The 7 Best Supplements of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Bolster your diet with these top picks

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Our Top Picks
"A high-quality multivitamin for men and women derived from real food ingredients."
"The soft-gels are made from high-quality ingredients, contain potent omega-3s, and are easy to take with no fishy aftertaste."
"The easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsules are hypoallergenic."
"High-potency, slow-release tablets that replenish iron levels without common side effects such as nausea and abdominal discomfort."
"The USDA Organic powder offers a blend of both insoluble and soluble fibers as well as protein."
"Fantastic for those who experience occasional digestive issues and for those who travel frequently."
"An important vitamin that supports mood, bone health, and immune function."

A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get all the nutrition you need; however, sometimes a supplement can help to boost your intake or help to meet your needs, especially if you have a deficiency. A multivitamin can help to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet and prevent deficiencies. Other products, such as probiotics and omega-3s, are more specialized and benefit specific health concerns such as gut function and heart health. If you're considering adding a supplement to your routine, it's best to check in with your healthcare provider to ensure it's safe and beneficial for your individual health needs.

Here, the best supplements.

Best Multivitamin: MegaFood One Daily Multivitamin

A multivitamin is an excellent supplement for anyone looking to bolster their nutrition and promote overall health. While you can aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet, a multivitamin works to fill in any nutritional gaps that may occur. MegaFood One Daily is a high-quality multivitamin for men and women derived from real food ingredients. The signature one-a-day vitamin and mineral supplement is formulated with B vitamins for energy support, vitamins C and E to promote immune function, and 10 micrograms of vitamin D to help maintain healthy bones.

The product is versatile and can be used by men or women of any age, although it may not be optimal for those over 55, and pregnant women should always take a prenatal. It can be taken any time of day and is gentle enough to be taken on an empty stomach.

MegaFood is known for its dedication to real food ingredients and an obsession with quality. The supplement is tested for over 125 herbicides and pesticides and is free of gluten, dairy, and soy. It is also Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Glyphosate Residue Free, and Certified Kosher.

Best Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Lemon

Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended as part of a healthy diet because they are believed to play a role in cancer prevention and also support the health of the heart, eyes, and brain. The best sources of omega-3 are foods like fatty fish and some nuts and seeds, but fish oil supplements can also help you to meet your needs.

When looking for the best fish oil supplement, consider Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. The soft gels are made from the highest quality ingredients, contain potent omega-3s, and are easy to take with no fishy aftertaste. They have a fresh lemon taste and are made from 100% wild-caught sardines and anchovies.

Each two soft gel serving contains 1280 milligrams of total omega-3s with 650 milligrams EPA, 450 milligrams DHA, and 180 milligrams of other omega-3s. The Non-GMO Verified supplement is Friend of the Sea certified and third-party purity tested. If you're not a fan of swallowing pills, Nordic Naturals offers the same product in liquid form.

Best Magnesium: Pure Encapsulations Magnesium (Citrate)

Magnesium is an important mineral that supports bone health, heart health, and normal digestion. Magnesium supplements come in many forms, including magnesium citrate, a highly bioavailable, easily absorbed form that can help to replenish magnesium levels and alleviate constipation with its natural laxative effect. Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate capsules offer 150 milligrams of magnesium per capsule. Known for its highly pure supplements, Pure Encapsulations is a trusted brand that provides superior quality vitamins and minerals.

For those with allergies, Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate is an ideal option. The easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsules are hypoallergenic. They're free from common allergens such as wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, soy, dairy, and shellfish. They also are free of magnesium stearate, hydrogenated fat, artificial colors and sweeteners, and any other unnecessary ingredients.

Best Iron: Slow Fe Slow Release Iron Supplement Tablets

Low iron levels and anemia are common, especially in women. Iron is a necessary component in normal cellular growth, development, and functioning. If you are concerned, it is best to speak with your physician about your individual iron levels. Most people can get enough iron from the food they eat, but if your doctor recommends supplementing, try this option from Slow FE.

Slow FE's high-potency, slow-release tablets replenish iron levels without common gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and abdominal discomfort. The controlled release system delivers iron to the body slowly, which is gentler on the stomach. Each easy-to-swallow pill provides 45 milligrams of elemental iron, which is equivalent to 142 milligrams of ferrous sulfate, a common form of iron.

Best Fiber: Renew Life Organic Triple Fiber

A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is likely high in fiber, but for those who can't eat certain foods or need help with digestion, a fiber supplement may be helpful. If you're looking for the best fiber to keep you full and promote digestive balance, Renew Life's Organic Triple Fiber product is an excellent option. The USDA Organic powder combines non-GMO flaxseed, oat, and acacia fiber to offer a blend of both insoluble and soluble fibers as well as protein. The dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free product provides 3 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of protein per scoop.

Unlike other supplements that contain only soluble or insoluble fiber, this balanced fiber supplement combines the digestion-slowing soluble fiber from flax and acacia with oat fiber, which is mostly insoluble and passes through the digestive system intact. The powder mixes easily with juice or water and can help to alleviate constipation. If you're not a fan of powder supplements, Renew Life makes the same supplement in capsule form.

Best Probiotic: Culturelle Daily Probiotic

Probiotics are known for their beneficial bacteria which may improve the gut ecosystem and everything from skin health to immune function, and even mental health. For an effective, widely available, and affordable probiotic, consider Culturelle's Daily Digestive Probiotic. Each easy-to-swallow, once-daily capsule provides 10 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a well-studied probiotic. They also contain inulin, a prebiotic that acts as food for the healthy bacteria.

The gelatin-free capsules are excellent for vegetarians. While probiotics are fantastic for those who experience occasional digestive issues, they're also great for people who travel frequently. Culturelle recommends taking one capsule twice daily while traveling to avoid any digestive issues.

Best Vitamin D: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3-25 mcg (1000 IU)

Vitamin D is an important vitamin that supports mood, bone health, and immune function. Although the body naturally makes vitamin D with sun exposure, it can be a challenge to meet the recommendation of at least 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. Taking a supplement such as Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 can help you to meet your daily goal. Each once-daily soft gel provides 1000 IU of D3.

Nordic Natural's non-GMO product is third-party tested to ensure you're getting the highest quality vitamin possible that complies with strict manufacturing standards. Nordic Naturals recommends taking the supplement with food, as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is best absorbed with healthy sources of fat in the diet.

Final Verdict

While supplementation is highly individual and should be discussed with your healthcare provider, most adults may benefit from a multivitamin such as MegaFood One Daily, which can help to prevent deficiencies and fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet.

What to Look for in a Supplement

Nutritional needs: Many men and women decide to take supplements because they have (or want to avoid) a nutritional deficiency in their diet. For instance, if you know you don’t get enough vitamin D in your diet, or you have limited sun exposure, you may decide to take a vitamin D supplement. It’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine, as they can advise whether you have an identified nutritional deficiency or have a particular health condition that may benefit from added nutrients. It’s important to remember that supplements are intended to boost the nutrition of a healthy diet, and they aren’t a replacement for a poor diet. Plus, while you need a certain amount of specific vitamins and minerals, more isn’t always better, and supplements can potentially be dangerous if you consume too much.

Health goals: Similarly, you’ll want to think about your health and wellness goals when choosing a supplement. If you wish to support bone health, a mix of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium might be a good option. If you want to improve your mood, digestion, or athletic performance, there are certain supplements formulated to offer support. It all depends on what you’re hoping to achieve and what is appropriate considering your individual nutrition needs.

Supplement form: If you prefer not to take a pill every day, look for supplements that come in gummy, lozenge, tablet, or liquid form. Always take a look at the ingredient list to ensure that the product is low in sugar and contains adequate levels of the vitamin, mineral, or supplement you're looking to add to your diet.

What Experts Say

"Consider safety, expense, and effectiveness when looking for a supplement. Supplements do not have the same level of scrutiny and restrictions when it comes to labeling as food does. That means they may or may not contain what they say they do, or they may be contaminated with other ingredients that you want to steer clear of. Fortunately, there are several third-party groups, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and NSF International, that test supplements to ensure they are free of banned substances. Look for a USP or NSF Certification on the product label."—Allison Koch, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements. In writing this article, I spent time reviewing the most current clinical research on various popular supplements, looking at multiple products and brands, and consulting with trusted peers in dietetics. I believe the supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands and are composed of high-quality ingredients. — Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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