Nikki’s Top 5 Supplements To Take.

27 May 2014

I personally am a big fan of eating foods rather than popping pills. However with today’s hectic schedules finding the time to eat a completely balanced diet can be difficult. Have no fear as I am going to list the top 5 supplements I take when I know I am either not able to eat enough of a wholesome diet or I am so busy that my body is crying out for the little extra help that a trusty supplement can offer.

 

1. High quality omega-3 supplement

Omega 3’s are renowned for staving off heart attacks and strokes, and are good for eyesight and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. However it is less well known that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are crucial for brain functioning and your mental well-being.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily dose of 500-1,000 mg of DHA and EPA from fish oil to reduce heart disease – However I personally think this dosage can be increased up to 6000mg. There is strong evidence that Omega 3 really is crucial for our brains, hearts and immune systems. However many fish oil supplements on the market can be of inferior quality. Make sure you read the small print and are reaching the correct amount of DHA and EPA.

 

2. Spirulina

This super powered supplement can nourish your body by providing most of the protein you need to live, help prevent the annoying sniffling and sneezing of allergies, reinforce your immune system, help you control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and help protect you from cancer.

Spirulina may be a bit scary in the powder form but now many companies are producing the tablet form making it easier to stomach.

The recommended daily dose is typically three to five grams, which you can spread out to twice or thrice a day. But it is best to start with a small dose and work your way for you to see how your body responds to spirulina.

 

3. Calcium

Osteoporosis is one of these increasingly prevalent and costly conditions. Therefore making the consumption of calcium incredibly important, not to mention the importance for healthy bones and teeth. It has been advised that food sources are far better than simply popping a pill, however if you are like me and do not consume any dairy products then you instinctively worry about your calcium intake.

Nonetheless there are many other food sources apart from the typical cows milk and cheese where you can get your calcium from such as broccoli, almonds, fish and so on. However if your lifestyle means you are unable to eat such foods I highly recommend taking a calcium supplement specifically one that is combined with Vitamin D, as it is required for the absorption of calcium.

 

4. Probiotic

Probiotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. Many of us suffer with our digestive health, from feeling sluggish to not eliminating often enough or too much. Sometimes simply eating a certain food group can trigger a digestive upset and that is why I recommend taking a probiotic everyday. I personally have suffered from bouts of constipation even when my diet has been cleaner than a whistle. However as we know diet is not the only factor contributing to healthy or unhealthy digestion, lack of sleep, stress and anxiety are all known causes to upset digestive health.

“Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines,” says Stefano Guandalini, MD. These friendly organisms may also help fight bacteria that cause diarrhoea. I take mine in the tablet form each morning.

 

5. Vitamin D

The sunshine pill! Unfortunately many of us do not live in sunny climates where we are able to get all of our Vitamin D from the sun, therefore we have to supplement this, I highly recommend getting a calcium and Vitamin D combined tablet that way you only have to swallow one tablet a day. 5 fantastic reasons to increase your Vitamin D intake:

  1. Improves muscle function
  2. Decreases your appetite
  3. Can protect lung function
  4. Help shed your winter weight
  5. Can help lower blood pressure

Aim for at least 10micrograms a day.

Please note: avoid taking any supplements that exceed 100% of daily recommended values because, supplements are additional to the nutrients in food, and large doses of some, especially fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, can build up in the body and become toxic, it is thought that an excess of vitamin A can retard growth and lead to hair loss while vitamin D can cause nausea and irritability. Excess vitamins are not stored in your body for later use they are simply excreted from the body, making them a waste of time and money.

 

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