Have you been wondering what health supplements you should be taking? You see them everywhere. Big bottles, small bottles. Shiny bags, glittery promises, prices on each end of a long spectrum. How do you pick health supplements that are right for your needs?
Well, to begin, you want to meet your nutrition needs by eating real foods that come from the earth. I’m talking about unprocessed, whole foods. They’re the kind that we don’t change much from the farm to the table.
But, life is busy! You have your job, household, kids, projects… even for the most healthful eaters, it’s hard work to get all the essential vitamins and nutrients you need daily.
But, there’s help. Supplements may help you achieve your nutritional needs without all of the pots and pans. Today I’m sharing 3 health supplements that may work for you. They all get my seal of approval to include in your diet as “insurance”, alongside all of the good choices you attach to the end of your fork.
3 Health Supplements You Should Consider:
Omega-3s — the Heart and Brain Fixer
You hear a lot about omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease, but heart disease concerns or not, we all need to get them in – no matter your age. Over the last ten years many Americans have turned to fish oil to meet their needs.
Everyone in my family takes omega-3s daily! Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your heart’s health as they help to manage symptoms of hypertension and are useful in lowering cholesterol.
Some studies suggest they slow plaque buildup in the heart and may even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Omega-3s have also been linked to brain health and weight loss.
Salmon and walnuts are two of the richest natural sources of omega-3s. But, they may not be a choice if you have a fish or nut allergy.
The American Heart Association suggests that you dig into 3.5 oz fatty fish twice a week, and supplementation with heart disease should be customized to the condition and under a the care of your doc.
Ubiquinol – the Anti-aging Antioxidant
As we age, our body progressively produces less CoQ10 and struggles to convert it into ubiquinol, which is the usable form of CoQ10. This leaves us with less than ideal levels of this energy-producing nutrient that naturally helps your system rock and roll.
Research has shown that ubiquinol circulating in your bod improves the health of your ticker and can alleviate many of the side effects associated with statin medications that you may take to lower your cholesterol.
Ubiquinol is found in foods you may already eat like peanuts, spinach, lean meats, and sardines. However, you would need to consume 50 cups of spinach or 120 cans of sardines to reach the recommended 100 mg of ubiquinol each day!
Probiotics – the Bacteria that’s Good for You
Your gut has over 400 types of probiotic bacteria (good guy bugs in your belly) that help fight bad bacteria found in your intestines. They also promote good digestion, which we all need!
Many people use probiotics to prevent diarrhea, gas, and cramping caused by medications or antibiotics. It may not make sense to you to take an antibiotic and a probiotic at the same time — wouldn’t it seem they’d cancel each other out? Not the case.
Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the bad bacteria, so supplementing with a probiotic puts those happy microorganisms back in action in your tummy.
Probiotics may also help with infections of the digestive tract, enhance immune function, and control inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics and brain health and weight loss are also being researched.
You’ll find these friendly bugs naturally in most fermented dairy foods like yogurt and kefir. Don’t be tricked by labeling: live active cultures may not be probiotics, so read the label carefully!
A supplement can help make sure you are getting enough probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
As with all health supplements, remember not to be fooled by the fancy packaging at the store or pharmacy. You want a standardized supplement that comes from a reputable company.
The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.
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