Effective Supplements for Active Bodies
Most of us are deficient in nutrients. Choosing locally grown organic produce, and eating a mostly whole food diet plan is important to getting as many nutrients in their natural form as possible. Spend your money on quality foods first, but it makes good sense to take a multivitamin as a backup source of nutrients.
Using these recommended supplements will give you a baseline of nutrients, but they should always accompany a healthy diet and regular exercise. Remember that supplements don’t compensate for a poor diet, or for a stressful lifestyle. Think of them as your back up plan, not as your main source of nutrition.
1. The Vital Role of Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins needed by humans. With the exception of egg yolks, fortified milk products, and fish, Vitamin D is not found in the food chain. Moreover, when Vitamin D is obtained from foods, it must be “processed” by the body to provide the benefits of helping to keep bones healthy through the absorption of calcium.
Without adequate Vitamin D levels, the body is only able to absorb around 10% to 15% of dietary calcium. This is short of the recommended 30% to 40% when vitamin reserves are normal. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition®, both forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) were officially viewed as equivalent and interchangeable based on 70 year old studies for the prevention of rickets. Today, there are new advances and research that suggests vitamin D3 is the more effective choice.
You may also want to review the research studies by Michael Holick, PhD, MD, a worldwide expert who has conducted extensive vitamin D research for the last 20 years. Additionally, Dr. Cora Rivard, ND also provides very helpful insights and information. Please visit our section on this.
2.The Calcium/Magnesium Connection
When blood tests reveal a calcium deficiency, it frequently results in diet changes that can include calcium rich foods along with calcium supplements. In addition, magnesium and calcium work together at very precise ratios. The University of Maryland Medical Center covers magnesium benefits, the side effects of too much magnesium, possible interactions, and ways to deal with too much magnesium side effects.
You will find the recommended magnesium doses by age and sex, including a suggestion to consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking magnesium supplements, and especially before considering magnesium supplements for a child.
Learn why calcium citrate is the a very effective form of calcium and how it’s much easier for the body to absorb.
3. Vitamin C Benefits
Vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant. It is necessary for the growth and repair of body tissues, healing, wounds and it helps produce collagen which the body needs to create skin, blood vessels, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Bear in mind that cartilage is destroyed when people develop osteoarthritis (OA). Many active OA individuals take C every day for OA as well as all of its other benefits.
Based on information from the University of Maryland Medical Center, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can result in lower vitamin C levels. If you’re on a regular regimen of these drugs, vitamin C supplements might be in order.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that Vitamin C may help to protect people against the following:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease (research results are mixed, but there’s evidence that suggests it may protect against arterial damage).
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
4. Spices and Herbs to the Rescue
Your spice cabinet or local grocery store has a host of herbs and spices to use to flavor foods. These helpful spices and herbs have other uses, too. They can be taken as supplements as well. Here are a few:
- BASIL – Basil is an herbal carminative, which can relieve gas and soothe stomach upsets. Basil has been traditionally used in India to normalize stress levels.
- CAYENNE – Cayenne pepper has wonderful cardiovascular benefits, including lowering blood pressure. When added to food, cayenne increases appetite, improves digestion and relieves gas, nausea and indigestion. It also thins phlegm and eases its passage from the lungs.
- CINNAMON – Cinnamon contains a compound that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including the E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureas. Cinnamon helps lower blood pressure and helps regulate menstrual cycles. In addition, cinnamon has a tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress.
- GARLIC – Garlic is a natural antiseptic and helps lower cholesterol, reduces plaque, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- GINGER – Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid which stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, and helps stimulate cardiovascular activity.
- OREGANO – Oregano is a powerful natural antiseptic. It contains 19 chemical compounds with antibacterial actions as well as four compounds that soothe coughs. In addition, oregano helps soothe stomach muscles, making it a good digestive aid, and it helps lower blood pressure.
- PARSLEY – Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse with high levels of natural beta carotene, vitamin B12, chlorophyll, calcium and more vitamin C than citrus fruits. It supports the liver, uterus, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands, purifies blood and body fluids. Parsley concentrate promotes good digestion and is an extraordinary immune system booster. It contains key flavonoids including furanocoumarins.
- TURMERIC – The curcumin contained in turmeric provides powerful anti-cancer properties, especially for smokers and past smokers. Curcumin has clinically proven anti-inflammatory effects, including significant beneficial effects in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Turmeric is also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, and may help prevent cataracts. Turmeric prevents hardening of arteries by lowering cholesterol and inhibiting fat oxidation.
5. The B Complex Family
There are a total of 8 water-soluble B vitamins, also known as B complex. The benefits of vitamin B are extensive. Since they’re not stored by the body (as B vitamins are water-soluble), it’s important to include a daily supply of quality food and B supplement sources. Dr. Brandy Ferarra suggests that smoking and excess alcohol has a direct impact on the destruction of the body’s B vitamins.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamins B6, B9 and B12 all work together to control blood levels of the amino acid called homocysteine. There’s an association between high homocysteine levels and heart disease, but researchers aren’t sure whether homocysteine is a disease marker, or a cause of heart disease.
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can easily create a negative impact on your overall health, energy level, and your cognitive abilities, especially as you get older. Niacin (also known as vitamin B3) is popular, but has side effects. Be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner or our nutritionist.
At Rockwell Nutrition, we would like to express that there’s a big difference in quality of some supplements over others. There are synthetic and non-active forms of nutrients that are cheaper to produce, and low quality supplements tend to use those forms. They might have a lower price tag, but in the end are a waste of money because your body won’t be able to use the nutrients in some cases. Even taking a lower dose of quality nutrients cangive you more value than a cheap supplement.