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Tips for taking your supplements

By Nadia McMorran

Whether you have an alarm set on your phone for the same time or have your supplements sitting on the shelf next to your tea bags or toothbrush, creating a routine that you follow each day is the best way to remember to take your supplements. We’ve had some wonderful feedback from our customers telling us the various ways that they remember to take their supplements.

Some of my favourite tips included:

“I always put Turmeric into a sauce, stew or curry and that way I always remember to take it” – Ann

“I set up various daily alarms on my mobile phone so I get a reminder for each supplement I take” – Carol

“I keep all my supplements in a cane basket on top of the fridge, every time I go to the fridge I can clearly see it and that reminds me to take them each day” - Marge

Having a 7 day capsule case means that you can fill the container with a whole week’s worth of supplements at a time, so this will save you time opening bottles each day. Then, if you forget if you have taken them or not, you can simply look at your capsule case and see whether the current day of the week is empty or not!

The best time to take vitamins, minerals, probiotics and herbs:

Minerals are best taken with food as some, such as zinc, can make you feel queasy if you were to take it on an empty stomach. Iron should always be taken with vitamin C (for example when you have steak, eat it with raw or lightly steamed vegetables high in vitamin C such as capsicum and tomatoes), and well away from coffee, tea or calcium.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, so if you were to take these on an empty stomach they wouldn’t be properly absorbed. It is best to take them with food or even another supplement such as fish oil to ensure you are getting the fats to carry these vitamins to your cells.

Water soluble vitamins including the B group vitamins and vitamin C do not need to be taken with food, however, because they are water soluble they are used quickly in the body and not stored, so need to be taken on a daily basis.

The best time to take herbs varies. For example, some herbal formulas such as Swedish bitters are best taken 15 minutes prior to a meal as they stimulate digestion, while others, such as turmeric should be taken with food because it is far better absorbed with the addition of fats. Other herbs, such as ginseng, do well when they are taken with sugar or honey in order to transport it straight to the cells.

Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach (either first thing in the morning or last thing at night) as this gives the probiotics the chance to colonise.

While it can seem complicated to make sure you get the best from your supplements, the most important thing is to create a routine to make things as simple as possible. It is more important that you take your supplements each day than worrying about the exact time of day that you need to take them.

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