, Imma ‘bout to blow your mind!  Jk, I’m just gonna give you the goods on what supplements to include in your daily regime starting, now!

Have you ever snooped in someone’s medicine cabinet?  Err I mean, asking for a friend… It’s remarkable what people hold on to for years past expiry or are duped into buying because it’s the latest and greatest magic pill.  News flash, there is no magic, all-in-wonder pill – but there are five staples that help to improve your daily health and wellbeing.  Drum roll, please!


Okay, this is as close to a magic, all-in-wonder pill as I’m going to get. I’m a huge fan of probiotics, both in supplement form and whole foods.  Probiotics help to repopulate and diversify your gut flora.

Probiotics are ‘friendly’ or ‘beneficial’ bacteria that help to defend against bacteria and viral attacks strengthening your immune system.  They’re also incredibly beneficial on gut health and even thought clarity.  If you’re feeling bloated, gassy, constipated or seem to have a brain cloud; including probiotics may be one of the single most beneficial health improvements you can experience within weeks of starting.

The digestive tract is also referred to as the 2nd brain because it houses over 100 million neurons now you know why you get that ‘gut feeling.’  Feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are made in the gut and transported to the brain.  Depression, mood, and personality disorders are often linked to digestive issues.

Probiotics aid in the proper digestion of food, so you’re better able to utilize nutrients and get the most out of what you’re putting in your body.  On the flip side, they also help to reduce inflammation and digestive upset for the questionable things you include in your diet.

Janna’s Recommendations

My number 1 recommended probiotic is the HMF Intensive by Genestra.  Its vegan sourced, strictly using only human microflora and backed with a ton of research led by one of the global authorities on probiotics, Dr. Nigel Plummer.

My number 2 recommended probiotic is the Renew Life Critical Care 50 Billion.  This one has a blend of strains from animal, vegetable and human microflora.

Genestra HMF Intensive
Renew Life Critical Care 50 Billion
Buying Tips
  • You’ll want to look for a high-quality probiotic, preferably that requires refrigeration.
  • Human microflora is one of the key things to look for as it’s most adaptable to your gut bacteria.
  • Vegetable, animal and other sources tend to be more ‘transient’ and help feed the resident bacteria and move the sewage along, but don’t repopulate.
  • Look for multi strains of both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (yea, those are actual words) as this will help your entire digestive tract.
    • lactobacilli are usually populated more upper half of the body and bifidobacterium are largely seen in the lower half


Vitamin D

Interestingly this baby acts more like a hormone than a vitamin; there’s some food for thought.  A 2010 Survey Canada study suggested that over a million Canadians suffer from severe health issues due to vitamin d deficiency and Dr. David Hanley from the University of Calgary determined that 100% of Canadians are vitamin D deficient at least one time of the year.

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that requires the entire body to participate in its formation. Any break in the chain will severely reduce its production and may lead to deficiency. The impact is so large that it’s even thought of as the vitamin that most closely resembles a hormone because of its huge impact on other organs and organ systems.

Vitamin D helps your body activate the release of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters in your brain that combat depression and improve mood and feelings of motivation and intention.  Last, but not least, vitamin D has an incredibly strong influence on calcium absorption also contributes to weight loss/management.

Janna Recommends

Genestra has an oil-based D3 1000 that you can take straight, no food required.  It’s very inexpensive and unflavored.  Each drop is 1000IUs and has about 500 drops in there.  So it’ll last you about 2.5-3 months with continual use depending on your needs.

Genestra also has a vitamin D-Mulsion 1000 that is emulsified oil based so that you can take it straight like the oil based one above, but this one comes in flavors like citrus, or ‘lemon pie’ and mint.  I’m not a big fan of the additives, but if you’re more likely to take it with lemon pie, than have atter!

Genestra D3 1000
Genestra D-Mulsion 1000
Buying Tips
  • Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning, it must be in the presence of fat to be absorbed and better utilized
  • It’s mostly found in animal sources but can get a vegan sourced synthetic vitamin D2
    • The synthetic form is not as absorbable as the animal-based D3 kind
  • Pills are not ideal and should be taken with foods containing fat.  I also find they are more expensive and who wants to take 5-8 pills rather than 5-8 drops?
  • Oil-based liquids are preferred

Omega 3

If the Wizard of Oz had Omega 3’s, joints would be lubricated, brains would be intact, hearts would function better, and memory loss would be minimized… oh, If only they had an Omega 3.

There are so many benefits to Omega 3!  The two main players you want to look for are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid).  Generally speaking, DHA helps support the cell structure, and EPA is supportive for the function of the cells.

DHA is found in every cell of the body and stored, EPA is not, but has extremely high anti-inflammatory properties that help further protect the health of the cell.

Children, Pregnant and Nursing women and the elderly should look for omega 3s with higher DHA as this helps the supportive growth structure in cells in the young, and helps reduce the structural loss in older, or damaged cells.

For the in-between years, making sure to get a high EPA ratio (3:1) will help with heart health; reducing triglycerides, joint lubrication, overall inflammation, and hormone balancing.

Janna Recommends

Renew Life High EPA Omega 3 or Super Critical Omega 3 (capsules that won’t give you fish burps)

Nutra Sea High Concentration EPA (flavored liquid)

Genestra Brand Super EFA Plus (flavored liquid)

Genestra Super EFA Plus
Renew Life Super Critical Omega
Nutra Sea High Potency EPA
Buying Tips
  • QUALITY is key with all supplements, but this is one supplement you don’t want to skimp on.  Toxins, waste products, and contaminants stay in fat cells, so purchasing low-quality fish oils that haven’t been 3rd party tested for purity is an easy way to mainline a bunch of crap into your system
  • I like the IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) resource for selecting my fish oils.  They’ve tested over 100 different fish oils and ranked them according to purity and potency
  • Avoid see-thru plastic containers with clear gel caps.  Fish oils should be kept in a dark container away from heat, light, and air
  • Check expiry dates!  Fish oils go bad fast, do not consume if they’re past expiry… sealed or not!



A study in 2000 from the Nutritional Institute at Knoxville, TN showed that having ideal levels of calcium in the body helps increase metabolism and burn body fat over 30% more efficiently than without.

Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth, yea, yea we know – but it’s also an essential component in the electrical activity of your cells!  Neural disorders are skyrocketing, and so is osteoporosis.  Contrary to popular belief, if you Got Milk, chances are you Got Calcium Issues too.  Mostly because Calcium is stripped away from milk through pasteurization and then added back in a synthetic, poorly absorbed form.  There’s more calcium in a handful of almonds or sesame seeds than a cup of milk.  I digress… If you’re a conventional dairy consumer, coffee/tea enthusiast, pop drinker or smoker you need more Calcium!  These products strip away the calcium from your bones to supply the blood and affect the electrical activity of cells.

Janna Recommends

Melaleuca Calcium Complete is my personal favorite because it has multiple forms of calcium and is chelated to help drive it into cells more efficiently. Unfortunately, you can only get it if you have an account or live in the states… SO!  Number TWO choice is

SISU Liquid Cal-Mag Citrates.  A liquid is going to be a better choice overall because it’s better absorbed, and this blend uses citrates instead of carbonate.  Calcium citrate is absorbed up to 40% more efficiently than carbonate (when not chelated).

Progressive Calcium Complete 50+ is also a good choice.  I like the blend of different calcium sources and the addition of whole food sources.  You don’t have to be over 50 to take this supplement.

Melaleuca Calcium Complete
SISU – Cal/Mag Citrates
Progressive Calcium Complete 50+
Buying Tips
  • Look for a Cal/Mag or Cal/Mag + Vitamin D combination.  These work together in harmony and balance each other
  • Look for a blend of calcium types, or chelated calcium (not straight calcium-carbonate as this kind has low bioavailability)

Vitamin C

I looove vitamin C, all the times we had together and as our lives change, come whatever, we will still be friends forever… okay, that Vitamin C too, but in supplement form, this baby really is going to be your friend forever.

Vitamin C is needed for every single process in the body; it’s the most used and utilized vitamin.  Important for skin health, collagen stimulation, tissue repair and contains antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-oxidant properties.

Bleeding gums, seasonal allergies, run down, stressed or skin looking dull?  Vitamin C to the rescue!  Now, don’t fool yourself into thinking that your Tropical delight orange juice is giving you what you need.  The pasteurization and commercial processing destroy any naturally occurring vitamin C.

Janna Recommends

SISU Ester C Supreme is a gentle form of vitamin C for those who have sensitive stomachs and is citrus-free.  It’s bound (or chelated) with calcium, so you get a double whammy.  The Supreme part is what I like; it has extra antioxidants, superfoods, and quercetin for that amped up antioxidant power.

SISU also carries straight vitamin C 1000 tabs which are great too.  Overall the Ester C is a form I like the best because it’s a slower release of vitamin C.

For the on-the-go type, SISU has individual Ester C Energy Boost packets in multiple flavors.

SISU – Ester C Energy Boost ToGo Packets
SISU Ester C 1000
SISU Ester C Supreme
Buying Tips
  • If you have a sensitive stomach, look for vitamin C buffered with something like calcium
  • Although there are cheap versions available, look at the ‘non-medicinal’ ingredients on the package, and if there’s a bunch of chemicals, fillers or synthetics avoid buying
  • There are mix-in drink powders available, but again, look at the ingredients!


So there you have it!  My Top 5 Supplements for the Everyday Joe and Jill.  What are your favorite staple supplement brands?

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