What are the uses and benefits of supplements?
Supplements are often referred to as dietary supplements. They can offer peace of mind that your body is getting enough of the important substances it needs to function. They can help support a number of processes in your body, including heart health, gut health, sexual health, brain health, and anti-inflammation.
Supplements should not be used in replacement of a varied, healthy diet and lifestyle, so make sure you still eat a variety of healthy food too. Some supplements may have side effects or drug interactions, so we recommend asking your doctor before taking a new product.
What types of supplements are there?
Supplements contain nutrient compounds including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and fiber. They come in many digestible forms, including tablets, gummies, powders, drinks and energy bars. For example, we like to take our vitamin C in the form of a dissolvable tablet in water and our preferred way of having fish oil is with soft gel capsules. Often there are many forms of the same supplement, so don’t worry if one doesn’t work out for you. They are also available in a range of doses and combinations. So with many types to try you are guaranteed to find an easy and effective way to meet your nutritional needs.
What are the most important supplements?
What supplements you should take depends largely on your personal needs, dietary requirements and predispositions. However, there are supplements that are considered universally important. Three of the most popular (and important) supplements are:
1.Vitamin D - Scientific studies have shown that vitamin D is linked to immune health, bone health and increased cognition, and can possibly reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Normally, our wonderfully clever bodies produce vitamin D using UV light from the sun. But during the cold winter months when the memories of summer sunshine have begun to fade, vitamin D levels will naturally decrease and supplements can offer an easy solution to getting enough of this all-important vitamin.
2. Fish oil - This is the term used to refer to the Omega-3 fatty acids that are commonly found in fish and animal products and may be particularly useful as a supplement in a vegan lifestyle. Fish oil has been shown to potentially cause a reduction in blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Magnesium - An essential dietary mineral, magnesium is a prevalent electrolyte in the body. Supplementing magnesium has been shown to potentially act as a sedative, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure. As well as its excellent physical benefits, magnesium has also been associated with protecting against depression.
Which supplements are best for cognitive function and brain health?
Supplements are great for your brain too. They can help improve your mood and ability to process information. They also have been shown to increase alertness, attention, memory and intelligence. Some of the most popular supplements for cognitive function include:
1. Ashwagandha - This is a herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, which is a traditional medical system in India. Studies by scientists suggest that this herb is great for reducing stress and anxiety by decreasing cortisol levels. Also, Ashwagandha is claimed to reduce fatigue, insomnia and symptoms of depression.
2. Ginkgo Biloba - This very popular supplement is derived from the Ginkgo Biloba tree. It is thought to increase blood flow to the brain and has been shown to improve memory and focus. There is also evidence that it may protect from age-related decline in cognitive function.
Which supplements are best for anti-ageing and longevity?
Ageing is an inevitable process that most of us would like to slow down. And while we still haven’t found the elixir of life, there are a few supplements that you can take to keep you looking youthful and healthy for a little while longer.
1. Curcumin - The main ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to have powerful anti-ageing benefits. Curcumin is claimed to have strong antioxidant potential which fights cellular damage that contributes to the ageing process.
2. Green tea - Rich in a number of excellent compounds for preventing ageing, green tea intake has been associated with a reduced risk of mortality, stroke and heart-disease related death. An added bonus is that it also protects against skin ageing and wrinkles.