Supplements

3 Supplements That Are Actually Hurting Your Health

Not all vitamins are made equally…

April 14, 2017

Manage Stress With A Magnesium Supplement

If you’re feeling extra stressed lately and you’ve got tension running through your muscles, it could be that overtime you’ve been putting in at work, or you could be lacking in magnesium.

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Magnesium is an essential mineral that is required for every organ in the body, making it a very important part of your diet. Magnesium can naturally be found in varying amounts in fish and meat, nuts and whole grains, and commonly in dark green vegetables. Some great sources of magnesium can be found in pumpkin seeds, spinach, tofu and baked beans.

While our bodies can get magnesium naturally from a healthy diet, our excessive intake of processed and sugary foods, alcohol and caffeine, and carbonated drinks has caused many of us to have a deficiency in the essential mineral.

If you’re not sure whether or not you might have a magnesium deficiency or a low count, you may want to assess whether or not you fall victim to some of these health issues. Headaches, migraines, high blood pressure, pre-menstrual tension and muscle cramping and tightness have all been linked to low levels of magnesium in the body. Difficulty getting to sleep and actually staying asleep are also signs that you might not be getting enough magnesium naturally.

Having adequate levels of magnesium is also said to help manage diabetes and asthma, while low levels are linked with a risk of post-menopausal osteoporosis. Anxiety, eye twitches and facial tics have all been tied to a deficiency in magnesium.

It’s interesting how one mineral in the body is used for so many things and you could be suffering from any of the above due to something that can be added into our diet through a supplement. Magnesium supplements are a great addition to any diet, though excessive amounts can cause stomach upset and diahorreoa.

Adding a supplement can help you with stress, sleeping and headaches – which are common symptoms of an intense career or time of life.  Not only will this change make your quality of life better, it will also make you a happier person. Go on, add a magnesium supplement and see the benefits that it has for you!

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July 27, 2015

Spirulina: Superfood Or Superfad?

Don’t you just love the word “superfood”? It takes humble vegetables such as Kale to the next level, making it superior to other foods around it. Who wants to eat normal food if you can have superfoods? That’s right, no one, which is why superfoods are such a great marketing strategy.

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But I don’t want to sound all cynical. Of course, there are some foods that actually prove to be quite amazing, mainly because they are so much more nutritious than other foods. A great example is spirulina.

Not only does this green algae have a fun name, but it’s also packed with goodness and is quite versatile when it comes to cooking and baking. Spirulina has been around for thousands of years but only recently has it experienced a real health-food-hype.

Especially for vegetarians, spirulina can be a vital alternative to meat, not flavour-wise, but because of its protein content. In comparison, spirulina contains more than twice the amount of protein of a steak, minus all the fat and calories. Pretty good, if you ask me.

Here’s an even better quality of spirulina: It contains a lot of iron; 28,5 mg per 100 gr to be exact. This is great news for us women as we need 18mg of iron each day (double the amount of what men require). So if you ever feel tired and worn out, get yourself a spirulina shake to boost your energy.

The superfood is also said to support your immune system and even relieve allergy symptoms, all without any risks or side effects if taken responsibly. This means no more than 5 grams per day to start with as it has detoxifying qualities. Another important thing to do is to only eat spirulina that’s grown in a controlled environment as wild spirulina may be contaminated.

The verdict? If any food deserves the name “superfood,” it’s spirulina.

Image via Functional Foods Blog

July 22, 2015

Can You Take Too Many Vitamins?

Vitamins are a great way to fuel the body, and keep any signs of deficiencies away.

It is easier than ever to grab a bottle of water, or protein bar which is already loaded with a number of vitamins to regulate the entire body – some of which we’re not even aware of! But the question we ask is, how much is too much?

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Even though vitamins are set in place to help cure the body from any deficiencies, they have to be taken in moderation. Minor changes such as the condition of skin and nails are usually the first indication of overconsumption. Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are can have the the most catastrophic symptoms if take in excess of their normal dosage.

Common side effects

Vitamin A

Since most Vitamin A supplements assist strong, healthy eye function, they should only be taken in moderation. Common side effects usually include vomiting, blurred vision, and can even damage your liver due to an increased intake of supplements.

Vitamin C

Although Vitamin C is essential to good health, taking too much of it can have deadly consequences. Since Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron in the bloodstream, it can have catastrophic effects on your entire body. Some other side effects include nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea.

Vitamin D

Most Vitamin D supplements are ideal for individuals who work mostly indoors, and aren’t exposed to enough sun. Since this is the case, excess amounts of Vitamin D can cause hypervitaminosis which can cause long-term damage to healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin E

Want to keep your skin looking young and healthy-looking from the inside out? Vitamin E is packed with antioxidant properties, and has little or no side effects when applied topically. If you are using an internal supplement, take notice of any unusual bleeding which could come as a result of haemorrhaging.

Should I stop taking vitamins altogether?

Of course not! The best thing you can do for your body is to have a general blood test. It will easily determine if you are suffering from a deficiency issue, and you can take it from there. Then, only purchase vitamins or additional supplements that your doctor recommends.

What should the daily dosage be?

Most supplements clearly state the recommended dosage for both children and adults, although some people think that taking more will make them feel better – this is not necessarily how vitamins work. To keep your body consistent, take a daily supplement which fits into your current lifestyle; 1-2 vitamin C tablets are enough to keep the body healthy, and help to steer away any colds or influenza.

Are multi-vitamins bad for my body?

Multi-vitamins are often great ways to regulate the entire body in one little capsule. As a general rule, you should only take one per-day. Some vitamins such as iron and calcium can cause toxicity issues, especially if your count is already through the roof.

Regularly have a general check-up at your doctor, and always let them know if you are taking any regular vitamin or supplement which could be influencing your results.

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January 29, 2015

Top 5 Vitamins For Relieving Stress

Don’t resort to over-the-counter treatments to relieve your stress from work, home, or even events in your day-to-day. Vitamins are specially concentrated to cater to whatever your body is going through, and they’re a safe and natural alternative which don’t involve any harmful long-term side effects.

So, what are you waiting for?

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Vitamin B

If you are craving an instant boost of energy and a way to dissolve your stress, then Vitamin B is just for you. Rather than loading your body with sugary drinks which will only leave you crashing by 3pm, Vitamin B will keep you sustained for the entire day.

Since most people don’t actually have enough Vitamin B in their diet, supplements are an easy way to keep healthy, and safely de-stress (especially with the holiday season approaching).

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important ways to re-fuel your body and diminish any feelings of stress and anxiety. Absorbed best when taken at night (we’re thinking after 8pm), it helps to calm the body while you sleep, and aids those who suffer from night terrors and irregular sleeping patterns.

Vitamin A

Due to it’s antioxidant properties, Vitamin A is a great candidate for relieving feelings of stress and depression. The release of antioxidants is essential since it specifically targets problem areas and nurses the body back to good health.

Calcium

Ever wondered why you feel calm and relaxed after a warm cup of milk? Calcium is important because it absorbs shock after being ingested into the body. If you’re lactose intolerate or just prefer to take a supplement, look for calcium citrate or calcium lactate properties instead.

Or you can make your own:

DIY Superwoman stress pills

Create your own unique blend of stress relieving pills which are packed with essential vitamins and minerals to nourish your body. They are quick and easy way to personalise your vitamins, and are free from fillers, additives and synthetic nutrients which are found in conventional supplements.

Don’t forget to include the following:

  • Beet root powder – high in betaine for normal liver function.
  • Nutritional yeast – excellent source of B-vitamins, and zinc copper to reduce stress levels
  • Liver powder – anti-fatigue and anti-stress food

Image via Huffington Post

November 10, 2014

Top 9 Vitamins For Women At Every Age

Vitamin supplements are an essential way of keeping your body healthy and balanced, but where do you start? The most popular supplements for women are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and iron which most women seem to lack due to diet or lifestyle reasons.

Below we have a list of the top nine vitamins for women, and how they can benefit your body.

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Vitamin A

If you just aren’t getting enough Vitamin A in your diet, then seriously think about taking a supplement instead. Vitamin A helps to keep eyes healthy, especially for women in their mid to late 40s.

Vitamin B6

Are you getting a bad nights sleep? Vitamin B6 helps to regulate a normal metabolism but also influences our mood and sleeping patterns when it comes to hitting the sack.

Vitamin B12

This is known for controlling the nervous system, since a drop in Vitamin B12 can dramatically influence your diet, weight, and even cause your period to stop. Available in both over-the-counter supplements, or as a booster shot by your general practitioner.

Vitamin C

Not just for your bad cold, but Vitamin C is also amazing at fighting wrinkles and keeping the eyes healthy.

Vitamin D3

Perfect for women at any age, Vitamin D3 helps to fight against chronic diseases which are difficult to control on a day-today basis.

Vitamin E

Lower your risk of heart disease by taking a Vitamin E supplement every single day. This supplement is also ideal for women who are suffering from hot flashes in menopause, since it helps to gently regulate the hormones.

Iron

One of the most popular supplements for both men and women, Iron serves the human body in a few different ways. Not only does it help to maintain a healthy immune system, but you will also find yourself with more energy to perform those daily tasks.

Magnesium

Regular supplements of magnesium are essential since they generally help all of the bodily organs to work at their potential. If you have a history of chronic diseases in the family, Magnesium will also help to subside any major symptoms which could have you feeling lethargic and less-than energetic.

Omega-3

The secret to healthy hair and nails isn’t difficult to achieve if you’re taking regular doses of Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a saviour if you’re suffering from high cholesterol.

Image via Womens Health Mag

November 4, 2014

The Best Supplements For Women

Do you want to stay in tip-top shape this summer but need a little help? Supplements are a great way to enhance your workouts, have all of your essential vitamins A-Z, and even help to burn fat at a faster pace.

Even though nutritionists agree that the best source of nutrients is through whole foods, sometimes we all just need a little help. If you’re new to the supplement game, let this guide help you choose what you should be taking for a better body.

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Iron

There is no denying that a large number of women are suffering from an iron deficiency – and they don’t even know it. Iron fulfils a few major roles in the human body, one of which carries oxygen and helps to produce red blood cells. Even though iron is found in lots of red meat, chicken, fish and whole grains, you can also take it in the form of a chewable supplement, or even a pill.

Calcium

There’s no denying that calcium plays a central role in keeping both our bones and teeth strong. And while some women don’t enjoy the taste of dairy, or are lactose intolerant, this doesn’t mean that it should compromise healthy bones, teeth and stable hormones. Calcium supplements are readily available, but you should contact your doctor before relying solely on daily pills.

Be cautious that calcium deficiency is more prominent for women who are menopausal, and this can lead to devastating disorders such as osteoporosis.

Vitamin A

Although much of the emphasis is placed on Vitamin’s B, C, and D, but Vitamin A is crucial for the healthy function of eyes, skin, and even our immune system. If your body is severely lacking in Vitamin A, you can increase your dose through a daily multivitamin, or even booster shot administered by your doctor.

Folate

Whether you’re trying to conceive, in the middle of your pregnancy, or simply none of the above, folate should always be large part of your diet. Not only is it essential for the creation of healthy red blood cells, but folate is also important for proper brain function and mental health.

Folic acid is found in many supplements such as multivitamins, but you can also find more concentrated doses if you find yourself with a folate deficiency.

Vitamin C

Rather than just fighting off your cold or flu, Vitamin C also helps the body to produce collagen, and also exists as an antioxidant. It’s fairly obvious to spot a Vitamin C deficiency – brittle hair, gingivitis, bleeding gums, and easy bruising are all common signs. Although scurvy is a form of Vitamin C deficiency, it is somewhat rare to transmit this disease at this day and age in Australia if you follow a healthy diet.

You can find absorbic acid in multivitamins, but also as a stand-alone supplement if you’re suffering from a major deficiency.

Image via Womens Health Mag

October 8, 2014

Making Vitamins As Easy As A.B.C

Miss Nutrition, professional athlete and model Rhionnon Harris has come runner-up in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness competition and understands the importance vitamins and minerals has on achieving optimal health. With an abundance of shakes, supps and pills saturating the marketplace, consumers are spending thousands of dollars on multi-vitamins that, if taken incorrectly, can do more damage than good. Here’s her guide on the vitamins and minerals in common use:

Multivitamin

A quality daily multivitamin is your first step to fill in the gaps in micronutrients. Some specific vitamins and minerals will need to be taken in larger amounts than can be found in a once daily capsule however. A multi should encompass your daily needs of all the B vitamins which enhance energy production and cognitive ability. Some B vitamins are also heavily depleted in those taking antidepressants.

Vitamin C

Plays a role in cortisol metabolism and synthesis as well as strengthening the immune system and antioxidant status. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation- It supports the body’s immune system, the first line of defence against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Found in all meats and in higher amounts in salmon and fresh water fish. Can also be supplemented with a fish oil capsule. Look for quality products screened for heavy metals. This essential fatty acid help maintain a healthy hormonal balance, increase serotonin (our “happy” brain chemical) and manage blood sugar levels as well as a host of other benefits.

Vitamin D

I recommend checking blood levels of vitamin D before supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in many people and a deficiency can lead to all sorts of problems including immune system dysregulation and depression.

Iron

For women who are menstruating, iron is lost during menses. It is very important to replace this iron which can be found primarily in red meat and spinach. I recommend looking for a multi that contains iron. For non-menstruating women then iron may be avoided. Iron free multi-vitamins are easy to access.

Magnesium

Another nutrient many people are deficient in. A dose before bed helps promote good quality sleep and restfulness.

Vitamin E

I call this the antioxidant of the womb. Vitamin E encourages healthy communication between cells and a healthy menstrual cycle

Couple the above with healthy eating habits and some external stress management like meditation, yoga and good sleep patterns to help combat the daily stresses of being the wonder woman you are.

July 2, 2014