The keto diet is a diet based on a high fat content and a low protein and carbohydrate content. Using the ketogenic diet for weight loss is based on the assumption that the body does not get carbohydrates’ energy. The ketone bodies generated in the body during this diet suppress hunger.
However, people whose goal is to lose weight forget that this diet is low in many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Lack of these ingredients can cause constipation, drowsiness, and even urolithiasis and hyperuricemia. Special supplements that need to be included in the diet while observing dietary norms will help eliminate problems.
Some supplements from the list below can help to survive the symptoms of the keto flu and even improve athletic performance in the gym.
1. Magnesium to Increase the Energy Levels
Magnesium is a useful mineral that boosts energy levels, regulates the level of sugar in the blood. It supports the immune system in general. Studies show that many people lack magnesium due to magnesium depletion drugs, dependence on processed foods, and other factors. Being on a keto diet can make it difficult to consume enough magnesium, because foods that are rich in it, are prohibited. For these reasons, taking up to 500 mg of magnesium per day can be beneficial. Taking magnesium supplements can help reduce muscle cramps, treat sleep problems and irritability. This mineral’s best-absorbed forms include magnesium glycinate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium citrate.
2. Medium Chain Triglyceride for Brain and Muscles
Medium Chain Triglyceride or MCT is a popular supplement among those on the keto diet. They are metabolized differently from long-chain triglycerides, the most common fat found in food. MCTs are digested by the liver and quickly enter the bloodstream, where they serve as an energy source for muscles and the brain. Coconut oil is the best source of MCTs – around 17% of its fatty acids are in the MCT form with potential metabolic benefits. Taking MCT oil supplements can help people on a keto diet as it can rapidly increase their fat intake, which raises ketone levels and enables you to stay in ketosis.
3. Omega-3 for Heart and Brain
The importance of Omega-3 or fish oil in the keto diet cannot be overemphasized. And even though the body on a keto diet gets a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids, it is essential to maintain a balance with Omega-6. As a rule, foods contain more Omega-6 and very little Omega-3. Based on this, we should consume Omega-3 as an additive. Fish oil improves brain, and cardiovascular function positively affects hair and nails, and promotes weight loss. Omega-3 is also better to buy in a sports store, and it will come out cheaper. It is not worth saving since some manufacturers neglect the purification or quality of raw materials to reduce the final product cost.
4. Fiber for GI Tract
The importance of fiber on a keto diet should not be underestimated. Lack of plant fiber may disrupt the digestive tract and cause constipation. It is for this purpose that we use fiber. It is rich in plant fibers, improves intestinal motility, and helps eliminate toxins. It is best to consume 1 tbsp. l. in the morning and one in the evening, diluted with water or added to a salad, scrambled eggs, or cottage cheese. You can find it in any supermarket, and it will cost a penny. Now another super product has appeared, which contains more plant fiber than ordinary fiber. This is psyllium, and it is a ground psyllium husk. It costs a little more than fiber from other seeds, but it is often more effective and can be used for baking instead of flour.
5. Vitamin D for Immune System
Having optimal vitamin D levels is essential for everyone’s health, including people on ketogenic diets. The keto diet does not necessarily increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency, but since vitamin D deficiency is common, supplementation with this vitamin is a good idea. It also helps to maintain the immune system, regulates cell growth, and promotes bone health. Since few foods are good sources of this useful vitamin, experts recommend taking vitamin D in a form of supplements.
6. Calcium for Bones
Calcium is another electrolyte that can be washed out when switching to a keto diet. If your diet is balanced, this should not be a major concern, but it may be necessary to take a calcium supplement in some cases. The most obvious source of calcium is dairy products, but fish, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, or unsweetened almond milk can be good alternatives if you can’t eat them. If you are going to take calcium supplements, make sure you have vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption.
7. Sodium to Control a Blood Pressure
It is a key mineral and electrolyte that people lack after starting a keto diet. Sodium is vital for controlling blood pressure, maintaining normal water levels, and absorbing trace elements. Usually, carbohydrates cause puffiness, and since there are almost no carbohydrates on the ketogenic diet, you will run to the toilet more often. With urine, you will lose electrolytes, particularly sodium. If you exercise, you will lose even more sodium through sweat. If you are overweight or obese and have high insulin levels, chances are you have too much sodium in your body, which means you don’t need to consume large amounts of it if you are sedentary.
8. Potassium for Water Balance
With sodium, potassium regulates water balance and electrical activity in your heart and muscles. It is found mainly inside your cells (sodium is outside your cells) and is essential for the communication between nerves. Low levels cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and constipation.
9. Iodine to Control Hormone Levels
Iodine is a very important mineral that helps regulate thyroid hormone levels, preventing hypothyroidism, which can cause problems with the skin and overall weakness. It is sometimes enriched with the usual salt for cooking, but if you use sea salt, then you will not get as much iodine as you need. But iodine is easy to find in natural food sources.
10. Super Greens Powder to Increase Vegetable Intake
Increasing vegetable intake is something everyone should focus on. Vegetables contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant-based ingredients that can fight inflammation, reduce the risk of disease, and help your body function at its optimal level. While not everyone on the keto diet necessarily lacks in vegetables, this meal plan makes it difficult to consume enough plant-based foods. A quick and easy way to increase your vegetable intake is to supplement with a concentrated green powder.
Are Supplements Better than Vitamins and Minerals in Food?
Of course, getting micronutrients from food is preferable. Nutrients are most effective when taken with food. Besides, natural food contains flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidants. Supplements are not intended to replace food. The quality of the products is also essential. Organic food grown without pesticides and hormones is much healthier.
When to take supplements? When there is a need for it. When you need to lose weight or to improve the performance in the gym, it is necessary to take supplements. They will help to get into the diet without negative effects and will enrich your body with all the useful nutrients. At the same time, it is always great to review the labels of the supplements you buy to ensure that they will fit you well.