Supplements

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO HELP COMBAT CORONAVIRUS

weight, Rebecca Lazar - BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO HELP COMBAT CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus is here and Boca Raton schools and shuls (synagogues) have shut down much like many other cities across the country. My once-a-week cleaning lady has canceled, 3 of my 4 kids are at home doing online school (for those of us who have never home-schooled our kids it’s so weird seeing them in their room on their online classes, right?), and my 19 year old son cannot come back from Israel where is a lone soldier in the IDF even though he has not started service yet and likely won’t be drafted for the foreseeable future (if anyone knows a way to get him out of this and bring him home, let me know!). I never thought I’d see this kind of eerie sci-fi movie-like existence in my lifetime, have you? The good news is I think we have enough toilet paper….at least for now! tongue

We all know the CDC recommendations by now and they are so important to follow as instructed: wash your hands for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face, keep a social distance, etc. etc. But what else can we do? Well, there ARE things you can do to help boost your immune system so that if you do get the virus it will be over quickly and the symptoms will hopefully be mild.

Please note that the advice I outline below is not to replace that given to you by your medical doctor as I have no way of knowing what medications you might currently be on or what your particular health situation is. Rather, these are general guidelines for you to help make the best food, supplement and lifestyle choices to keep your immune system as strong as possible in these crazy times with such an incredibly contagious virus around the world.

Immune System Boosters

One of my son’s teachers used to tell his class “you can’t boost your immune system – you’re not a car” which always made me laugh – and get annoyed – at the same time.  To his credit, my son would argue with his teacher, something along the lines of “my Mom always gives us extra Vitamin C and herbal medicine when we get sick” to which he would respond “well, that’s just stupid.” Okayyyyy.  It didn’t matter that there is scientific evidence or the fact that it worked a majority of the of the time….some people are just very stuck in their ways of thinking.

Yes, of course you can boost your immune system! Just like there are certain activities, foods (think white sugar and white flour) and medications that will lower your immune system, the same holds true for increasing it’s ability to ward off viruses and infections.  Some people think “Well, the coronavirus is so contagious I’m going to get it anyway so what’s the point?”  That may be true but it’s important to recognize that anything you put into your body, or on your skin for that matter, has the ability to either put you “up the slope of health” or “down the slope of health,” to quote one of my mentors, the highly respected Canadian functional nutrition practitioner and teacher Josh Gitalis.  Basically, as he explains, the higher up the slope of health you are, the faster and easier your body has to respond to any type of invader and the better off you are but you have to work on getting up the slope and staying there on a daily basis.  You aren’t “healthy” or “unhealthy” – you are somewhere along that line and must keep striving toward better health.  Hopefully that puts things into perspective!

Some of the recommendations below are known to be effective against the common flu virus and we are hopeful that it has the same effect with Coronavirus although we don’t know for sure.  Others are simply known to help strengthen your overall immune system:


Immune Boosting Foods:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – but make sure you aren’t adding toxins to your body with pesticides.  Wash produce well but check out the annual Dirty Dozen list for produce especially high in pesticides.  It is recommended that those on this list are bought organic whenever possible.  If you don’t like to eat your fruits and veggies, juice them in this top-rated juicer or do what my family does and blend them into a smoothie such as in this high speed blender.  There are tons of fruit and vegetable smoothies online or get the kids involved and create your own!
  • Speaking of fruits and vegetables, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit are high in natural Vitamin C – known to help boost your immune system.  Interestingly enough, red peppers are even higher in Vitamin C than oranges! Red pepper juice, anyone? 
  • Drink lots of water – reverse osmosis or spring water is best.  I personally use this inexpensive, easy to install, under the sink filter.
  • Drink bone broth – I know it’s all the rage these days but with good reason: your grandmother was right, chicken soup really does help your immune system – and maybe your soul, too.  But to really get all the benefits that bone broth has to offer including strengthening your immune system, follow a bone broth recipe.  If you don’t want to wait that long for it to cook, use an instant pot and it will be ready in no time! 
  • Garlic and onions have natural anti-viral properties.  Chop them up and use them in whatever you are cooking and of course add some to your bone broth for extra benefits.  If you have IBS and/or are following a LOW-FODMAP diet, skip this suggestion.
  • Ginger – aside from being known as the anti-nausea herb of choice, it also contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols which inhibit the formation of inflammatory messengers of the immune system.[1]  It also contains antibacterial and antiviral properties and soothes lung tissues.  Make a simple tea with fresh ginger, lemon, mint and this delicious organic honey.

 

Immune Boosting Supplements:

  • Vitamin C – the immune system vitamin – 1000 mg 3x/day (or more).  Some suggest to take it to bowel tolerance – meaning, until you develop loose stools and then cut back on the dose.  Since this varies person to person, start with the recommended dose and go up from there.
  • Zinc –  the immune system mineral – 30 – 60 mg twice a day.
  • Oregano – but especially this type containing the Mediterranean source P73 wild oregano that was used in studies to successfully destroy bacteria and viruses. It is best to take it 3x/day when you feel the start of symptoms as taking high doses for a long period of time can have negative effects on the good bacteria in your intestinal tract (similar to antibiotics but not nearly as detrimental). 
  • Elderberry extract – in addition to being an excellent source of Vitamin C, it improves and strengthens immune system function, helps detoxify the body and reduces cold and flu symptoms. [2]
  • Echinacea – shown to have profound immune enhancing effects, and direct antiviral activity. [3] We like this brand.  That being said, it’s best NOT to take during a fever as it may increase the inflammatory response of this type of unfamiliar virus.  Best to take as a preventative measure or if your symptoms during the virus do not include a high fever.
  • NAC – N-Acetylcysteine is an antioxidant and precursor to glutathione, one of the major antioxidants in lung tissue.  In a double blind trial, using NAC during the flu season reduced the frequency and severity of symptomatic flu episodes. [4] While we don’t have studies showing it’s effectiveness specifically on Coronavirus, my guess would be that it would show similar effects.  I recommend this quality formula.

Make sure your supplements, whether they are Vitamins, Minerals, or Herbal remedies are low in sugar, and don’t contain fillers or other unnecessary ingredients.  It defeats the purpose to take high sugar, chemical filled synthetic supplements. They should also have enough of the active ingredient to do the job.  Often when studies are done showing supplements did not have a positive effect it was because they were too low in potency or made with unhealthy ingredients. [Hint – don’t buy them from Costco or your local drugstore.]  A health food store, quality brands like those I recommended above from Amazon or a professional Supplement Dispensary is a much better option.

Lifestyle:

  • Make your own easy natural hand sanitizer – get a spray bottle and add 70% alcohol along with a few drops of essential oil of tea trea (melaleuca), eucalyptus, thyme, lavender, rosemary, clove or a combination, and optionally a few tablespoons of pure aloe vera taken from inside the actual aloe vera leaf.  There are many brands of essential oils out there that are not pure and have added ingredients used to dilute the products.  Pure essential oils are NOT the same as botanical oils or the inexpensive essential oils you can buy at your local health food store. I personally have been using Doterra essential oils for a while since they have a great reputation but lately I have been switching to Living Libations which I feel are even more pure. 
  • Lowering your stress helps your immune system so do yoga or dance using an online streaming service (I love Les Mills on Demand), or go for a walk outside which will also benefit you by getting some sunlight.  The naturally occurring vitamin D helps your immune system as well and so many of us are deficient because of the overuse of sunscreen.  It is a good idea to be out in the sun for at least 15 minutes a day without any sunscreen. After that, use an all natural brand like this one or this one.  
  • If you feel like you are coming down with something don’t do a hard workout like running, heavy weight lifting or HiiT as these forms of exercise can increase cortisol levels – the stress hormone. But don’t sit still either – a light workout is fine as long as you feel up to it.
  • Sleep 8 hours a night – this is so important! Go to bed before 11 pm and sleep in complete darkness to have the best benefits.
  • Be happy – I know, I know, easier said than done.  Writing down things you are grateful for….it might sound cheesy but it helps.  I am personally grateful to live in Florida where I can sit in my backyard as I write this, go for a bike ride which is apparently safe for social distancing and of course grateful for my awesome family despite the fact that it’s only Day 2 of them being home and it has been a non-stop cooking and eating fest!
  • Most of all have faith….we will get through this! happy
If you found this helpful, please share with family and friends!

References:

[1] “The Healing Power of Herbs and Spices.” The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, by Michael T. Murray et al., Time Warner International, 2006, pp. 486–487.

[2]“The All-In-One Guide to Natural Remedies and Supplements: Discover the Health and Healing Powers of Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Enzymes, Amino Acids, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, Flower Remedies, Leading Edge Discoveries, Nutraceuticals, Phytochemicals.” The All-In-One Guide to Natural Remedies and Supplements: Discover the Health and Healing Powers of Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Enzymes, Amino Acids, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, Flower Remedies, Leading Edge Discoveries, Nutraceuticals, Phytochemicals, by Ken Vegotsky et al., AGES Publications, 2001, pp. 202–203.

[3]“Immune Support.” The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine, by Joseph E. Pizzorno et al., Elsevier, 2016, p. 391.

[4]“Influenza.” Nutritional Medicine, by Alan Gaby, Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2017, p. 1249.

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A LOOK AT CAMELINA OIL

indexWhen I first heard of Camelina oil, also known as “false flax” because of its visual similarity to regular flax, I was intrigued.  The seed oil of Camelina contains an exceptional amount (up to 45 per cent) of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a unique antioxidant complex making the oil very stable and resistant to heat and rancidity. Unlike flax oil or any other omega-3 oil, Camelina oil can be used not only as a well-balanced omega-3 supplement, but also as a health-promoting everyday cooking oil since heat does not destroy it’s chemical makeup and health benefits.

Omega-3 fatty acids, essential to our health, have been almost entirely forced out of the everyday North American diet by the commercialization of our food supply. In recent years, extensive research and numerous clinical studies have confirmed that omega-3 fats are involved in vital physiological processes in our bodies, and that not consuming enough may cause or aggravate many serious medical problems and conditions, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, dermatitis, asthma, ADHD, and even cancer. Therefore, adding a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet is believed to be a good way of improving or preventing these conditions. The question of what constitutes the best source of omega-3 supplementation is, however, still being debated.  While I have always recommended fish oil and/or flax oil as dietary supplements for omega-3 fats, some people do not like taking fish oil because of the taste or the concern of the purity of the product; The problems with flax oil are that it cannot be used for cooking, it becomes rancid after a few weeks and it doesn’t taste all that good.

Camelina oil seems to be the answer to all these issues, so why not give it a try and see if you like it?  Some people describe the taste as “nutty” and others as “earthy” but when I opened my first bottle, I have to admit I was disappointed because it just smelled…..strange.  But I figured I’d give it a shot anyway so the first thing I made with it was a chicken and vegetable stir-fry.  I’m so glad I didn’t base my opinion on that first smell, because the stir-fry not only smelled delicious, it tasted great as well.

With further experimentation, I learned that Camelina oil is excellent in any type of vegetable stir fry, grilled veggies, salad, chicken or meat but I would personally avoid it for some fish and any sweet dishes or baked goods.

How does Camelina oil stack up to other oils I recommend for cooking and/or every day use, namely cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil? Camelina oil has the most balanced fatty acid ratio between Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9 and Saturated Fats.  With this favourable balance, the health benefits include lowered cholesterol, lowered blood pressure and anti-inflammatory properties.

The brand I use is by three farmers, a Canadian company based in Saskatchewan.  Their oils are GMO-free, Certified OU Kosher, and available in regular or flavored varieties.  To learn more about three farmers as well as more details about Camelina oil in general,  CLICK HERE.

Would love to hear your comments and feedback if you have tried this versatile oil!

 

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FLU PREVENTION & TREATMENT

I occasionally start arguments when I tell people I do NOT recommend the flu shot.  Oh well, I just love stirring trouble big grin .  Well, instead of arguing the valid reasons why you shouldn’t get it, I will just offer you the best ways to help strengthen your immune system and treat a cold or flu the natural way, using supplements & eating healthy:

SUPPLEMENTS

Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, and E boost the immune system by increasing the white blood cells that fight disease, and blocking the enzyme neuraminidase, which viruses need in order to reproduce. A good quality antioxidant formula will do the trick.

Garlic: A very effective anti-viral (not to mention anti-fungal), it’s no wonder that our grandparents and great-grandparents used it for pretty much whatever ailed them. It’s best used raw and crushed within one hour of crushing; although enteric coated capsules are available (the capsule doesn’t break down until it reaches the intestines) so now we can actually consume garlic and still go out in public.

Resveratrol: In addition to inhibiting neuraminidase, Resveratrol also sends a message to cells to stop manufacturing viruses. This anti-viral found naturally in red wine, peanuts, raisins and red grapes but is more effective taken in supplement form, unless you’d like to drink many, many glasses of red wine daily–while this might be tempting, I don’t recommend it winking

Vitamin D: Plays an important role in the body’s immune defense system, so it’s a good idea to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D daily, especially during the winter months or if you always use sunscreen. If you are low in Vitamin D, as indicated through a blood test, you may have to take more for optimum health.

Green Tea: Another effective anti-viral, this can be taken in supplement form, although I prefer the actual tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and low in caffeine, although if you are sensitive to caffeine like I am, decaf green tea is available.

Pro-biotics: Natural bacteria in the gut are essential to maintaining proper health (not to mention digestive function). It never hurts to take this important supplement, especially for people who have received repeated courses of antibiotics.

Echinacea: One of the more popular supplements, Echinacea helps stimulate the immune system and fight viral infections. (Do not use if you are allergic to daisies or ragweed. If you have asthma or a general propensity for allergies, you’re also more likely to have an allergic reaction to Echinacea, so it’s best to avoid in that case).

Influenzinum or Mucococinum: A homeopathic flu prevention remedy taken typically once a week or every 2 weeks during the flu season. (Do not take these if you are pregnant or have an auto-immune disorder).

DIET

Say no to sugar, additives, preservatives, and artificial food coloring: I know this is a tough one, but these items weaken the immune system and make it more likely that you will get sick.

Limit dairy products: Dairy products increase mucus production, certainly not helpful for a cold or flu.

• And of course, drink lots of water: This helps to flush toxins out of your body.

OTHER METHODS

Wash your hands. Purell your hands. You know the drill. Coming in contact with germs doesn’t mean you have to get sick. Washing your hands is a simple and effective way to destroy bacteria and viruses.

Gargle with salt water and clean your nose with salt water on a q-tip: Sounds hokey, but this is actually medical professional advice, not alternative medicine! Since it takes some time for the virus to take hold, much like washing your hands, these methods can kill it where it enters so it doesn’t spread.

Get enough sleep and try to relax: Do not under-estimate this one. Stress wreaks havoc on the immune system and makes you more susceptible to getting sick.

If you still catch that cold or the flu, the supplements listed as preventatives can also be taken to reduce the symptoms & duration, but here are some additional ones that help destroy the virus:

Oil of Oregano: Study outcomes vary on its effectiveness against flu, although for the common cold, much like that Buckley’s commercial, “it tastes disgusting but it works”.

St. Johns Wort: Oddly enough, this herb has nothing to do with warts. It’s normally used as an anti-depressant but it is also a very potent anti-viral. (Do not take if you are on prescription anti-depressants).

Olive Leaf Extract: Helps eliminate the flu virus by interfering with certain amino acid production processes.

Goldenseal and Elderberry: Two more excellent flu fighters.

Now, before you run out and buy every item I listed here, please note that not all supplements are created equal. The cheaper ones have fillers, binders and coatings that make them not break down as easily, and are certainly not absorbed well by the body. They may also contain much less of the active ingredient(s) than a high-quality supplement, and some have even been found to contain toxins. It’s better to spend a little more and get good quality supplements from a health care professional or at a reputable health food store. There, you will also find combination formulas that contain many of the ingredients mentioned in one easy to take capsule 2 or 3 times daily.

Additionally, please do not give any of the items listed to children because not only do you have to be careful with dosing, some are simply not safe for kids. However there are some herbal remedies, such as Echinacea, Goldenseal and Elderberry that are available in liquid form (tinctures) that are specifically designed for children. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with a natural health practitioner. That being said, the homeopathic remedies listed below can be safely used for younger kids (and adults as well) to reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms. Give 3 pellets, 3 times a day of your chosen remedy, 15 minutes away from food or drinks. If there’s no improvement after 3 doses, switch to a different remedy. If there is some improvement, stop the remedy and only give again if and when those same symptoms return.

Gelsemium, 30ch: A flu remedy when the symptom picture is complete and utter exhaustion.

Bryonia, 30ch: The remedy to try when everything in the body hurts, especially if there is a headache, cough, and irritability.

Mercurius solubilis, 30ch: for a lingering flu that just doesn’t seem to go away. Symptoms include sore throat and tender, swollen glands.

Wishing everyone a great Holiday Season!

This article was written exclusively for the Toronto Jewish Family Magazine and first appeared in their November 2012 issue.

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UNDERSTANDING ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

What are Essential Fatty Acids (or EFA’s as they are commonly known), and why are they so darn essential?

Essential fatty acids play a very important role in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, help reduce and prevent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, eczema, and psoriasis; they improve the softness and smoothness of your skin and provide many other health benefits.  Essential fatty acids are important components of the outer skin or membrane of every cell. The membrane determines which chemicals and nutrients will be allowed to enter and exit the cell; within the cell membrane essential fatty acids are continually activated and converted into prostaglandin hormones, a process that allows essential fatty acids to supply their disease prevention and anti-aging effects to a wide range of tissues within the body

Anti-aging and disease prevention?  Sounds amazing, right?

Well, if your terrified of eating fat, as many people on diets are, you aren’t getting enough because your body cannot make this stuff.  You NEED to get it through diet and/or supplements.  But hang on a second, before you think “I KNEW those high-fat, carb-free programs are the best!,” because not ALL prostaglandin hormones are good for you.

Some more boring scientific stuff:

There are three main types of prostaglandin hormones (PG): PG-1, PG-2, and PG-3. PG-1 and PG-3 have positive impacts on our health, while PG-2 can lead to highly negative effects. It encourages blood vessels to constrict and blood platelets to clot abnormally,  increasing the chance of heart attack, ischemic stroke, and high blood pressure. It also encourages inflammation, worsening arthritis and other joint, muscle and tendon conditions, including Crohn’s disease and colitis. PG-2 is associated with greater risk of cancer in that it prompts rapid cell division. Finally, it can make the skin dry, rough, and scaly, and aggravate a number of common skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, and possibly roscacea.  surprise YIKES!

Reading that makes you want to stay away from that stuff like the plague…..but unfortunately….you love it too much.  You see, PG-2 is formed from a saturated fat known as arachidonic acid, found in high-fat meats and high-fat dairy products.  Yep, your steaks, burgers, milkshakes, cheese and other yummy foods.  You know what else makes PG-2? The over-consumption of linoleic acid, an unsaturated fat found in your typical grocery store corn oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, and mixed vegetable oils, all of which promote the production of arachidonic acid by the body. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet is a rich source of arachidonic acid and linoleic acid, and most individuals produce too much PG-2.

You can lower your tissue concentrations of arachidoninc acid by choosing chicken, turkey or fish, instead of high-fat meat products, and non-fat or 1 percent milk and yogurt products.  Remove from your diet any cheese that is more than 3 percent milk fat, and use cold-pressed olive oil or organic canola or grapeseed oil in place of other vegetable oils in salad dressings.  These are good sources of monounsaturated fat, which does not participate in the formation of prostaglandin hormones and is known to help reduce cholesterol and contribute to cardiovascular health in other ways.

So now you know how to reduce the formation of PG-2, but what about the good prostaglandin hormones, PG-1 and PG-3, the ones with all those health benefits?

The key building block for PG-1 is an unsaturated fat known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is found in high concentrations in borage oil or evening primrose oil. GLA can also be formed in the body from linoleic acid (the oils we consume too much of), but individuals who suffer diabetes, eczema, or premenstrual syndrome have a defective enzyme that prevents the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA.  Drinking alcohol, eating refined sugars, and hydrogenated fats (margarine, shortening, pastries, chips and other snacks) tends to inhibit this conversion as well, as does the aging process itself.  For all these reasons, virtually everyone has suboptimal cell membrane concentrations of GLA, so it’s a good idea to supplement especially if you have one of the conditions mentioned.

PG-3, on the other hand,  is formed from an omega-3 unsaturated fat called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is found in cold-water marine fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and tuna.  This is the reason that fish oil supplements are so popular, and rightfully so.  The body can also convert the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in flaxseed oil, and chia seeds as well as walnuts, into EPA, increasing the production of PG-3, but as you can see from the chart below, it’s a much quicker process to go directly from fish oil to PG-3. Fish oil, by the way, also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which enhances immune function and the development and function of the brain, and is essential to good vision.  (This is why a higher DHA to EPA ratio fish oil supplement is often recommended for kids with ADHD).

PG-3 is considered very important for total body wellness, as it reduces risk of heart attacks by dilating blood vessels and discouraging abnormal blood clotting. It slows the rate of cell division and so reduces the risk, especially of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. PG-3 is also known to reduce inflammation, including skin inflammatory responses, a role it shares with PG-1.

If you are looking to build muscle, you’ll like this one:

For exercisers, particular relevance is the anti-oxidant and acute, exercise-related anti-inflammatory nature of EPA and DHA. Since high-intensity exercise and weight training cause increases in inflammation and oxidation, reducing this response may be beneficial in improving exercise recovery. Even more interesting for people looking to build muscle, EPA and DHA supplementation has been suggested to support muscle protein synthesis and limit muscle protein degradation. This can mean less muscle breakdown and more muscle growth.

Why supplement?

Most individuals suffer unknowingly from an essential fatty acid deficiency or imbalance, thanks to modern agricultural and food processing methods and the typical North American diet.  To ensure optimal essential fatty acid nutritional status, it is highly recommended to take a quality EFA supplement, preferably in the form of professional-quality fish oil.  This simple practice can result in significant benefits for your health, your appearance, the rate at which your body will age, and your risk of future illness.

The bottom line?

Taking fish oil daily may seem disgusting, but high quality brands like those found in our Online Dispensary make great-tasting fish oils, free from mercury and other impurities.  I also highly recommend Organic Atlantic Salmon Oil from Vital Choice.  Give either of those a try, you’ll be glad you did! On a personal note, I used to have high cholesterol as a teenager (if you’re thinking that’s insane, you’d be right!) and even after changing my dietary habits it still stayed on the border.  Taking a fish oil supplement daily has helped bring the levels down to normal, with no other meds required.

 A handy chart, which may or may not clarify things:  tongue

weight, Rebecca Lazar - UNDERSTANDING ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS

Have you ever walked into a natural health store and looked at shelves and shelves of supplements and had no clue what you were supposed to be looking for?   You have a feeling you should be taking something to make you “healthier” but you have no idea where to begin?

Well, you’re not alone.  So many people get overwhelmed by the amount of supplements on the market claiming all types of health benefits.  The important thing is to understand the following key elements when choosing the right supplement(s) for your needs:

  1. Research before you buy – don’t just grab the first thing off the shelf because you have migraines and the formula says “migraine-ease” or something of that nature.  Look at the ingredients; research them; make sure there is enough of each particular ingredient to help your condition and that it won’t interfere with other medications or supplements you are taking.  Find out about the brand – has the company been around a while and does it have a good reputation?  Are the tablets so large that they may not break down and be absorbed properly by your body?  Do the pills contain many “filler” ingredients or additives?  It is so important to make sure that you are putting quality products into your system that really do work.
  2. Supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet.  Don’t believe that if you eat unhealthy, you can simply take lots of vitamins instead.  Many people take tons of supplements simply because their diets are not up to par and they believe that the vitamins will “cancel out” those adverse effects.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, so make sure your diet is a good one before adding numerous supplements to your regimen.
  3. Something that is healthy and beneficial for someone else may be harmful to you.  A good example of this is phytoestrogens.  While helpful for women with menopausal symptoms, phytoestrogens can be detrimental to women with estrogen-related problems, such as fibroids or some types of breast cancer.

So what should you start with?

Of course it’s always best to consult with a Holistic Nutritionist or other natural health practitioner trained to provide you with personalized supplement recommendations, because each person’s requirements can differ greatly depending on age and specific health issues.  However, the following are 5 supplements that almost anyone can derive benefit from and these can be taken on a continual basis, either individually or as a complete program:

  1. Vitamin C – There are numerous benefits to this important anti-oxidant.  The amount I usually recommend is 1000 mg/day.  If you have a sensitive stomach, take ascorbic acid, which is the most gentle.
  2. Green formulas – The equivalent of a serving of vegetables, these formulas are alkalanizing to the body, help to control sugar cravings, contain numerous vitamins and minerals and are detoxifying as well.   Many come in capsule form as well, if you can’t tolerate the taste of the powder mixed with water.  1 tablespoon per day is enough to reap the benefits of this important supplement.
  3. Probiotics – Due to the abundance of anti-biotics that many people take on a yearly basis, there is simply not enough of these “good” bacteria left in the digestive tract.  With this supplement in particular it is extremely important to look for a reputable brand, because of the instability of this product.  In other words, it may say on the bottle that it contains 5 billion active bacteria when in fact in can contain less than half, or in some cases, none at all.
  4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – these “good” fats are important for everyone and are found in fish oils (make sure they are mercury-free), flax and borage oils.  Some oils are tolerated better than others, so you may have to experiment to see which is right for you.
  5. Fiber supplement – the average person simply does not get enough fiber in their diet.  Unfortunately, many people either overload on wheat fiber or turn to supplements containing psyllium as a solution to this problem, both of which can backfire by causing bloating and constipation, as well as stomach pains.  A better choice is flax fiber (ground flax seeds), or inulin fiber, both of which are gentle and non-constipating.

One last note: Remember to take your supplements every day; if they sit on a shelf they can’t really help you! happy

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