With the range of supplements now available, it can be baffling to know what to take for the best outcomes. The media constantly bombards us with headlines about the latest ‘superfood’ or wonder supplement designed to provide a long and healthy life – how can we know what to believe? Should we just keep on taking more and more supplements?
As Naturopathic Nutritionists, we are trained in the effective and judicious use of high quality, bioavailable supplements as part of a nutrition programme. Supplements do have their place, and can be helpful in accelerating improvements in health and wellbeing, and correcting possible dietary deficiencies as well as some genetic variations in key pathways that require additional nutrients.
So, which supplements are the most popular, and why?
Multi-strain, high strength probiotic
One of the foundational principles of Naturopathic Nutrition is that good health starts in the gut. Our beneficial gut bacteria are responsible for so many actions: from nutrient absorption and toxin elimination, to regulating inflammation and immunity. A healthy, balance microbiome is essential to your optimum health.
Probiotic supplements vary widely in quality: we consider it vital to look for one with a proven level of bacterial activity at the time of consumption, with organisms that will survive the acidic environment in the stomach, and that can be stored at room temperature. There should be a good range of bacterial strains and a total of at least 3.5 billion bacteria.
The healthiest diet in the world is no use if the foods you eat are not broken down and digested properly. Digestive enzymes hold the key to unlocking the nutrient power of your foods. A plant based digestive enzyme supplement can work in the varying pH levels of the digestive system, optimising nutrient absorption and bioavailability.
Vitamins & Minerals
Dietary deficiencies of our most vital vitamins and minerals is widespread, more so than many would believe, due in part to the declining health of our soils. Magnesium and B-vitamins are commonly low in the average diet, but are in high demand thanks to our busy, stressful lifestyles. Magnesium citrate has a high level of bioavailability and is readily absorbed and utilised by your body, whilst B-vitamins work alongside magnesium for energy production and handling stress.
Inappropriate inflammation lies at the root of so many modern day, chronic health conditions. The omega-3 oils EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have potent anti-inflammatory actions and have proven benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing. Krill oil is one of the most bioavailable sources of EPA and DHA, with the oils occurring naturally in a phospholipid form which is easily utilised by cells throughout your body.