Vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids and enzymes are all considered dietary supplements. While most of these are all found in the foods that we eat, supplements can be used to get adequate amounts of essential nutrients missing from your daily diet. The body needs roughly 40 vitamins and minerals each day for good health.
There are 13 vitamins and they can be either water soluble (8 B and C) or fat soluble (A,D,E, K). Water soluble vitamins dissolve nutrients in water and may need to be replenished every day. Whereas fat solubles dissolve in fats and are stored in body tissues. This storage can accumulate and it can be dangerous. Keep in mind that, you have to account for all sources combined.
As I travel in my health journey, I am constantly learning, researching, asking questions to get further in my well-balanced state. I definitely eat more varied foods now than I did 10 years ago. Even as we get older, tastes change. Foods that I didn’t like when I was a teenager, I seem to enjoy now as an, ahem, a mature adult. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to “try things once”. And in different ways. There was a time where I didn’t like avocados but loved guacamole. Imagine that! Now I can’t go a day without an avocado almost every day. Is “an avocado a day, keeps the doctor away” a motto? It should be, as it is mine. Good fats, you know.
So, I digress, back to my findings. It all started once I had to go gluten/dairy free to figure out why my gut was cranky with me all the time. That elimination “diet” progressed into more of a Paleo lifestyle. Then, because I felt there was something more I needed, not that I was missing it, was to do a complete reset and elevate things a notch. I felt that, while yes, Paleo was making me feel better, I still had periods where I felt that I wasn’t at my 100%. Plus I was still suffering from 3-6 serious sinus infections a year. That’s when Whole 30–an anti-inflammatory diet– came into my life. Just hang in there……I’m getting to the point of this blog and back to the most important supplement in my daily diet. 🙂
Part of the Whole 30 reset is eliminating grains and legumes, among other things. Do you know how you feel when you find $20 in a pocket that you don’t remember was there? Yup! This was my $20, my aha moment! For me, eliminating this particular food group led to the why I felt “puffy” all the time, this thing is called–> inflammation!
These particular foods, as I found out during the elimination and then the re-introduction phase, were no bueno for me. One supplement I found to work the best for my inflammation is turmeric. Sometimes you’ll see the word curcumin, whis is a compound found in turmeric. The higher the percentage of curcumin, the more pure the turmeric.
Turmeric is an ancient Indian spice that reduces inflammation, is high in antioxidants and boosts memory and overall brain health. It also, as if that wasn’t enough, lowers the risk of illnesses such as depression, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and arthritis (there’s inflammation again). Here is a bonus: when taken in combination with black pepper, absorption is enhanced by 200%. Source: Cut The Sugar Cookbook by Ella Leche.
The next step was to figure out how to add turmeric to my diet. You can cook with it, drink it in tea form, use as a topical application (used in Ayuverdic medicine) or add it as a supplement in tablet or capsule form. The recommended dosage (check with your doctor) is 1,000 milligrams a day or 400-600 milligrams three times a day. My preferred methods are in capsule and powder form (for cooking and drinking like a tea or what’s called golden milk).
I noticed the difference right away. True, that it is a combination of things that helped with my inflammation, but why tempt fate—I do feel the difference if I miss taking my dosage for a couple of days. A balanced diet helped to get rid of my joint pains and other body aches. I no longer, as of today, need to have sinus surgery for my sinusitis. And other than regular body aches from running (I recently started to train for a 5K), I feel great!
I hope you try turmeric—whether in a curry or a stress-relieving warm milk drink at night and reap the added benefits to your health.
I will post about other supplements in my daily diet at a later date. This will become a monthly series. There are lots of supplements out there.