HUM Nutrition is known and loved for its vast selection of research-backed supplements, from hair-fortifying gummies to gut-soothing probiotics. But do you know how to determine which supplements are right for you? It can vary greatly depending on factors like regular nutrient-intake, stress-levels, and more. We chatted with Registered Dietitian and HUM Nutritionist, Alex Caspero for some expert guidance. Read on to hear what she has to say!
How do you know what supplements to include in your routine? There’s so much out there! What would you say are the most essential categories?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to supplements, as everyone has different needs and different dietary considerations. It’s why I love a service like HUM Nutrition that allows you to take a simple, 3-minute quiz that’s analyzed by registered dietitians to determine the best products for you.
What advice do you have for somebody just getting started with supplements?
Supplements should complement a good diet; you likely won’t see the results you are looking for with adding in a supplement to cover a poor diet. Supplements are also very personalized; understanding first what your goals are and current gaps in the diet can help you understand what vitamins and nutrients you should add to your routine.
Can you talk about how gut health impacts your overall health? What about skin?
Roughly 70-80% of your immune system is housed in the gut, so it makes sense that GI issues will show up in other places in the body. Since your skin is an extension of your gut, the health of your gut can be reflected in your skin. This can show up as redness, inflammation, breakouts, and dry patches. Correcting imbalances by starting with your gut is one of the most powerful ways to support your health. The balance of good and bad bacteria impacts food breakdown, hormone production, the immune system, and so much more.
What about stress?
The relationship between environmental or psychological stress and gut issues is complex and integrated: stress can trigger and make gastrointestinal pain worse, and chronic GI issues can lead to more stress. There’s something called the brain-gut axis: When the stress response is heightened, digestion slows or even stops so that internal energy can be redirected to face the perceived threat. In more chronic, less severe stressed states, the digestive process slows, which will cause stomach pain, constipation, bloating, diarrhea and other symptoms.
We have to ask… Any favorite skin care items or steps you like to take to boost your wellness routine?
I take HUM Nutrition’s Skin Squad to help with both GI health and skin health. I also try and get as much sleep as possible, though that’s sometimes difficult with two kids under 3! I also enjoy a predominantly plant-based diet and aim for some type of physical activity every day. Moving my body helps reduce stress, which has a cascade effect on overall wellness.
Challenge question: what’s just one supplement and one skin care item that you would say are absolute musts in your routine?
My supplement “must” is a B12 supplement since my diet is mostly plant-based, though I also rely on a combination prebiotic + probiotic like Skin Squad. For skincare, I’m currently loving Saje’s Nourishing Skin Serum.
Is there any one supplement that really changed things for you, whether health or skin related?
When my son was born, I dealt with a lot of chronic dry patches of skin, especially on my face. I started taking an ALA-based supplement (HUM’s Red Carpet) while also applying GLA oil topically to my skin. After a few months, my skin was noticeably smoother with less dry and red patches.