It’s safe to say that the ketogenic diet can be pretty limiting in terms of what you can eat – and how much of it you can eat – so it can be a bit of a challenge to get all of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to thrive. For this reason, many fans of the ketogenic diet will take supplements to ensure optimal health and functionality. Oftentimes, the addition of supplements can minimize the ill feelings associated with keto flu as a part of becoming keto-adapted.
Which supplements serve the best purpose on the ketogenic diet? The guide below will tell you not only what supplements are useful, but also what food sources contain them as well. The right combination of enriched foods and supplements will keep your body healthy and happy.
5 Supplements That You Need on the Ketogenic Diet
Many people, even those who are not on the ketogenic diet, struggle with a deficiency of magnesium due to poor dietary choices and even certain medications that can deplete the body’s supply of magnesium. Many foods that are enriched with this compound are high in carbohydrates, like fruits and beans, making them not ideal for those who are on this specialized diet plan. Spinach, avocado and mackerel are all keto-friendly sources of magnesium.
Magnesium aids the body by regulating blood sugar, aiding in energy and reinforcing a healthy immune system. Ideally, keto dieters should make sure that they are getting at least 200-400mg of magnesium each day.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain types of fish whereas the more common Omega-6 fatty acids are typically found in processed foods that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation, improve brain health and decrease a person’s risk of heart disease, making it a very valuable item to have in your diet – either eaten in food or as a supplement.
These benefits come from the presence of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that is common in quality Omega-3 supplements. You want to ensure that any supplement you take has at least 500mg of these acids per 1,000mg.
The ketogenic diet doesn’t mean that you are less likely to have adequate amounts of vitamin D. In fact, most humans are at least slightly deprived of this essential vitamin, so it’s worth including here. As keto dieters, we are all about trying to increase our overall health and vitamin D is an important part of achieving this goal. The role of vitamin D is many-fold, including:
- Helping the body absorb calcium
- Immune system support
- The regulation of cellular growth
- Bone health
- Reduction of inflammation
Exposure to sunlight provides vitamin D, but it is often recommended that individuals seek out a vitamin D supplement to ensure that they do not become deficient.
The keto diet works best when dieters ensure that they are taking in an adequate amount of vegetables. For those who didn’t necessarily enjoy a plant-based diet in the past, this can be a tough transition to make. Greens powder, also known as vegetable powder, helps individuals to get their daily requirements of veggie-based vitamins and nutrients without necessarily having to shovel plates full of vegetables into their mouths with each meal.
Greens powder can be added into almost any kind of dish, though it is especially popular in smoothies and shakes. This powder typically consists of numerous veggies, including:
The vegetable content of each brand of greens powder will differ from the next, so it’s worth reading your labels to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need.
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast made from a single-celled organism that grows on molasses and is then processed and dried to deactivate it. It does not contribute to the rise of bread like traditional, active yeast, and is incorporated into many dishes due to its nutritional value and excellent flavor. What makes nutritional yeast so great is what it has, as well as what it doesn’t have.
Instead of preservatives and artificial flavors, users of nutritional yeast get protein, folic acid, B-vitamins, zinc and selenium. This supplement is sold in flake or powder form and can be added into almost anything! The health benefits and nice flavor of nutritional yeast makes it popular among vegans and followers of the ketogenic diet.