Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the huge range of health supplements on offer and advertised? In many ways, we are incredibly lucky that there is a broad range of advanced health products that are easily accessible to us. However, on the other hand, it can be confusing and difficult to know what we really need to be taking and what is worth investing our money in.
The following is a list of supplements that everyone can benefit from and that can be considered a safe foundation for health. We hope that this helps to simplify your decisions around which supplements to invest in for you and your family.
Magnesium is an important mineral that is involved in a wide variety of functions in the body. For example, magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. The importance of this mineral simply can’t be overstated.
Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency can include:
- muscle aches, spasms and cramps
- nerve twitches and facial tics
- restless leg syndrome
- poor digestion
- headaches and migraines
- premenstrual symptoms
- heart palpitations
Magnesium also works synergistically with calcium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D to create bone mass. It acts as an important counterbalance to regulate levels of calcium in the body, and it is involved in the metabolism of vitamin D. Vitamin K2 transports calcium into the bones and a deficiency in vitamin K2 can reduce magnesium stores in the body.
Supplementing with magnesium can help to relax muscles, reduce anxiety, increase energy and prevent and improve osteoporosis.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral needed for hormone production, immune function, healthy skin, wound healing and normal growth. Zinc is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, so we only need a small amount of it each day for optimal functioning. A zinc deficiency can quickly lead to negative consequences so it is important to maintain an adequate daily intake. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency can include:
- poor wound healing
- lack of sense of taste or smell
- white spots on the nails
- hair loss
- low immunity
- dry skin
- poor night vision
- poor growth in children
Supplementing with zinc can help to boost your immune system, improve eye, skin and hormonal health, boost your mood and provide general antioxidant protection. In order to avoid zinc toxicity, it can be helpful to get your serum zinc levels checked by your health provider.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is necessary for human health. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it can’t be stored in the body and we need to get plenty from our diet every day.
Vitamin C aids in the regeneration of tissues, the absorption of iron, and it also helps to protect against heart disease. As a strong antioxidant, it can combat free radical damage and provide protection from cancer. A vitamin C deficiency can manifest as fatigue, muscle weakness, skin rashes and a weakened immune system.
Supplementing with vitamin C is a powerful way to boost the immune system, especially during times of illness, and it provides excellent antioxidant protection.
Few nutrients have been as widely and thoroughly studied as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential for human health but because the body can’t make them you need to make sure that you get enough through food. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found mainly in fish, while ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in nuts and seeds. These fatty acids are powerfully anti-inflammatory and they support our health in many important ways.
Extensive research shows that omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body and can help to prevent heart disease, cancer, arthritis, macular degeneration, nerve deterioration, and behavioural disorders. Symptoms of a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can include fatigue, poor circulation, dry skin, heart issues, poor memory, mood swings, depression and a lack of concentration.
Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids is an excellent way to reduce overall inflammation and protect the body from many chronic diseases. Omega-3s also promote healthy brain development in children.
As stated by Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut”. The process of digestion and absorption of nutrients provides the foundation for our health.
Our gut is home to over 100 trillion cells, known as gut microbiota, that perform vital functions for our overall health and wellbeing. The beneficial bacteria in the gut improve digestion, help to strengthen the immune system, regulate hormones, and produce the vitamins that our body needs. However, our gut flora is made up of a complex community of microorganisms, and in a healthy digestive tract the “bad” gut bacteria are kept under control by the beneficial gut bacteria or “good” bacteria. But when the “bad” bacteria outnumber the “good” this can result in health issues such as:
- digestive disorders
- anxiety and depression
- autoimmune conditions
- hormonal imbalances
- fertility issues
- skin disorders
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- build up of toxins
Supplementing with a high-quality probiotic is an easy way to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and it can help to boost your immune system, regulate your hormones, improve the health of your skin and improve emotional wellbeing.
Detox Supplements — Chlorella, Spirulina, Brown Seaweed
In an ideal world, we would have no need to provide extra support to help our body to detoxify— the body is equipped with its own efficient detoxification system. However, the reality is that in today’s world our detoxification organs can become easily overloaded by our exposure to toxins, chemicals and pesticides.
Taking a supplement that helps to eliminate toxins is a healthy and necessary practice. Brown seaweed and the algae chlorella and spirulina have all been well researched for their ability to help the body to detox.
Brown seaweeds contain all the essential nutrients required for ongoing detoxification of the body. They are high in minerals, iodine and antioxidants.
Chlorella is green algae that is high in chlorophyll, a plant pigment that is a powerful detoxifier for the body. Chlorella has been shown to be effective at removing heavy metals and toxins form the body, in particular mercury.
Spirulina is blue-green algae and like Chlorella, it is high in chlorophyll. Spirulina is also very high in beta-carotene and amino acids. It is a complete protein, a nutrient-dense plant food and a powerful detoxifier.
Brown seaweed and algae supplements are strong detoxifiers therefore start slowly and increase your dose gradually.
Creating a foundation of health doesn’t need to be complicated. By including a few key supplements that have a big impact on your health you can rest assured that you are spending your money wisely and making an invaluable investment in your family’s health.