To Supplement or not to Supplement…? (Part Two)

So, I talked in the last blog about basic supplements, and it can be a very daunting experience walking into a health store and seeing the huge array of products available to you – that’s why it’s best to know your stuff, know what you want/need, and get the right quality. You don’t necessarily need the most expensive but if it’s cheap there’s normally a (not too good) reason for that, so beware!

Of course it should be your aim to have a good healthy balanced diet – but most of us realise that that just isn’t going to happen everyday! Even if you think you’re eating healthily, that may not be the case – the soils in which our vegetables are grown are much depleted in the amount of minerals they contain due to years of over use, plus of course we have the chemicals that are everywhere today and being stored in YOUR body. We often put our bodies through such a hard time, especially during early adulthood, we don’t even know what it should feel like to be healthy. Nowadays you can take supplements for most concerns – the top ones worth mentioning are…

  • Vitamin C – (Ascorbic Acid) can help regulate the immune system, fight infection, relieve aches & pains
  • Vitamin D / K – good for your bones & calcium absorption
  • Vitamin A – good for the thyroid, eye health & foetal formation
  • Vitamin B6 – may assist to lower heart disease, depression & morning sickness
  • Vitamin B3 – Niacin to lower cholesterol
  • Magnesium – a vital mineral, for cell energy, plus it works closely with calcium to improve bone health 
  • Potassium – a nutrient which may help prevention of high blood pressure/stroke, soothe anxiety & stress but also keep muscles strong
  • Zinc – another important mineral for the immune system, for energy metabolism, diabetic control & healing of wounds, plus stress reduction
  • Selenium – a powerful antioxidant, again helping to fight free radicals & to protect the body from toxic effects of heavy metals like copper & mercury
SO, back up your diet with a good balance of these vitamins/minerals, in a multi or individually, it depends on whether you have specific concerns, if so, you need to check to ensure you take the correct ratio/dosage, as this may effect the effectiveness or results of supplementation. You also need to cross check if you’re on man made medication, sometimes it may not be advisable to use them together. The ADvantage of supplementing these is that you can get a good dose easily. You would have seen the increase in the advertising of the ‘superfoods’ or ‘superberries’ – this started with Goji, then came Acai and now Maqui, generally these come from South America, & indeed DO have amazing properties, (& there’s probably more to come!) – your diet would only benefit from having these in them – however – DON’T just read about them..EAT them! but also don’t underestimate the power of regular berries, despite what the fancy adverts say, raspberries and blueberries are not that far behind these super ones & may be easier for you to purchase, a good multi & berries in your diet is the way to go!
 
If you have specific goals to get fit, lose weight & maintain your health you may want to check out specific supplements… so if your goals are say :-
WEIGHT LOSS L-Carnatine is one to go for.. a crucial component in the production of energy, it carries the fatty acids (the ‘fuel’) to the ‘mitochondria’ (part of your cells) which in turn produce around 95% of your bodies energy, the more of this energy you burn the lower your body fat % will be! (It’s important to use fish oil in conjunction with this to assist this process)
Chromium, another essential nutrient for fat metabolism, this will effectively lower blood sugar & insulin levels, so no sugar cravings at 3pm, it helps regulate your appetite ultimately assisting to reduce body fat.
FITNESS / ENERGYCoQ10 would be your choice of supplement here. It is a naturally occurring compound in every one of our cells and is utilised to help lower blood pressure, help to reduce risk of heart disease, but also combat fatigue by assisting the body produce energy – so if you’re working out to lose weight you can do so for longer, ultimately burning more fat cells.
DIGESTION lactobacillius acidophillus & bifidbacterium bifidum or good bacteria is what you need here, if you have problems with IBS, diarrhea, gas, bloating or bad breath you wold benefit from supplementing here, you can get amounts of this in certain yoghurts, but always check amounts and quality.                                      
MOOD – St John’s Wart is a herb that has been around for hundreds of years and used to promote sleep, reduce anxiety,stress and even depression (mild), though again here best to check with a health care practitioner for possible side effects especially if on other medications. Sleep is also worth mentioning here as lack of it affects your mood, avoid taking sleeping pills straight away, first try something like melatonin or somni-care from BioCeuticals.
Other possible mood enhancers may include
Valerian –  another herb produced from dehydrated roots
Lavendar –  some people use aromotherapy and essential oils to promote relaxation in a more gentle way.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I say that good quality supplements would be of great benefit to most people’s lives – they’re not a substitute for food, but they are vital for your diet if that is deficient – awareness is the key as well. Don’t forget that IsoWhey has nearly all the above mentioned vitamins & is a great way to be able to manage your weight AND have a well rounded diet.                                                                                              There is an amazing new range of supplements about to be released to specifically improve your fitness and take it to the next level, from a company called BioEngineered. Again there is a huge variety of options here and can be really confusing. It’s easy to be ‘persuaded’ into paying a fortune for things you don’t really need and is a whole other topic…so watch this space!

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