As we begin this new year many of us will have made resolutions or intentions to focus on our health. Whether it be reducing sugar, processed foods, caffeine, or eating more veggies, exercising more, many of us will be looking for ways to improve our health. To that end, here is a list of supplements that you can add to your diet to help you be healthier, build your immune system, reduce inflammation and feel better - along with a suggested resource for living healthy in 2018.
#1 Probiotics - You cannot go wrong with a daily probiotic supplement. Even if you are healthy and have no digestive issues, a probiotic can help boost your immune system, promote gut health and improve your overall health and wellness. Think simple. You don't need a super expensive, high end, 50 billion CFU probiotic unless you are recovering from illness and/or have recently completed a round of antiobiotics. A simple, chewable, 2-5 billion CFU, basic probiotic works great and your entire family can take them (you can use the kids versions too!). I have been supplementing my family with a daily chewable probiotic for a year now and we hardly EVER get sick and our digestion is WAY better than before!
#2 Omega 3's - We know that omegas are heart healthy and we know they help with overall inflammation. There is no downside to this supplement. If you are vegan, there are vegan alternatives such as Ovega 3 for you. Boost heart health and reduce inflammation with a simple omega 3.
#3 Curcumin supplement - Many people are just now hearing about the benefits of curcumin - the naturally occuring anti-inflammatory/antioxidant found in Turmeric. There are many supplements that include ginger, turmeric, pepper (boosts turmeric absorption and use) available on the market today. I use a lot of turmeric (and pepper) in my food (soups, stews, chili, rices dishes) but I also recommend taking a supplement. Adding this supplement can help reduce overall inflammation and as we now know - inflammation is the silent but deadly cause of many illnesses, diseases, and deaths.
#4 Basic multivitamin - Even if you eat well, and you balance your diet with lots of variety, it can be good to add a multivitamin supplement to your day to catch those times where you might have missed something. I err on the light side here and instead of taking the recommended dose - I take half. I figure it is my catchall. If you don't like BIG pills, there are now Vegan multivitamins (we use these for the family) by MyKind Organics. Organic, Vegan, taste good and NO swallowing as they are all chewable (even the adult ones if you like).
#5 Spirulina - This one is definitely a new one as of the last year or so. According to the FDA, Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It also has essential amino acids (compounds that are the building blocks of proteins). In fact, protein makes up about 60 to 70 percent of spirulina's dry weight. (https://www.livescience.com/48853-spirulina-supplement-facts.html). Dr. Axe recommends this supplement as a powerful antioxidant that can help boost immune health, reduce blood pressure, prevent cancer, reduces cholesterol, boost energy, detox heavy metals! For me, spirulina has helped my overall mental focus and boosted my energy without the highs and lows of caffeine or sugar. Great source of calcium and iron as well (for those of use concerned about low iron and calcium deficiency). Now, you would have to eat quite a bit of it to get big numbers and it is VERY green tasting. However, you can take an organic supplement each day and still reap many of the benefits. Just a suggestion on usage - take this supplement in the morning before 10 am. If you take it too late in the day, it might affect your sleep (boosts energy, right?)!
There are certainly a million more supplements out there to boost your personal health but I would recommend starting with one at a time for about 2 weeks to see how your body reacts and to really notice the benefits. If you are looking for more ideas.....
I HIGHLY recommend owning Tiffany Cruikshank's book Optimal Health for a Vibrant Life: 30 Day Program to Detoxify & Replenish Body & Mind. This is my goto book for tips on eating, supplements, reducing sugar/caffeine/etc, adding in exercise, meditation and myofascial release. It is LOADED with information. I have gone through the program 4 times and each time I focus on something entirely different. I love the layout and how it is a gentle, life-changing detox plan for living better all the time and not just a "7 day eat nothing but celery soup to detoxify the body". She is very thoughtful in her layout. Check it out! (http://amzn.to/2CTeH0P).
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I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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