You want to meet your nutrition needs by eating real foods that come from the earth. I’m talking about unprocessed, whole foods. They’re the kind that we don’t change much from the farm to the table. But, life is busy! You have your job, household, kids, projects . . . even for the most healthful eaters, it is hard to get all the essential vitamins and nutrients you need daily. Supplements may help you achieve your nutritional needs without all of the pots and pans. Today I’m sharing 3 supplements that get my seal of approval to include as “insurance”, alongside the good choices you attach to the end of your fork: Omega 3’s, Ubiquinol, and probiotics.
Omega 3 in Your Diet
You hear a lot about omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease, but we all need to get them in. Over the last ten years many Americans have turned to fish oil to meet their needs. Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your heart’s health. They help to manage symptoms of hypertension and are useful in lowering cholesterol. Some studies suggest it slows plaque buildup in the heart and may even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salmon and walnuts are two of the richest natural sources of Omega-3s. This may not be a choice if you have a fish or nut allergy. While there is some research to support taking higher doses of fish oil supplement, The American Heart Association suggests that you dig into 3.5 oz fatty fish twice a week, and supplementation with heart disease should be customized to the condition and under a the care of your doc.
Ubiquinol – the Anti-aging Antioxidant
As we age our body progressively produces less CoQ10 and struggles to convert it into Ubiquinol, which is the usable form of CoQ10. This leaves us with less than ideal levels of this energy-producing nutrient that naturally helps your system rock and roll. Research has shown that Ubiquinol circulating in your bod improves the health of your ticker and can alleviate many of the side effects associated with statin medications you may take to lower your cholesterol. Ubiquinol is found in foods you may already eat like peanuts, spinach, lean meats, and sardines. However, you would need to consume 50 cups of spinach or 120 cans of sardines to reach the recommended 100 mg of Ubiquinol each day! Ubiquinol not only works as an antioxidant but is crucial in the body’s energy production. It is the very fuel that makes your heart beat. To learn more, visit http://ubiquinol.org.
Probiotics – the Bacteria that’s Good for You
Your gut has over 400 types of probiotic bacteria (good guy bugs in your belly) that help fight bad bacteria found in your intestines; they also promote good digestion, which we all need! Most people use probiotics to prevent diarrhea, gas, and cramping caused by medications or antibiotics. It may not make sense to you to take an antibiotic and a probiotic at the same time — wouldn’t it seem they’d cancel each other out? Not the case. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the bad bacteria, so supplementing with a probiotic puts those happy microorganisms back in action in your tummy. Probiotics may also help with infections of the digestive tract, enhance immune function, and control inflammatory bowel disease.
You’ll find these friendly bugs naturally in most fermented dairy foods like yogurt and kefir. Don’t be tricked by labeling: live active cultures may not be probiotic, so read the label carefully! A supplement can help make sure you are getting enough probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Also be sure to talk to your doctor before changing your diet or starting a supplement regimen.
As with all supplements, remember not to be fooled by the fancy packaging at the health food store or pharmacy. You want a standardized supplement that comes from a reputable company. Do you think you’re getting enough omega-3, Ubiquinol and probiotics on your plate? Share your thoughts and experiences below.