Supplementation doesn’t just mean taking handfuls of chalky tablets. A supplement can be anything good that you add to your life alongside a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
While there are a few excellent chalky tablets available, there are usually lots of other options.
Some great supplements you can add to your life are:
- Additional exercise including yoga –Get away from it all with these fantastic UK yoga retreats.
- Mindfulness or meditation routines
- Super foods or foods with particular benefits – Read my article on immune-boosting foods.
- Supplements made from whole foods – Visit my list of best wholefood multivitamin supplements.
- Supplements with fermented ingredients – Read my review of Living Nutrition’s fermented natural brain booster.
- Supplements with a combination of ingredients – You might be interested in my review of Performance Lab’s Men’s Multivitamin, which contains over 25 vitamins and minerals.
- Mineral supplements – You might like these lists; best zinc supplements, best magnesium supplements, best calcium supplements and best selenium supplements.
- Nootropics that support brain function – Check out my list of the best UK nootropic supplements.
There is almost no limit to the wonderful things that you can add to your life to boost health and wellness.
What supplements to use
What do you want to add to your life?
What do you want to get out of supplementation?
Once you’ve answered these questions you will find it easier to choose supplements to meet these goals.
Selecting a range of different types can really make a difference to your life. A mixture of activities, foods and high quality tablets, drinks or powders will significantly increase the benefits.
Dietary supplements-A supplement that you add to your diet for any reason.
Do your research and look for studies and information about supplements that will give you the type of results you want. There are often few guarantees, when it comes to supplements, so it is useful to find a brand who use research to inform their products.
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Once you have an idea of what you will choose, look for customer reviews to give you an idea of how effective it may be. This isn’t always reliable because many supplements work differently for different people, but it will give you a good indication.
When selecting dietary supplements some key things to look out for are:
Organically certified ingredients– This means that the ingredients will be produced to the standard of the local organic authority and are free from toxins and pesticides.
Whole food, full spectrum ingredients– Supplements that contain ingredients taken from whole plants, fruits, vegetables or fungi will provide key ingredients and a range of others in small amounts. These full spectrum supplements offer a wider range of benefits, they are easier for your body to use and together they can be more effective.
Strength– Check that the amount of active ingredient available matches the amount recommended by current research. Otherwise you may be taking a dose that is too small to have any effect.
How can I absorb supplements better?
One thing that can limit the effect of a supplement is how easy it is transported into your blood stream. This is called bioavailability. Some reach your bloodstream easier but others can get broken down before you benefit from them.
When you eat and ingest anything it goes through the ‘first pass’ system. This is when many substances you eat are broken down by the liver. The small amount that doesn’t get broken down may eventually reach your blood.
Some supplements get less than 1% of a dose into your blood stream. However, by making some smart choices and a few clever pairings you can make sure that each dose counts.
Fermentation-This can begin to break down foods and make them more available to the body. It can also provide pro-biotics and many other benefits.
Good fats– For natural chemicals that are fat soluble they can get into your bloodstream more easily by taking them with some good fats, such as coconut oil.
Combinations– Certain combinations of ingredients can increase the body’s ability to break them down. If you take turmeric with a small amount of black pepper it can increase the bioavailability by up to 2000%.
Many companies will create supplements with increased bioavailability built in. If you choose herbal supplements or those containing whole foods or fermented food you are more likely to be getting a product that your body can use effectively.
Are multi-vitamin pills as good as eating the right foods?
Vitamins provided in a meal of good, whole foods with some fats is always going to beat a supplement for bioavailability and benefit to your body.
However, a supplement is great when it is an addition. If you are already eating well, an extra dose of beneficial vitamins and minerals can have a positive effect.
If you choose a supplement that mimics being eaten as food and comes with all the ingredients from the whole plant, fruit or veg you will get even more for your money. These are often referred to as herbal or natural supplements.
Nootropics are a supplement that you may not find in any standard meal. For something to be classified as a nootrope it must be able to support brain function and have no negative effects. Lion’s mane mushroom is a nootrope. It is eaten as a delicacy in some parts of the world but it also has a brain boosting effect that could reduce symptoms of dementia.
The endocannabinoid system is the interaction between the endocannabinoid receptors in your body and cannabinoids. These could be phytocannabinoids, found in cannabis, or endocannabinoids found in animals including humans, chocolate and truffles.
Substances such as CBD oil and chocolate can interact with these receptors and produce a boost to health and well-being.
Supplementation is not simple. It’s so much more than just popping a pill twice a day. It’s a commitment to give your body the best opportunities every day.
At Health and Wellness Reviews we thoroughly recommend:
Mindfulness or meditation
Time with friends and family
Organic, bioavailable supplements