Which supplements should you be taking?
Published by Glamour, 24 January 2018
The simple quiz that reveals which supplements you should be taking to boost your wellbeing.
From Vitamin C and omegas to magnesium and chlorella, there's an abundance of supplements on shelves that promise to treat a plethora of wellbeing woes.
Feeling overwhelmed? We don't blame you.
To make supplement selection a little less mind-boggling, GLAMOUR UK called on Nutritional Therapist, Sophie Pelling, founder of www.SophiePellingNutrition.com, to share a simple test that will reveal which supplements you may need to include in your daily wellbeing regime.
Simply take the test below, tally up your answers and scroll down to discover the pill you should be popping.
1. Which of the energy levels below best suits you?
a. Constantly feel slightly lethargic and easily fatigued b. Continuous energy levels throughout the day without really peaking or troughing c. Generally OK, but feel more energised in the summer than winter d. My energy seems to peak in the evenings, which can make sleeping an issue 2. What is most like your typical weekday dinner? a. Veggies, veggies and more veggies b. Lots of carbs and maybe something sweet to finish c. A good balance of protein, fats and carbs d. Probably just an easy grab-and-go convenience meal 3. How good are you at avoiding the standard winter germs flying around? a. Not great, and I feel completely wiped out even with a common cold b. Absolutely terrible. Any cough, cold, flu or you name it, I’ll have it c. Pretty good, usually only 1-2 bouts a year d. If I take care of myself and get enough sleep, I’m generally alright, but as soon as I’m not getting my eight hours, illness creeps in… 4. Which one of these is most like you when coping with stress? a. It exhausts me to my core b. Prolonged stress tends to make me feel run down and not myself c. I’m pretty resilient but can feel a bit achy and like I need a holiday d. I get brain fog easily and start forgetting things as my mind is all over the place 5. Which one of these holidays would you choose? a. A relaxing spa break where I don’t have to move for a week b. Somewhere with fresh air, like a hike in the Swiss mountains c. A chilled beach holiday, anywhere really so long as it’s hot and sunny d. A yoga/wellness retreat including a digital detox 6. If you had a craving, what would it most likely be for? a. Really, really random things, like ice… b. Something stodgy and sweet, like a big Krispy Kreme doughnut c. Something salty, like a bag of crisps d. Chocolate
You could be deficient in B vitamins. B-vits are responsible for a myriad of bodily functions, including red blood cell formation, converting food to energy, and reducing the risk of birth defects in pregnancy. Many people don’t get enough from food, or their bodies simply aren’t great at absorbing them (alcohol exacerbates this!). Try taking a good quality B complex, and if you’re vegan or vegetarian, I would recommend taking an additional dose of B12 (as this is only found naturally in meat and dairy products).
You need to take a probiotic to boost your gut! The cells here house 70 per cent of your entire immune system, so if these aren’t doing their job properly, you’ll find yourself picking up recurrent infections. Probiotic yoghurts aren’t really effective enough to make a difference as most of the bacterial strains (good bacteria!) are digested before they reach your gut, so try taking a month’s supply in capsule form.
These answers indicate that you could be lacking in vitamin D, which isn’t surprising living in the UK, given that you’re meant to obtain this from sunlight rather than food. Increasing your vitamin D levels has been shown to reduce the risk of many cancers, heart disease, infections and autoimmune diseases. So either move to a sunny country, or take a dose in tablet form daily.
It sounds like you would benefit from some extra magnesium. It’s involved in many reactions throughout the nervous system, and lacking this vital nutrient can cause memory loss and concentration issues. It has also been shown to relieve insomnia, as it decreases cortisol levels – the stress hormone that keeps you up at night. Rather than taking a supplement, you could try taking a relaxing bath with two handfuls of Epsom salts in before you hit the sack.