If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that my journey towards healthier living has involved a heck of a lot of vitamins & supplements.
Let’s back track a little. When I first started incorporating supplements into my life, it was out of sheer & pure necessity. When I finally found a nutritionist that clicked & with whom I was able to make a realistic meal plan that I actually followed, a therapist that I trusted & a doctor who gave me hope that I would slowly but surely recover from my eating disorder, it felt great.
BUT, having found the “perfect” treatment team (or at least what I deemed “perfect”) also meant I had to face a lot of the realities my eating disorder had led to:
- a severe amount of vitamin, mineral & nutrient deficiencies (iron, potassium, sodium, protein, B12)
- bradycardia (a heart condition characterized by a slower than normal heart rate)
- osteopenia (a condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal & a known precursor to osteoporosis if not treated).
Given that my health was in such a precarious situation, even though I was incorporating new foods & implementing a hefty meal plan, I wasn’t in a situation where I could just wait it out & hope that I’d feed my body enough for all these deficiencies & conditions to be cured overnight. All hail supplementation.
My nutritionist & doctor recommended a series of supplements that would help get my health back on track (& avoid it getting worse) while we waited (impatiently) for my nutrition to be adequate enough to no longer need to rely on the supplements. So, that’s what I mean when I say that the supplements were being taken out of sheer necessity & not so much for preventative reasons.
You can imagine that after weeks & months of incorporating the supplements (& properly fuelling my body through nutrition), the blood results came back better & better every week (with a few exceptions here & there). When things started to look up, I really began taking more of an interest in the study of health, wellness, nutrition & supplementation because I saw that IT WAS WORKING! Crazy, right?
I also began to believe more strongly in the power of nutrition, but also supplementation. That’s both a good thing & a bad thing. Since I saw that the supplements were working to get me back on track, they almost became like a security blanket for me. I saw them as the “tool that saved me” & because I began to view them that way, even when my blood test results came back better, it was hard for me to let go of the supplements. Instead, I just wanted to learn more & more.
And as I learned more not only about the ones I was already taking, but also about others that I could incorporate as preventative measures & to target things like fighting aging, healthier skin, more stamina & endurance, increased energy, boosted liver function, a healthier gut & a stronger heart, I started to slowly but surely add tons of new supplements to my routine. And to be honest, I kind of never stopped.
As I continued (& still continue) to educate myself, I became more & more inclined to keep adding more until eventually I realized I was taking SO MANY that I felt like even though I was reaping a lot of benefits, there was way too much overlap in my routine. And, more importantly, my body was expending & using up so much energy in order to digest & absorb all these supplements that it was kind of counterproductive – I was taking so many of these supplements to sustain my energy levels, but meanwhile, because I was taking so many, my energy levels were getting depleted because my body SO overwhelmed.
If you want to take a look at just how many supplements I was taking in the past, check out these two posts:
- My Daily Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements Routine!
- (Much-Needed) UPDATED Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements Routine a.k.a. A Tough Pill To Swallow (JK, You Get Used To It!)
So how did I decide to reduce my supplements?
I went on a trip this past April (2018) & decided to take just SIX of my supplements with me. I basically wanted to test the waters & see how I felt with just those six (as opposed to the almost 30 I was taking back home!). TBH, I was also pretty lazy to pack all the supplements into Ziploc bags & I saw the trip as the perfect opportunity to test it out & to decide if it was time to cut back.
Low & behold, after going a week with just six of them, I realized I had more energy than when I was following my full routine & that I felt better than ever!!! I was shocked, but also SO HAPPY! This made me realize I was overdoing it, my body was using so much energy to digest & absorb all the supplements & I was really getting most of what I needed through nutrition.
Food really should be our primary source of fuel & supplements should be used to fill a void/deficiency & shouldn’t be relied upon to fulfill nutritional needs. I used to read articles about that all the time but because I believed so strongly in the power of supplements (given that they helped me get my health back initially), I was skeptical & never took the chance to step out of the comfort zone the supplements provided me with & to test what life was like without them. Until April. And I’m so happy I finally took that leap of faith!
If you take a lot of vitamins & supplements like I was, I strongly encourage you guys to test the waters & try reducing what you take daily & replacing it with nutritious, wholesome foods that will do the same & even more for you. Of course, if you’ve been prescribed certain supplements by a doctor, nutritionist or dietitian, please keep in mind that it’s always best to check with them first before reducing or removing any or all of them. I’m not a doctor & more importantly, I’m not YOUR doctor. Your doctor & more importantly, YOU, know best what’s right for you & your body. I’m simply sharing with you my experience.
So what do I mean when I say that supplements should be secondary & be used to fill a void or deficiency & not to fulfill nutritional needs?
What I mean is that way back when, in the Palaeolithic era, people did not have access to vitamins & supplements like we do today. Today, it’s a market in & of itself. Back then, people relied on FOOD as their primary & only source of fuel. They hunted & gathered to fill their nutritional needs & fed off wholesome, nutritious foods that were once alive. They fed off REAL FOOD & guess what? They suffered from less disease than we do today. They lived longer. They were stronger, healthier, happier & so many health conditions that today, have basically become epidemics, were even unheard of, let alone epidemics, back then!
Instead of relying on vitamins & supplements, AIM TO EAT MORE FOODS THAT ARE RICH IN THEM! A diet rich in healthy fats (& the maintenance of a healthy balance between omega-3s & 6s), good carbs from sources like starchy veggies, good grains, legumes, beans, fruits & veggies, plant-based protein sources & good quality animal protein, fibre, nuts, seeds & LESS processed, packaged, refined foods will do SO MUCH MORE FOR YOU, YOUR BODY & YOUR MIND than any vitamin or supplement. I’m living & experiencing that first-hand as I make the switch over to a more plant-based lifestyle.
Food truly is your number one source of fuel, medicine & is truly the stepping stone into living a healthier lifestyle! It’s important that you start to incorporate foods that are rich in what you are lacking or that will help improve whatever it is about your situation that isn’t making you feel your best: skin, hair & nail health, skin disorders , such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, muscle recovery & growth, focus, concentration, focus or frequent headaches/migraines, gut health issues (IBS, Chron’s, leaky gut syndrome, etc.), inflammation, immunity, etc.
At that point, it might be useful to start doing some of your own research: read about the benefits that certain foods will provide you with in order to better understand WHY you should incorporate them into your life: having an understanding & having reasonable expectations of the results they will bring to your life will make you more eager to experiment with them & will give you something to monitor & look forward to as you slowly start to see your overall health improving.
Of course, this isn’t to say that food is the ONLY source where you can get the vitamins & minerals you are lacking. ALL HAIL SUPPLEMENTATION. Certain vitamins & minerals are harder to get from food because not many foods contain them; others might be harder for you to get PERSONALLY because of your dietary restrictions or because you don’t enjoy them & sometimes, if your issues are so severe that they are hindering & impairing your day-to-day life, even if it’s possible to get what you’re lacking from food, it’s best to incorporate a supplement to help you improve your health more efficiently & to help you feel your best!
It’s really all about finding the right balance between your nutrition & supplementation & knowing the difference between supplementing out of necessity & supplementing to the point where you’re actually getting too much of a good thing!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I just want to put one thing out there that applies to purchasing ANY & ALL vitamins, minerals & supplements: PLEASE AVOID SYNTHETIC FORMS AT ALL COSTS! If you take synthetic forms of some types of vitamins, not only will your body risk being deprived of the benefits these vitamins/minerals are supposed to provide, but also it could actually cause more harm than good.
How can you tell whether it’s natural or synthetic? LET ME EXPLAIN!
- If you see the words “100% natural” on the product label, be wary. Some product labels may contain the words “natural,” but manufacturers can claim “natural” on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. This is why you should always look for products that contain “100% plant-based” or “100% animal-based” on the product’s label.
- Find the “food source” list on the products label. If the product’s label does not contain a list of natural food sources, then the product is synthetic. Look for food sources such as yeast, fish, vegetable and citrus.
- Look for salt forms on the product label, a synthetic added to supplements to increase the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look out for: acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate & succinate.
Learn how to read the product’s label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic. Words that end in “ide” or “ate” indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics. For instance, if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product. ALSO, the letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic.
Last but not least, regarding DOSAGE: I generally follow the recommended dose listed on the nutrition label. The only time I’ll modify the recommended dose is if I’ve already had my dose of the supplement from other sources, for example: I take collagen capsules, but if I’ve already had two scoops of the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, Matcha Collagen or one of their other products, I’ll skip the collagen capsules for that day.
I take my supplements in the morning with my breakfast because I find my body has an easier time absorbing them if they are taken with food (some of the ones I take are water-soluble, but others are fat-soluble, which means they are best absorbed when taken with foods that contain fat!). Instead of having to divide up my supplements based on whether they are water or fat soluble, I prefer to take them all at once so that I never forget them & so that I prevent any nausea that may occur if I take them without food! To read more about my morning breakfast routine, click here: My Breakfast Routine a.k.a. Kelly In The Kitch’s Complete Breakfast. Taking my supplements with breakfast also helps keeps me on track & ensures that I never forget to take them!
On mornings where I spin early, I do fasted cardio. The only supplements I take before my workout are my B-complex & Beef Liver as a natural pre-workout energy boost.
Oh & wondering how I manage to swallow them all? AT FIRST, it was hard to get used to! What I used to do in the beginning was have a few of my supplements with every meal, so that I didn’t overwhelm myself with a huge bowl of supplements to take in one sitting! Overtime, I got used to it & realized that I preferred to take them all at once because it made it easier to remember as I always associated them with breakfast & I didn’t have to think about it until the next day! ALWAYS make sure to take your supplements with a HUGE glass of water, to help them go down easier!
AND FINALLY, WHAT ON EARTH AM I TAKING?
Black Cumin Seed Oil
I use the one by Organika Health.
Black seed oil is made from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant (black cumin). Just to give you an idea of how powerful it is, research has shown that fungus & mold cannot exist in the presence of the phytochemicals found in black seed oil, once of which is thymoquinone, an active ingredient that’s well known for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory & anti-cancer properties. It fights free radicals, preserves antioxidant enzyme necessary for detoxification & helping with cellular antioxidant defence systems by protecting the liver rom toxins.
I started taking it as a replacement for my Pearl supplement, which I was taking for beauty benefits, mostly for skin health. I just felt like I’d been taking it for too long & like it wasn’t doing much for me anymore. Let’s just say it felt like my skin sitch had stagnated & I wanted to try to incorporate something new. Black cumin seed oil is actually known to be what Cleopatra took as her beauty secret to maintain healthy hair, skin & nails. So, you can imagine I was tempted!
Turns out black cumin seed oil actually has tons of other benefits:
- Antioxidants & phytochemicals make it a natural treatment for certain types of cancer
- Amazing for liver health; the liver is one of the most important organs in the body & nearly every toxin gets processed through it. Bile from liver is key to digesting fats & keeping the mind & body healthy
- Helps regulate glucose & insulin levels & tolerance
- Great for reducing the symptoms of allergies (due to its antihistamine content)
- Helps with weight loss/maintenance
- Protects the skin, boosts skin’s antioxidant defence system & decreases the severity of eczema & other skin conditions.
- Boosts hair & scalp health (due to its antihistamine content, it made help prevent hair loss due to alopecia) + reduces dandruff & dryness
- Anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory
- Improves fertility naturally
- Balances cholesterol & lowers blood pressure
I use the Nova Probiotics 100 + 165 CFU & alternate between the 2.
If I had to recommend ONE supplement that you should start with, it would be THIS ONE! Probiotics have literally changed my life! (& they’re the reason why my digestion has been ON FREAKING FLEEK). To read more about why you should start out with probiotics, click here: Overwhelmed? Here’s Where To Get Started With Vitamins & Supplements!
I also have an entire blog post all about the importance of probiotics & I’ve written an article for Healthy Is Hot all about why they should be a part of all of our lives.
Here’s the link to the Healthy Is Hot article: Probiotics Article
One of the main reasons we experience bloating, stomach discomfort, digestive health issues, leaky gut syndrome, etc. is because of gut bacteria imbalance. Basically, what this means is that you have too much bad bacteria living in your gut (due to things such as, bad diet or stress). Tackling unhealthy gut with live bacteria can help address the imbalance in our gut flora & stop the bad bacteria & yeast from accumulating too much in our intestines, which is what ultimately leads to bloating.
When buying a probiotic supplement:
- always make sure they contain various strains of good microbes: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii, to name a few.
- always start slow & work your way up when it comes to CFU count – it’s best to start with a lower count (somewhere between 27-40 billion strains) to gage how your body reacts to the probiotics & to prevent any adverse effects.
Other good sources of probiotic foods/drinks are: Kombucha, certain Greek yogurts &/or cheeses &/or dairy products, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi!
- NOT ONLY DO PROBIOTICS PROMOTE A HEALTHY MICRO-BIOME, but they also help balance immune function( 80% of our immune system is located in our gut!)
- Enhance nutrient absorption from the food we eat
- Improve mood
- Help maintain healthy body weight – having healthy balance of microflora in your gut helps speed metabolism & can even encourage weight loss
- Keep temporary inflammation in check
- Reduce fatigue (Balanced gut can reinvigorate you because fatigue is often a sign of poor digestion, which occurs as a result of unhealthy gut)
- Help balance blood sugar
- Improve the appearance of the skin. Skin is an important reflection of internal health & skin problems can result from nutritional & hormonal imbalances, as well as immune system disruptions, all of which are issues that start in the gut.
To read more about gut health, click here: Everything You Need To Know To Heal Your Gut a.k.a. GO WITH YOUR GUT, ALWAYS.
You might also want to check this post out: KITK’s Top 5 Tips For Long-Term Digestive Health a.k.a. That G(ood)ut Feeling!
To read about my tips & tricks to fight the bloat naturally, click here: My Tips & Tricks To Fight The Bloat!
I take the AlphaSorb-C Vitamin C Capsules by Now Foods, which are basically calcium-buffered vitamin C capsules that contain certain acids the make the vitamin C more bioavailable (a.k.a. the body absorbs it better) & boosts the antioxidant quality & capacity of the vitamin.
TBH, I don’t think I really need to justify just how important getting enough vitamin C is. A lot of us get it from our diets through the consumption of fruits & veggies & other nutritious foods, but a vitamin C supplement is also on my top 5 recommended supplements to start out with (& even more so if you are taking Collagen).
- Supports healthy immune function
- Neutralizes the effects of nitrites (Preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain cancers)
- Also necessary for collagen absorption – When consuming collagen, you should do so in conjunction with vitamin C to ensure that your body is able to convert the collagen into protein it can use & in turn, restore the source of your energy & vitality
- Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption
- It’s essential for healthy bones, teeth & cartilage
- It’s packed with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals & rid the body of toxins! This also means that vitamin C is great for maintaining healthy, youthful, radiant skin & fights wrinkles
- It’s great for eye health
- It helps with the common cold, flu & other infections due to its ability to boost immune system health & defences
- It prevents heart disease & may even help fight off certain types of cancer & other chronic diseases.
B-Complex & B-12 Dropper
I use the Natural Factors Bio Co-enzymated B-Complex supplement.
I started taking these after meeting with my nutritionist for the first time. As you all know, inadequate intake of some B vitamins is not uncommon & deficiencies can cause fatigue, fainting spells, weakness, insomnia, depression & migraines.
- Helps the body to metabolize carbs, fats & proteins
- Helps with liver detoxification & maintaining healthy cholesterol levels
- Helps balance hormones
- Great for nervous system health
- P.S. If you are vegan or vegetarian, it is very likely that you are deficient in B12 as the best sources are meat & seafood, so I highly recommend taking a B vitamin supplement!
- B-complex vitamins are actually one of my top 5 recommendations for supplements if you are just starting out & are feeling overwhelmed about what to incorporate first! Wanna know why? Click here: Overwhelmed? Here’s Where To Get Started With Vitamins & Supplements!
- Here’s a little breakdown of all the benefits of every B-vitamin included in a traditional B-complex vitamin:
- B1: Improves brain function, produces energy, helps the body digest food & benefits eye health.
- B2: Helps with migraines, antioxidant, increases energy levels, helps fight certain symptoms associated with cancer & helps the body break down calories from food.
- B3: Boosts levels of good cholesterol (& lowers level of bad!), reduces hardening of arteries & overall beneficial for heat health, great for nervous system & digestive health & may help prevent diabetes.
- B5: Helps the body metabolize food, treats acne, yeast infections & heart disease, helps regulate the nervous system, great for clear & healthy skin, may help treat insomnia, depression & headaches.
- B6: Prevents heart disease, lowers blood pressure & blood cholesterol, helps fight PMS & great for soothing symptoms of depression & other mental illnesses. To read more about this, click here: What Is Anxiety? & My Top Natural Remedies (& A Few Other Pointers!) For Coping with Anxiety.
- B7 (a.k.a. BIOTIN): Helps with heart problems, boosts metabolism, may be beneficial for hair & nails (but research is not conclusive) & helps maintain proper blood sugar levels.
- B9 (a.k.a. FOLATE/FOLIC ACID): Prevents heart disease & stroke, lowers risk of birth defects, prevents & protects against certain types of cancer, produces healthy blood cells & boosts immunity.
- B12: Converts carbs into glucose, promotes healthy digestion, essential for skin, hair & nail health, prevents heart disease & reduces depression/stress.
In addition to my B-complex supplement, due to my diagnosed B12 deficiency (& especially since I’ve gone plant-based), I also take a B12 supplement daily in the form of drops.
I take the one by Vital Proteins.
This is currently my favourite supplement as part of my routine because it not only provides amazing benefits for exercise & recovery, but for my overall health as well. I love it so much that I wrote an ENTIRE post all about it, which you can read by clicking here: Why Beef Liver Is Life-Changing As A Natural Pre-Workout (& In General) & Why You Need It Too!
In a nutshell:
- Loaded with B12
- Amazing source of active Vitamin A
- High in iron & effective at helping with anemia prevention
- High in many other energizing & brain-boosting B-complex vitamins (B6, folate & biotin)
- Amazing for fertility & during pregnancy
- Helps with liver detoxification & function
- Provides a great source of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant important for boosting immunity, heart health & overall ability for the body to fight off disease-invading toxins & particles
I use the Collagen Peptides @vitalproteins OR @neocell Collagen capsules (which also contain vitamin C) on days where I don’t use the powder. For now, I’m still using collagen but if I go FULLY plant-based & decide to be stricter & cut out all animal sources (even though the VP Collagen is super well-sourced from grass-fed pasture-raised cattle), I may eventually swap out the collagen.
You can read more about all the benefits of collagen here: Collagen Here, Collagen There, Collagen Everywhere: The Basics & Why You Should Add It To Your Daily Routine! But, in a nutshell:
- Improves skin & hair health! Makes the skin look firmer, more supple, increase moisture & smoothness & helps skin cells keep renewing, regenerating & repairing normally. Basically, it reduces the signs of aging & promotes younger, more radiant skin
- Helps reduce cellulite & stretch marks
- Reduces joint pain & degeneration
- Helps LEAKY GUT! Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where bad-for-you toxins are able to pass through your digestive tract. Collagen will help break down proteins & soothe your gut’s lining, by healing damaged cell walls & infusing it with healing amino acids. Collagen helps form connective tissue & seals and heals the protective lining of your GI tract!A lot of illnesses can be traced back to poor & unhealthy gut! This is because poor gut health & permeability in the gut lining allows particles to pass into the bloodstream where they LEAD TO INFLAMMATION (To read more about gut health, click here: Everything You Need To Know To Heal Your Gut a.k.a. GO WITH YOUR GUT, ALWAYS.)
- Helps with water absorption within our intestines, which means that it helps keeps things moving more freely out of the body
- Helps boost metabolism, muscle mass & energy output by adding lean muscle mass to your frame & helping with the conversion of essential nutrients
- Contains amino acids which are important for digestive & central nervous system health & as well as improving the body’s use of antioxidants
- Strengthens nails, teeth & hair
- Heart health
- Helps with sleep & improves memory (Due to the amino acid glycine, which plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain).
I take the one by Vital Proteins. I always alternate between Spirulina & Chlorella.
- High in protein! Complete source of high quality protein & often compared to eggs for the amount of protein per gram!
- A source of antioxidants & B-vitamins (especially thiamin, which is crucial for the digestion of fats & proteins & is often taken for boosting energy, which is why I started taking it, as well as brain function & improving nerve functioning).
- THE MOST NUTRIENT-DENSE FOOD ON THE PLANET!
- Rich in iron: I had very low iron when I reached my lowest point in my ED. & since I never really ate much red meat, I always had low-ish iron levels. I began taking spirulina because it is one of the best plant sources of iron & it’s even beneficial for meat easters because it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is very gentle & easy on the digestive system.
- Rich in calcium: Did you guys know that spirulina contains over 26x the calcium in milk?!
- Also contains: riboflavin, folic acid, vitamins C, D, A & E, as well as a source of potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium & zinc!
I take the one by Organika Health (in capsule form) & the one by Organic Traditions (if I’m adding the powder to recipes).
- Help the adrenals (glands that produce hormones, one of which is cortisol) adjust to stress in our daily lives & stabilize the body’s response to stress &/or anxiety. For this reason, it’s called an “ADAPTogen”. Basically, the way it works is it will produce stress hormones when our body needs them & stop producing them when it doesn’t. It therefore helps the body adapt its stress level to its “OPTIMAL” state. To read more about how ashwaganda can help with anxiety, click here: What Is Anxiety? & My Top Natural Remedies (& A Few Other Pointers!) For Coping with Anxiety.
- Ashwaganda also protects the brain from degeneration & works to improve anxiety symptoms by destroying free radicals that cause damage to the brain & body.
- It has a very calming and relaxing effect & can also contribute to lifting mood, reducing fatigue, improving focus, sleep & immune function!
- It also contains withanolides (which is a natural antioxidant-filed steroid that limits inflammation in the skin) & also helps your hormonal response to stress. If you have hormonal acne, it might help!
To read more about adrenal fatigue & the way adaptogens work to help reduce it, click here: Adrenal Fatigue: The Ins & Outs – My Experience With It, What Is It? How Does It Feel? & How You Can Fix It
I take the one by Now Foods.
- Great for hormone production & balance
- Promotes hair growth & prevents hair thinning/loss as it helps strengthen hair follicles, inhibits regression & accelerates hair follicle recovery
- Promotes healthy skin & fights acne (especially if it’s hormonal) by carrying vitamin A to the skin, regulating the body’s hormonal balance & facilitating apoptosis (cell death), which is a natural byproduct of the process by which skin renews itself. When we are deficient in zinc, skin cells stick together instead of dying off like they should, which leads to clogged pores.
I like the one by Now Foods (Neptune Krill) or the one by Organika Health. Unlike regular fish oil, Neptune Krill Oil fatty acids are in a natural food complex that includes phospholipids & astaxanthin (carotenoids, a.k.a. natural form of antioxidants), which gives Neptune unique biological properties. Also, these brands’ supplements are manufactured under strict quality control standards, are tested to be free of potentially harmful levels of contaminants (mercury, heavy metals, dioxins & other contaminants).
- Krill oil has a higher bioavailability than any other type of fish oil (a.k.a. your body can make the most use of it & absorb it better than it can any other fish oil!).
- Amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids! (Actually, it is the purest form of omega-3 on the planet because most fish oils contain detectable levels of toxins, such as mercury. Krill oil does not given its position in the marine food chain – The fish feed only on phytoplankton which DOES NOT contain mercury!).
- The omega-3 fatty acid content makes krill oil a beneficial supplement to take for muscle recovery. Wanna know why? Click here: My Go-To Supplements For Muscle Recovery a.k.a. Buh-Bye Soreness, Hello Strength!
- Contains antioxidants!
- Helps with PMS!
- Promotes a healthy skin complexion (Due to its antioxidant content, which fights the effects of damaging free radicals!).
- Can also help with mood & combat depression, anxiety & other mental illness. To read more about this, click here: What Is Anxiety? & My Top Natural Remedies (& A Few Other Pointers!) For Coping with Anxiety.
- Krill also supports brain & heart health. It’s rich in phospholipids, which deliver omega-3s directly to your cells (it helps boost brain function & cognitive abilities, as well as memory problems, as well as cardiovascular function & cholesterol levels & blood pressure).
- Krill oil is actually one of my top 5 recommendations for supplements if you are just starting out & are feeling overwhelmed about what to incorporate first! Wanna know why? Click here: Overwhelmed? Here’s Where To Get Started With Vitamins & Supplements!
- Always look for krill oil that is properly & sustainably sourced!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I used to take raw yellow maca. After a lot of trial & error & a process of elimination, I realized that the maca was giving me really bad heart palpitations. I decided to swap it out of my routine but I wanted to replace it with something that possessed similar properties because aside for the heat palpitations, maca did provide me wth a lot of benefits, specifically regarding energy, physical endurance & stamina.
- Ginseng acts like maca in the sense that it enhances physical & mental performance & has adaptogenic properties, which help normalize bodily functions & helps the body adapt to stressful situations.
- It’s also great for hair & skin health
- Helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety & depression + boosts mood
- Boosts immunity, helping the body fight off infection & disease
- Boosts metabolism & helps the body burn fat at a faster rate
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Keeps the heart healthy & improves brain function
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Prevents certain types of cancer due to its ability to inhibit tumour growth
- Relieves menopause symptoms & decreases their severity (boosts sexual arousal, increases well-being & general health, decreases depressive symptoms & reduces symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, weight gain, insomnia & thinning hair)
This is the newest supplement in my routine & something I am taking primarily to help reduce the symptoms of my anxiety. I can’t speak about the long-term benefits just yet because it’s only been about 2 weeks since I started incorporating it. But what I can say is that lately, my anxiety has been worse than usual & this seems like just about the only thing that’s been working to help calm me down, reduce my jitters & my constant need to be moving/productive.
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in the cannabis plant. It’s the non psychoactive component of the plant, that has tons of inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant & antipsychotic properties & has been used to treat neuro-inflammation, epilepsy, oxidative stress & injury, chronic nausea, anxiety, schizophrenia & other mental health issues.
Unlike other compounds in the cannabis plant (such as THC), CBD does not have mind-altering effects.
Some of the benefits include:
- Relieves pain & inflammation naturally
- Has antipsychotic effects & has a pharmacological profile similar to that of typical antipsychotic drugs
- Reduces anxiety & helps with treatment of panic attacks, OCD, social anxiety & PTSD
- Fights certain types of cancer by promoting cell death that inhibits cancer cel migration, adhesion + invasion
- Relieves nausea
- Helps treat seizures & other neurological disorders
- Lowers incidence of diabetes by helping regulate blood sugar levels & promoting lower fasting insulin levels
- Promotes healthy weight maintenance
- Promotes heart health
What’s great about CBD is that you get the calming & soothing benefits from the cannabis plant, without the intoxicating & often mind-altering effects. THC, on the other hand, may actually increase anxiety symptoms in some people & induce paranoia or memory impairment. It also has been shown to induce sleep, whereas CBD does not.
FINAL THOUGHTS (FINALLY, RIGHT?)
Right now, this is what works for me after over a year of trial & error. Keep in mind that your supplement routine should always be tailored & personalized to your needs, deficiencies & health condition. You should never blindly take a supplement simply because it works for someone else. The only way you can truly know if it works for you is if you try it. Every BODY is different.
My advice is to always incorporate supplements slowly & individually to be able to gage & determine if it’s helping / improving your situation & to be able to attribute the benefits to a specific one as opposed to incorporating many at the same time.
Below are the links to a few posts from my blog where you can read more about vitamins, minerals & supplements. Please don’t hesitate to leave any questions or feedback down below, as well as your experience with any & all of the supplements I’m taking! I always love to hear how certain things have worked for you guys & learning more!
- My Go-To Supplements For Muscle Recovery a.k.a. Buh-Bye Soreness, Hello Strength!
- Not Down With Collagen? Here Are Some Ways To Boost Your Body’s Natural Collagen Production!
- Everything You Need To Know To Heal Your Gut a.k.a. GO WITH YOUR GUT, ALWAYS.
- My Tips & Tricks To Fight The Bloat!
- The Best Supplements For Clear Skin a.k.a. Peace Out Acne – It’s Been Real.
- Overwhelmed? Here’s Where To Get Started With Vitamins & Supplements!
- Collagen Here, Collagen There, Collagen Everywhere: The Basics & Why You Should Add It To Your Daily Routine!
- Everything You Need to Know About Kombucha a.k.a. Why I Haven’t Gone a Day Without This Babe Since I Started My Journey Towards Anorexia Recovery
- What Is Anxiety? & My Top Natural Remedies (& A Few Other Pointers!) For Coping with Anxiety.
- My Top “First Steps” That You Can Take To Embark On Your Journey Towards An Overall Healthier Lifestyle a.k.a. Baby-Step-Mentality-FTW!
- STRECH MARKS? No problem! My Go-To Remedies to Help Those Bad Boys Fade Away!