The desire to improve becomes instinctive each time January arrives, but the “New Year, new you” mentality must not go away because of the toxic diet culture.
A great way to scratch that itch and do your body some good is to invest in a few vitamin supplements.
But where to start ? Here we have separated the wheat from the chaff, the Sugar Bear Hair from the vita-gummies.
The vitamin D debate
Unfortunately for us, living in the UK means that vitamin D (the chemical our bodies naturally produce when exposed to the sun) is a must-have when it comes to supplements. The infamously gloomy British weather can wreak havoc on our bodies otherwise. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, weakened bones in adults, rickets in children and has also been linked to depression.
But go buy a vitamin D supplement and you’ll be greeted with a dizzying array of options. D2 or D3? Liquid or tablet form? First of all, if you are taking medication on a regular basis, it is always important to consult your doctor before you start taking any new vitamins.
Then, while both are important, D3 is much more beneficial for your overall health. Vitamin D3 is more useful for increasing the stores of vitamin D in your body because it is the exact chemical that our skin naturally produces in the sun. Vitamin D2, however, is produced by plants. When it comes to shapes, liquid vitamin D has been shown to work faster, using liposomes (tiny spheres of fat) to transport nutrients. It is these liposomes that improve the absorption of the body.
Getting into the habit of taking vitamin D3 regularly can protect you against colds and the flu.
This BetterYou Dlux vitamin D3 spray contains 100 daily doses at 3000 IU each (the maximum recommended level).
Research suggests that taking probiotics on a regular basis can improve or even prevent a range of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or urinary tract infections. However, not all probiotics are the same and you can target your supplement to a certain extent personally.
The gut is so large that it has actually been dubbed “a second brain” because it produces many of the same chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. In fact, it’s even estimated that 90% of serotonin is made in our digestive tract. Certain species of Lactobacillus have also been shown to improve resilience to stress and anxiety.
So whether you want to improve your physical or mental well-being, going with your gut is the way to go. Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi is also a great way to add helpful bacteria to your body.
But if they’re not to your liking, these Bio-Kult probiotics are a multi-species, multi-strain formula that could really step in and help your gut health. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and they even have a version for kids.
Vegan and vegetarian
When following a diet without animal products, vitamin B is a major nutritional element that tends to disappear. The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves and even DNA. It is recommended that you eat 2.4 micrograms per day, which is about ¾ of a can of tuna.
If you’re meatless, some B12 levels can be found in nutritional yeast or plant-based meats like tempeh, but the extra boost from a high-quality vitamin relieves the pressure.
This five-star B-complex vitamin contains B12 and B6. It also contains vitamin C to boost the effectiveness of B12 and B6 because when different vitamins are used together it creates nutritional synergy – which is as good as it sounds.
Alternatively, supplements like Floradix also contain B12, iron, and magnesium. Floradix is another great choice for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet, and it comes in a highly absorbent liquid form.
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