The average American diet lacks many of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to properly function and sustain health. If your current diet consists of high inflammatory foods like refined sugar and heavily processed packaged foods you should consider looking into a whole foods diet. A diet full of foods that are closest to their most natural state prior to cooking is the best way to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
You can have a healthy balanced diet and still need certain nutrients that you aren’t getting from diet alone. Adding supplements to your daily routine is a great way to kick start the healthy lifestyle you’re aspiring to attain, or boost the healthy diet you may already practice.
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Everyone can benefit from adding a balanced multi-vitamin to their diet, no matter your level of health. It’s important to note that not all vitamins are created equal. Take the time to research and find a quality vitamin that meets your particular health needs.
A quality vitamin should be free from fillers like titanium dioxide, magnesium silicate, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors, artificial food dyes, lead, or mercury. These ingredients can do more harm than good so be sure to read the other ingredients section of the label.
Because dietary supplements like vitamins are not heavily regulated it’s a good idea to buy from a brand that chooses to undergo third party testing. Third party testing is not required for supplements, but doing so helps to prove how passionate a company is about creating safe, high quality products.
Another rule of thumb I personally have when shopping for vitamins is to select a brand that is backed by a medical professional such as a physician or registered dietitian.
You most often hear about collagen in reference to the beauty aspects of health, but it’s so much more than a skincare supplement. Collagen is a protein in the body that makes up muscles, tendons, and ligaments- making it a key factor in joint and muscle health.
Bones are also made up of mostly collagen. As we age our bodies tend to loose collagen, and with this deterioration we loose bone mass. If you’re over the age of 30 you might want to consider adding a collagen supplement to your daily routine to combat collagen loss.
Collagen can be attained from your diet by consuming bone broth, chicken, fish, egg whites and garlic (just to name a few).
Digestive enzymes break down the collagen in food into individual amino acids and peptides. However, the collagen in supplements has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed, which is why it’s thought to be absorbed more efficiently than collagen from foods.Healthline
If your health goals are motivated by reducing stress and enhancing mental health Adaptogens are the supplement for you. Adaptogens are herbs and mushrooms that help to support hormonal balance and manage stress in the body.
Adaptogenic mushrooms are medicinal but hold no psychoactive properties like their psilocybin relatives. Basically meaning you’re not going to trip because adaptogenic mushrooms won’t get you high. They do however help how you react to stress, and how your body recovers from stress when taken regularly.
If you’ve been following Apramada you know mental health is what ultimately led me to study holistic wellness. Adaptogens are one of the most important parts of my daily routine for holistically managing my mental health. I keep the following adaptogens stocked in my herbal medicine cabinet:
- Reishi Mushroom
- Cordyceps Mushroom
- Maca Root
Adaptogens can be consumed in the form of powders, pills, or teas. I usually have a scoop of Essential Living’s Chocolate Adaptogen Mix in either my morning cup of coffee or a smoothie (depending on my mood). In the evenings I get a dose of Turmeric via Vahdam Spiced Turmeric Tea.
Like with many herbal remedies, it’s important to note that if you’re looking for a quick fix for your stress Adaptogens aren’t exactly instant. These herbs don’t work like anxiety prescriptions or calm you down immediately like a glass of wine. They should instead be looked at as a lifestyle change. Add them to your daily routine and be consistent- you’ll gradually notice some pretty gratifying results.
Mama always told you to eat your greens, but did she know that would one day include a daily dose of algae? Spirulina is a a type of blue-green algae that packs a huge punch of nutritional value. Some are even calling microalgae The Food of The Future.
This small but mighty supplement helps to treat and prevent a pretty impressive list of illnesses from allergies, diabetes, viral infections, to certain cancers. Spirulina contains protein, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese.
Spirulina can be consumed in capsule or powdered form. The powdered form is a great add-in to smoothies. Try it in my Green Goddess Smoothie recipe. It’s very important to buy from a brand that has undergone independent lab testing to confirm what your buying is free from contaminants. Brands that have not undergone third party lab testing can contain toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury due to being harvested in unsafe waters. The only brand I personally use is Earthrise. They go through extensive testing and have approval from the FDA.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Gut health is one of the top health concerns I’m asked about when people learn I’m a holistic health coach. We have wreaked our digestive health by the food we consume, the amount of stress we endure, and certain medications. Gut health is the window to overall health. Focus on healing from the digestive system on and you can heal so many of your health concerns.
You are what you eat. Or more accurately, you are what you feed the trillions of little critters that live in your gut.Mayo Clinic
Your stomach is filled with trillions of live bacteria that make up your gut microbiome. What you feed this live bacteria can effect everything from your mood to chronic illnesses. To keep this very beneficial bacteria happy we can feed them prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics are plant fibers that help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. These plant fibers are naturally found in complex carbohydrates high in fiber and resistant starch like onions, asparagus, bananas, and apples.
Probiotics are live organisms that increase the population of healthy bacteria in the gut. Having a balance of healthy bacteria plays a huge role in the immune system by boosting immune cells that are natural killers to viruses. Probiotics are most commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and kimchi.
Propolis is used as the protector of the bee hive by keeping out bacteria. It’s made from the resin of trees and is shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits as well as fighting against viruses, bacteria and fungi when taken by humans.
Propolis can be used as a topical treatment for wounds and burns, or orally as a daily immune boost during cold and flu season. We use a propolis throat spray each morning during the winter months to help ward off any cold weather illnesses. It’s also been a huge help for our sinus and allergy problems.
There are hundreds of different types of supplements on the market. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when deciding what’s right for your wellness routine. It’s important to remember not to go overboard- too much of a good thing can be toxic. Talk with your medical professional about what might work best for you, and always remember to research for quality brands before purchasing anything.