During the pandemic, we all lived in a world where food became scarce. Now we all know that emergencies can strike at any time, and so can food scarcity.
If you want to ensure food security for you and your family, no matter the circumstances, developing a DIY long term food storage plan is your best bet. However, long-term food storage is more complex than just having enough food to keep you full. You will also want to take steps to avoid malnutrition from a lack of nutrients (i.e vitamins and minerals) during emergencies.
You can bridge this gap by storing a few dietary supplements in your prepper kit. Supplements will help you fulfill the nutritional needs of your family and help you avoid malnutrition during emergencies. Instead of barely surviving, supplements will help you and your family thrive and stay healthy no matter the circumstances.
Here are 8 supplements that you should store in your emergency preparedness kit.
During emergencies, you don’t want to compromise your immune system. An emergency where you may not have the best access to medical care is the worst time to contract any disease or illness, which is why zinc is #1 on our list of the top 8 best supplements you should store in your emergency preparedness kit.
Zinc supplements provide 8-12 milligrams of zinc to your body which will help you boost your immune system. It will also help you combat health conditions such as hypertension, and osteoarthritis in the long run.
You should be sure to store zinc supplements in your prepper kit. Also, we recommend that you store it with shelf-stable food items that are rich in zinc, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, cocoa powder, egg powder, milk powder, potatoes (canned or powdered), and red meat (freeze-dried or fresh if possible).
Even when we have enough access to food items, iron deficiency is still common. Constant lack of iron can cause fatigue and anemia. Both of these conditions can affect your energy levels and your ability to thrive during emergencies.
This is why we advise that you store iron supplements in your emergency prepper kit. You can also store food items that are rich in iron, such as leafy vegetables, meat, and eggs.
Believe it or not, you can get leafy vegetables, meat, and eggs in shelf stable form! Storing leafy vegetables long-term may seem impossible, but you do have the option of purchasing canned greens, like spinach or collard greens, and storing those with your other preps. You have a few options for meat, you can freeze-dry meat, purchase it canned, or store it in a vacuum sealed bag. For eggs, you can also make or purchase egg powder.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
During a crisis, you want to generate as much energy in your body as possible. You want your nervous systems and reflexes to be working at the maximum. This is why you must store thiamine supplements in your emergency prepper kit.
Thiamine is critical to convert carbohydrates to energy. It is also important to keep your nervous system working. Lack of thiamine can cause dire consequences such as fatigue, memory loss, muscle and nerve damage, confusion, and more. So, be sure to store Thiamine in your prepper kits.
Also, you should store shelf-stable food items that are rich in thiamine! Some great examples of thiamine rich foods include green peas, black beans, wheat germ, tofu, pork, seeds and legumes, egg powder, and even fortified breakfast cereal.
During an emergency, you don’t want to compromise your eye health and function. If this happens, you might find it difficult to access available resources. So, be sure to store Vitamin A supplements in your prepper kit.
Apart from eye health and functions, Vitamin A is also essential for reproductive health in women and men.
In order to get the most Vitamin A possible, you should store food items like orange-colored vegetables, green leafy vegetables, eggs, milk, reddish-yellow vegetables, and more. There are so many ways you can store these Vitamin A rich foods long-term, too, so don’t worry!
Cobalamin (Vitamin B-12)
If you are an emergency prepper above the age of 60 with some co-morbidities such as diabetes, you must store Vitamin B-12 in your prepper kit.
If you are a vegan prepper, a lack of Vitamin B-12 will be detrimental to your health, too. Vitamin B-12 is critical to developing new and healthy red blood cells. Lack of Vitamin B-12reduces your body’s efficiency to transport oxygen causing symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, weakness, nausea, shortness of breath, and more.
A severe lack of Vitamin B-12 will cause muscle weakness, depression, amnesia, dementia, and more serious health issues.
While you store Vitamin B-12, be sure to store calcium supplements too, as you need calcium to absorb Vitamin B-12.
Folate (Vitamin B-9)
Production of new DNA, red blood cells, strengthening of the nervous system, brain development, and more critical functions require folate (Vitamin B-9). If you are an older emergency prepper, consuming folate will be highly beneficial to restore memory functions.
You can usually get folate from several food items such as lentils, beans, asparagus, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, poultry, meat, and more. However, if these food items become scarce or your supply gets low, having folate supplements can help you replenish it in your body.
As mentioned above, calcium is required to increase the absorption of Vitamin B-12. However, it is also important for strengthening your bones, increasing muscle strength, and the nervous system.
During emergencies, food items like fish, milk, yogurt, and cheese may get expensive. So, having calcium supplements in your prepper kits will be highly beneficial.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is essential to ensure bone health. Although you can get the vitamin through sunlight, more than 1 billion people still struggle to maintain Vitamin D levels.
In some emergency situations, you may be getting even less sun than usual. So, be sure to store Vitamin D supplements in your emergency prepper kit.
Emergencies will most definitely result in food scarcity. And you can’t compromise your health, especially during stressful times. So, in addition to storing nutrient dense food items, you must store dietary supplements.To learn more about emergency food storage, ways to use Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers, browse our food storage tips section on our website! We have a growing blog, a free e-book, a food storage calculator, and plenty of videos you can watch to become a master prepper.