The A-Z of supplements for each and every problem

The A-Z of supplements for each and every problem

In an ideal world, you would never need to take supplements to give yourself a boost, as you should be getting everything you need from a healthy diet. But in reality, there are times in your life when you may need something a little extra – perhaps you’re getting over an illness, or your diet isn’t quite up to scratch. But what should you be taking? Remember, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any other medication, always get advice from the pharmacist or your doctor before taking supplements.

If you’re getting over an illness…

…Go for a good multivitamin and mineral supplement. Certain micronutrients help the immune system work e ectively, nd when your body is running low on these micronutrients you can become vulnerable to infections and ilnnesses. According to a 2007 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, the best vitamins for the immune system are vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, D, E and folic acid, while the minerals iron, copper, zinc and selenium work together to support your immunity. A good multivitamin and mineral supplement should contain 100 per cent RDA of these micronutrients.

If you’re stressed…

… Go for Omega 3 supplements. Omega-3 oils DHA and EPA are known for promoting brain development in children, but can also support healthy moods in adults too. A study at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, found that omega-3s reduced anxiety in 68 people who took supplements for three months. Other studies with individuals without clinical depression or anxiety found that increased intake of EPA improved their ability to handle stress and improved their mood.

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If you’re hormonal…

…Go for a specialist supplement for women. There are several vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements known to balance hormones naturally, including vitamin B-6, which is essential for a healthy nervous system and for metabolising amino acids; magnesium, which keeps your nerve membranes healthy and helps you release energy from your food; and zinc, which plays an important role in reproductive health. Fish oils and herbs like black cohosh are also thought to help.

If you’re lacking in energy…

…Go for B-Complex. The B vitamins play a major role in growth, development, and a variety of other bodily functions. They also support enzymes, proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body, which are important in turning food into energy and other needed substances. So while taking a B Complex won’t give you energy directly, it will help your body get as much energy out of your food as possible.

If your tummy is out of sync…

…Go for Acidophilus. Acidophilus is a type of germ or bacterium that is found in your digestive system. Your body needs a certain amount of bacteria to work e ciently, and sometimes this balance is upset, such as when you take an antibiotic (which kills
all bacteria, good and bad). When your bacteria level is o , you may su er symptoms like diarrhea, yeast infections or irritable bowel syndrome. Live yoghurt or dairy drinks can help restore that balance or go for a supplement like Acidophilus in the pharmacy.

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