By Emily Countryman
Are you trying to get healthier and not sure where to start when you walk down the supplement aisle? Do large supplement stores overwhelm you with all the options?
Years ago we were able to get all of our nutrients in a well-balanced diet, but that is no longer the case. Due to the poor quality of our foods, the nutrients in a tomato, apple or other produce is not the same as it was 50 years ago.
Our soil is degraded, and with all of the pesticides and fertilizers sprayed on the crops, we aren’t getting all of the vitamins and minerals we need. Taking supplements has become a key to maintaining health.
Not all supplements are created equal. To ensure what you are buying is safe, use high-quality pharmaceutical grade supplements. These can be found in wellness centers or from your chiropractor, naturopath or medical physician.
If it isn’t free from binders and fillers, you don’t want it. Avoid supplements that contain artificial colors, hydrogenated oils and titanium dioxide as those are common fillers.
Top five supplement suggestions:
•Omega 3: The benefits are numerous but most notably are improved heart health, mood and lower cholesterol. Omegas also help with brain development, and many have noticed an improvement in their children’s behavior and even reduced ADHD symptoms.
•Vitamin C: You probably know to increase your vitamin C when you have a cold but do you know why? Vitamin C increases the protection of the immune system. It’s a great supplement that should be taken year-round. 500mg is the expert recommended amount.
•Turmeric: The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and is a powerful anti-oxidant that has excellent anti-inflammatory benefits. If you aren’t cooking heavily with Turmeric spice, it’s best to take it in capsule form once per day.
•Magnesium: Most people are deficient in magnesium. If you take 200mg-600mg per day you should notice decreased stress and anxiety, improvement in sleep and better function in your bowels. If you drink alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated drinks or eat a lot of sugary pastries and other sweets you will be even more deficient as those foods strip the body’s magnesium content.
•Echinacea: This herb is commonly taken when a cold or flu hits as it helps to reduce inflammation, which helps reduce cold and flu symptoms as well as stimulates the body’s immune system to help fight the virus. It’s best to take Echinacea for two weeks when you have a weakened immune system. These would be times like the start of school when the kids all swap germs, when you feel a cold or flu coming on, or when you are traveling or in a stressful time. Take 300mg three times a day.
As with any change in your diet or health care routine, consult your health care provider for what will work best for you.
Emily Countryman is the owner of Ideal Wellness in Marysville and writes a monthly health column for this newspaper. firstname.lastname@example.org