If you consistently eat a balanced, whole foods–based diet, do you really need to take supplements? If you’re aiming for optimal health as you age, the answer is yes. Beyond a high-quality multivitamin, which many experts recommend as a sort of nutritional health insurance, a handful of supplements help fill in important gaps. “Americans are often eating a lot but not getting enough,” says Robert Bonakdar, MD, of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and editor of The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010). Shortfalls in essential nutrients tend to increase inflammation in the body, a state that is linked to a number of diseases, Bonakdar says. So what are the top supplements to add to your routine? Here are our experts’ picks.