The world of supplements can be confusing. There are so many! The names can be complicated and the applications even more so. Which supplements do you really need and which are just wasted money? You don’t want to be a body-builder and you don’t want to deal with this stuff! But hey, what if supplementation helped you – a normal person – feel better, perform better, and live longer? The truth is, due to our modern methods of farming and food processing, even those of us eating healthy, well-rounded diets are at risk of not consuming enough of the essential ingredients our body needs.
1. Fish Oil:
It is hard to avoid the news about fish oil these days. Omega-3’s seem to be responsible for everything from maintaining muscle and decreasing body fat, to healing strokes, to helping women have healthy babies. Put simply, fish oil helps reduce inflammation and promotes healthy cell growth. In practical terms this means less joint pain, faster healing, and shiny hair and nails. In the long term it could mean avoiding autoimmune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more. There may be some people eating enough high quality fish and grass-fed meats who do not need to supplement omega-3's, but the majority of us could use it.
2. Vitamin D:
A rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiency is being reported in the news frequently these days. We are supposed to get our Vitamin D from the sun, but depending on your geographic location, your use of sunblock, and the tribulations of modern life, that may be easier said than done. And, as it turns out, Vitamin D is important for more than just bone health and mood disorders. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Most of us know magnesium has something to do with calcium and something to do with getting a good night’s sleep. What does magnesium actually do in our bodies? A whole lot. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency.”3 It should also be noted, your Vitamin D doesn’t work without the proper levels of magnesium. Without magnesium supplementation, we risk everything from muscle cramping, to osteoporosis, to depression, to hypertension.
4. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA):
This might be one that you have never heard of before. ALA is a powerful antioxidant, so it eats up waste products in the body that can cause damage to our cells. Benefits: - restores our levels of vitamins C and E - ALA is water and fat soluble (can travel anywhere in the body to do its work) - has been proven to help with diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and alleviating neuropathy