Five expert rated supplements you should consider taking
Dr Zoe reveals which supplements to take
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Before starting any new supplement, it’s important to first focus on the lifestyle choices that we have within our control, advised Clarissa Berry, Nutritionist for DIRTEA, a unique range of powders and Super Blends. She continued: “This includes improving the nutrient density of our meals, eating sufficient protein, balancing carbohydrate intake to maintain controlled blood sugar, optimising sleep quality, reducing stress and toxin exposure, learning to breathe properly and making sure to get outside on a daily basis. Supplementation is highly individual and supplements should always be taken under the supervision of a health practitioner.”
The following are potentially applicable to many due to their widespread benefits and general safety, according to Berry.
Rhodiola is a root that grows in mountainous Europe and Asia.
Berry said: “It is a popular ‘adaptogen’, which means that it helps the body adapt to stress. This ability to promote a state of balance in the body makes it a powerful aid against the stress and anxiety that are so prevalent in our busy lives.
“Studies indicate that rhodiola can also help to improve both physical and mental performance. Rhodiola offers a natural energy boost and has a positive effect on mood, with studies demonstrating its use to reduce symptoms of depression. Rhodiola is a potentially useful tool to increase energy and resilience to the inevitable stresses of daily life.”
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion’s mane is a type of medicinal mushroom, a mushroom with therapeutic properties, and is also classed as an ‘adaptogen’ due to its safety of use and positive effect on stress levels.
Berry said: “Each so-called medicinal mushroom has unique health-promoting properties; lion’s mane is known as the ‘brain mushroom’ thanks to its extraordinary benefits on that organ. Not only does it stimulate brain cell regeneration, it improves blood flow and nutrient delivery to the brain and protects the brain against deterioration.
“Many use lion’s mane as a ‘nootropic’, a supplement that improves brain power. Lion’s mane can enhance focus and cognition, reduce anxiety and improve mood, all while supporting the gut microbiome and decreasing inflammation throughout the body.
“DIRTEA’s Lion’s Mane Extract Powder (£39.99) is a particularly potent powdered supplement that stirs easily into water and offers all these benefits while tasting delicious.”
Collagen is a type of protein that is prevalent throughout the body, particularly in soft tissues like skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as in our bones.
Berry said: “As we age, the health of these tissues declines, leading to visible effects of ageing like wrinkles on the skin, and invisible effects like reduced muscle mass and weak bones. Supplementing with collagen peptides has been shown to strengthen the skin and improve its elasticity and hydration, even reducing wrinkles.
“Collagen also supports the health of your joints, helps to prevent bone loss, improve joint pain and can promote muscle growth alongside resistance training. Marine collagen primarily supports the health of the skin, while bovine collagen is better for muscle support and can also nourish the gut lining.
“You can also get collagen through your diet by consuming gelatinous meats and bone broth.”
Getting a good night’s sleep is arguably one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Berry said: “During sleep, the body goes into repair mode, healing cells and detoxifying tissues while the brain processes all that we learned and experienced during the day.
“Enhancing sleep quality can improve health markers across the board, both in real time and in the long term. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is known as the ‘relaxation mineral’ due to its calming effects on the body.
“Often deficient in modern diets, it can alleviate stress, improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improving other vital functions across the body.
“Look out for magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate, a form that is particularly well absorbed by the body and the most optimal for promoting sleep.”
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae and is considered one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Berry said: “It’s particularly rich in protein, B vitamins and copper, an important mineral often deficient in our diets, and provides a source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc and iodine. It’s also an excellent source of antioxidants, which help to lower inflammation and protect the body and brain from free radical damage.
“Taking spirulina has been found to help detoxify the body of heavy metals, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, enhance energy levels and physical performance, and reduce the risk of cancer and stroke. While it tastes fairly strong, it can be added to smoothies, yogurt or guacamole, or taken in capsule form.”
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