You might be asking yourself – Can’t I get what by body needs from a well blanched diet without taking supplements?
Generally speaking – no. Modern farming practises and environmental issues have depleted the vitamins and nutrients in our food, and if you are facing a health challenge, your nutritional needs an become even more compromised.
There are so many magazine articles and fad diets flooding the media these days, that it can be confusing when deciding which nutritional supplements are right for you without wasting a large amount of your time and money. This is why in an ideal situation, you would work with a trained professional to help you analyse what you are deficient in and why, but if this isn’t possible (due to location or finances), make sue you are choosing high quality supplements in store or online. They are bound to be more expensive, but your long term health is worth investing in.
My supplement routine has built up and changed over the last few years and through trial and error I have worked out those supplements that are more high quality (or are better absorbed by my body) that others. Udo’s Choice, Solgar as well as Garden of Life and Pure Encapsulations are a few of the brands I trust.
Omega 3’s (brain & heart health): If you are vegan and don’t wish to take (high quality) fish oils, There are also algae-based, vegan brands such as Udo’s Choice and Solgar. If you’re taking flax oil, keep in mind that B vitamins and zinc aid omega-3 absorption. And if you take fish oil, consider taking a Vitamin E supplement to neutralise free radicals. You can read more about omega-3’s in this Harvard University article.
Probiotics: Quality is key as always, especially for probiotics as approximately 60% of your immune system lives in your gut! If you can’t get probiotics through a qualified doctor, Dr. Ohirra’s is a high quality brand I trust that can be purchased on Amazon. Look for a probiotics that offers 20-25 billion CFUs (colony forming units) and one that contains at least lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in its ingredients.
Vitamin D (bone health & immune system support): Most of the general population are Vitamin D deficient, but when taking supplements remember that Vitamin D is fat soluble (not water soluble), which means that taking too much of it can actually be toxic. Guidelines recommend 1000-2000 IU’d per day, but it you have a health issue you may need to take more (though only under supervision of your doctor). Again, its important to make sure the brand is of a high quality by making sure the label contains the word “gamma” (not just alpha).
B12 (nervous system support): Surprisingly, B12 is only naturally produced by micro-organisms in soil and water, so when animals eat and drink the water from the earth they ingest these B-12 producing microorganisms. Vegans don’t get the benefits of these microorganisms due to modern hygiene standards through washing of plant based produce. B12 is vital to the health of vegans so make sure you are choosing a B12 supplement in the form of methylcobalamin (check the label) since this form of B12 is best absorbed by the body.
My personal add-on’s
Co-Q-10: Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10: is found naturally in cells and is the major energy source of cells that helps aid in muscle contraction and protein production. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help protect cells against damage caused by free radicals, which are compounds thought to contribute to conditions like ageing, cancer and other illnesses. Research has shown that it’s anti-oxidant properties have been proven to slow the progression of muscle disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Supplementation in these kinds of health disorders have been proven to help fight fatigue, improve mental performance and correct metabolic abnormalities.
Oil of Peppermint: Mint is one of the oldest herbs on earth, with ancient Assyrians, ancient Greeks and Romans who recognised its pain killing properties. Mint was used formally in medicine in the mid-18th century, and mint tea has been a favourite cure for indigestion since Biblical times. Oil of Peppermint has helped improved my indigestion and upper GI cramps that I can only assume are the remanants of what is left of my anorexia. I find peppermint to be the strongest anti-spasmodic and pain reliver of all herbs. It has anti-bacterial properties, increases gastric juices and helps to relives gas (
agherm), nausea and vomitting. On a daily basis I find it more effective than prescription anti-spasmodic medications.
What is your take on supplements?