What do We (actually) need? Are supplements necessary? These days it seems there is a supplemt for everyone and everything and although I am a huge beliver of nutrients coming from our forks first I do agree that taking certain vitamins and minerals can make a huge difference for our overall wellbeing. For instance, a lot of Women are lacking nine essential nutrients: vitamin e, boron, vitamin d3, magnesium, omega 3, iron, vitamin K2, vitamin B12, and folate. These can all be found in food, but that doesn’t guarantee out bodies are absorbing enough for optimal health.
That’s a great example of how supplements can help to fill any nutritional voids that maybe caused by diet/lifestyle/stress/gut health etc… But it’s always good to ask ourselves why we need to supplement… Is our intake of food/nutrients not enough? Our absorption compromised? Do we have something else going on that is influencing this particular nutrient?
Then theres a few questions we should ask BEFORE taking the supplement itself:
– Where is it coming from?
– Does it work? Am I taking the right form?
-How do I take it? (Certain times/with food without/on its own etc)
– Is this bio-available in my body?
– Does it oxidize or go rancid?
Below are some of my faves at the moment, as I said I love to start with my plate and make sure its always balanced, colourful and varied but supplementing where you feel you maybe lacking is always a good idea when you are in the know.
What you should know: CoQ10 is found in the body naturally and it has potent antioxidant properties to help support cell function, healthy blood pressure, energy production and overall cardiovascular health.
Why you may like to try it: As we get older our levels of CoQ10 drop, they are also lower in people who have certain conditions such as heart disease. So it’s a great one to supplement, I also love it for its antioxidant content not as high as some but still beneficial for our skin as we age. It can be found in food some fish, wholegrains and meat but the amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources, however, isn’t really enough to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in your body.
How to take it: Best taken with a meal with some sort of fat so better absorbed. Eg- A breakafst of smashed avocado on sourdough/rye.
What you should know: MSM is a nutrient that so many of you have consumed in many of the most well-known every day superfoods. That’s because it is an organic sulfur compound that is found in many of the healthiest and most nutritionally dense foods that we eat such as broccoli, cabbage and Bbrussels sprouts which give off a distinct odor when cooked.It can also be found in smaller concentrations in some meat and dairy products. Minimal processing and heating of these foods keeps the highest level of MSM intact for maximum nutritional benefit since it is destroyed in foods where over-processing occurs. So for instance broccoli sprouts (which I love to top my salads with) has very high amounts.
Why you may like to try it: Mainly taken for its super anti inflammatory properties its a great one for reducing stiffness and joint/ pain, arthritis, muscle damage caused exercise and oxidative stress . Its also very popular for those suffering with any inflammation skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.
How to take it: It is water soluble as a supplement, but best taken with food so not to cause any stomach discomort. Some take it in powder and some tablet form. If you take powder b sure to check your buying pure MSM and you can dissolve it in your morning smoothie for example.. Hot liquids will not damage its chemical structure, so it can also be added to tea, coffee, or even soup!!
What You should know: DIM is a food-based compound found in our everyday cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel’s sprouts. Studies have shown that it has the ability to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially those influenced by excessive estrogen levels, such as breast, uterine and also prostate. DIM can also stimulate fat breakdown and encourage an increase in muscle mass.Its also a very common and quite magical supplement for Women because DIM effectively modulates estrogen metabolism – helping to do away with uncomfortable symptoms of PMS, perimenopause and prostate issues. So using DIM for hormone balance can be very effective especially those that may suffer with the occasional yet pesky cystic spot that may pop up on the jaw/chin area once a month around there cycle.
Why You may like to try it: For all the reasons above I love this supplement as an added boost to your diet, cruciferous vegetables are so powerful and we don’t all really eat enough. It’s ideal for Women as estrogen hormones are naturally found in men and women and have many benefits such as preserving artery health and brain function while fighting oxidative free radical damage. Many women are estrogen dominant however, meaning they have too much estrogen accumulating in the body for the complementary progesterone to balance.
Natural estrogen dominance occurs as women near menopause, starting even ten years prior to menopause, where they often don’t make as much progesterone to balance their estrogen. Symptoms such breast pain, water retention, heavy painful menstrual cycles, or irritable anxious moods are typical bothersome symptoms! So it’s perfect to take from your 20’s well into your 50’s.
How to take it: Best taken with food so to avoid any stomach upset.
What you should know: DHEA is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal glands. We produce the most DHEA in our 20s, but by the time we reach our 80’s, production has been reduced to about 20 percent of what we had in our youth. When we have healthy levels of DHEA, we feel vibrant, clearheaded and joyful. There is also evidence that adequate DHEA may help ward off cancer, Alzheimer’s, demention and obesity. A really interesting small study of 22 male and female patients diagnosed with major depression, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found a 50 percent decrease in depression in nearly half of the participants who took DHEA!
Why You may like to try it: You may like to try this supplement to help memory, increase energy and libido, boost your immune system, and help with signs of againg.
How to take it: Best taken in the morning on a lined stomach. Eg- After your breakfast.