Supplements are a huge industry but do we really need to be supplementing our diet so much, and what are the benefits if there are any?The topic of taking supplements comes into the news every now and again. One minute experts are encouraging us to take them and 6 months later they are changing their mind. So confusing but it doesn't have to be.
In an ideal world we would all have a personal dietician and chef who would whip up nutritionally balanced and wholesome meals. But let's be realistic, life is challenging enough and if you can cut healthy corners that are actually going to promote health without eating your weekly sardines then it suits my family and I just fine.
These 4 supplements I have been taking for several years and highly recommend them, but don't take my word for it, do some testing yourself and listen to how your body feels, the results might surprise you.
My personal favourite , primarily for the multitude of health benefits it offers the whole body, from the joints to heart to the brain. Omega 3’s are hugely important throughout the body for a variety of functions, and like everything as we get older these functions need a little more extra care.
- Increase of mood
- Joint health
- Heart health
- Weight loss
- Ease of toileting
- Skin conditions such as eczema
- Energy levels
For a long time I took Fish oil just for my joints and heart, but research is now showing that omega 3’s can significantly improve depression and bi polar disorders. In an ideal world you would be eating lots of oily fish, but for many of us it just isn’t possible. If you are like me and have a bit of an aversion for fat (I am trying to improve), then taking a supplement like this can really help with your fat consumption. Fat is essential remember.Of course you should still get a generous dose of fatty acids from your diet, but taking a supplement is really worthwhile and something I definitely recommend.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for wellbeing, helping the body absorb essential calcium for the heart, muscle and nerve functions. Unfortunately as we age the level of salts, including Magnesium is slowly depleted and if we fail to replenish it we can experience some unpleasant issues . For many women, including myself, this deficiency manifests as cramps, and can be pretty uncomfortable and even painful.If you can increase magnesium in your diet fantastic. Magnesium can be found in a huge range of yummy foods including, brazil nuts, sesame seeds and even dark chocolate Other sources include dark leafy vegetables, dried fruit, avocados, pulses and beans, nice but not so attractive.
- Aids absorb calcium which is necessary for muscle nerve and heart function
- Cramps, also connected to calcium absorption
- Difficulty in fallings asleep and staying a sleep
- Eye twitches
- Facial ticks
It helps the body absorb calcium and plays a role in muscle, nerve, and heart function, as well as blood glucose control.
Probiotics are live bacterias that are used to help maintain and improve the essential bacteria we have in our guts. Absence of these highly beneficial bacteria can be very destructive to our health, from causing digestive issues such as IBS to skin acne to difficulty in losing weight.
In the last 10 years, probiotics have become more and more popular due several reasons, one being extensive research into their importance to health, but also due to our overuse of antibiotics, which of course kill off the healthy bacteria.
Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurts, and pickles. However if you do suffer with digestive or skin issues such foods do not contain enough to have a huge effect, particularly if you have recently had a course of antibiotics.
The supplements can either come on the shelf or in the fridge. I personally prefer the refrigerator version, but read the packaging to compare the bacteria strains and populations numbers.I strongly advocate taking them on an empty stomach. This will allow some time while the body is at rest and not stressed for the bacteria to work their magic without the interaction of foods and other stressors.
Benefits include helping alleviate
- Skin conditions such as eczema and acne
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Difficulty in losing weight
- Oral healthy
- Urinary and vaginal health issues such as cystitis and thrush
If you are like me, the majority of your calcium quota is collected from cheese and milk as in cheese and wine or lattes! Jokes aside adequate calcium levels are a must for optimal health and nutrition.
Our calcium levels deplete by approximately 1% a year as we grow older, so ensuring you get enough is crucial.
Calcium is of course essential for our bone and teeth health, amongst helping to regulate the body’s vitamin D absorption, regulating blood pressure and assisting with healing.
Although dairy foods are rich in calcium, it can also be found in a broad range of non diary foods including broccoli, almonds and spinach, tofu and some seeds, great for the vegans amongst us. Not everyone is able to include “enough” of them in their diet. What is more, if you are watching your weight and limiting those food types, taking a calcium supplement really is a must, particularly considering
*Recent research has thrown a shadow on to calcium supplementation due to its effects if taken excessively, particularly concerning heart disease. Kidney stones and constipation are also associated with excessive levels, so be sure to see your doctor if your are concerned
- Essential for vitamin D absorption
- Regulating heartbeat *
- Regulates blood pressure and blood clotting
So there you have it, not exhaustive but then not non existent.In an ideal world it would be great to get all the nutrients our body needs, but most busy Moms are just too bloody busy thinking of everyone else’s nutrition to think of theres.