The world is awash with recommendations on how to look and feel our best. Much of this advice is obvious and straightforward, such as eating the right foods, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of quality sleep. Others are out there, like putting an onion in a sock and sleeping with it to treat a cold or flu. Yet other health and wellness recommendations are somewhere in between; such suggestions have merit but need more scientifically-backed proof to be considered mainstream.
The value of supplements in supporting better health and wellness is one of those middle-ground medical opinions. Some experts believe in their efficacy, while others scoff at their so-called benefits. As the person ultimately responsible for your health and well-being, it’s up to you to decide how you feel about supplements and whether taking them will benefit you.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven supplements believed to improve health and wellness:
Also known as CoQ10, Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that helps produce energy in the body’s cells. Evidence suggests CoQ10 helps reduce the risk of heart disease and improve exercise performance.
Curcumin is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric. It’s been shown to improve brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease. Therapies in Mexico involving curcumin IV serums suggest it may even help treat certain types of cancers.
Magnesium is essential for many bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and bone health. It may also help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. As a result, magnesium is one of the most commonly taken supplements currently sold over the counter.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Melatonin may also have antioxidant properties and help reduce the risk of certain diseases. Due to its relationship with sleep, melatonin should be avoided when operating heavy machinery or driving motor vehicles.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health and brain function. They also help reduce inflammation and improve joint health. While Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish, nuts, and certain oils, dietary limitations mean some folks need a supplement in order to reach optimum Omega-3 levels.
Probiotics sound scary initially; they’re bacteria living inside our guts. Moreover, they’re the technical opposite of antibiotics, which we recognize as a vital drug developed to fight deadly infections. However, probiotics are beneficial in many ways. They can improve digestion, boost the immune system, and may help prevent certain diseases. Unfortunately, modern diets make it increasingly difficult to acquire probiotics in a natural way, requiring supplements to pick up the slack.
Vitamin B12 is essential for brain function and the production of red blood cells. It may also help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and improve mood. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is common. While B12 can be naturally found in various foods, such as eggs, dairy, and seafood, dietary restrictions can make it difficult for certain individuals to get enough B12 in their diet. As a result, taking vitamin b12 supplements may be required.
Unlike many essential vitamins, the human body creates its own vitamin D whenever the skin is exposed to outdoor sunlight. However, not everyone lives in regions where direct sunlight is frequent. The good news is there are multiple foods from which vitamin D can be derived, such as dairy and certain types of fish. However, since lactose intolerance and certain allergies limit one’s ability to eat these foods, vitamin D supplements are very common.
Zinc is important for immune system function, maintaining healthy skin and hair, and healing certain wounds. It may also help reduce inflammation and improve mood. Most multivitamin supplements include zinc, but those with exceptional deficiency should consider a dedicated zinc supplement.
We don’t have to go far before encountering online wisdom regarding health and wellness. Most of this information is fairly obvious, while other suggestions border on quackery. Then there’s the wide band of health and wellness tips and suggestions that have a lot of support in terms of reported outcomes but remain iffy in the eyes of medical professionals and researchers. The use of supplements is an example of this category. However, it’s safe to say most people have nothing to lose but everything to gain by giving supplements a try.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about business, finance, health, and travel.