Personally I prefer to get all the nutrition I need from food. Whether it is gelatin for joint health from bone broths, omega-3 for brain function and glowing skin from fish or chia seeds or sauerkraut for immune boosting probiotics. However if you feel like you aren’t getting enough, maybe you’re a little run down or you aren’t managing to fit a certain type of food into your weekly meals, here are my go to supplements. I try to only take supplements for a month or so and then give my body a break for a week before starting again if I need to.
Essential for a myriad of functions in the body, magnesium works as a transporter for other minerals such as calcium and potassium and may be beneficial for stress reduction. It is naturally found in high amounts in almonds, spinach, black beans, avocado and yoghurt – I eat lots of these foods but still like to have magnesium on hand for days when I train hard and want to ward off muscle soreness and general fatigue. Or in times of high stress – this is a great one to help calm you down.
- Fish Oil or Flaxseed Meal
Omega-3s are essential fats that the body cannot make on its own. They are anti-inflammatory and have benefits for cardiovascular health. Fish oil is my first choice for this; however flaxseed meal, a plant derived omega-3, is also high in dietary fibre – making it highly beneficial for the intestinal tract and keeping you regular! Make sure you invest in a good quality product, and ask about the source and processing method before you buy.
- Pre and pro biotics – gut health
There is some confusion over what on earth these two things are, so let me clear it up for you. Probiotics can contribute to a healthy gut, as they can control the growth of bad bacteria that may cause sickness and stomach upsets. Found in yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso and even cheese, they may have beneficial effects on the immune system. Prebiotics are a type of fibre which is basically good for your 'good' bacteria. They can’t be digested, so they make it all the way through the small to large intestines where the bacteria will need them. Good sources include legumes, asparagus, onion, garlic and bananas.
- Collagen Hydrolyse Powder
Athletes serious about looking after their bodies may want to add this supplement to their regime. The amino acids in collagen are renowned for being especially beneficial for reducing joint pain. As well as encouraging skin elasticity and reducing the signs of aging, this powder is helpful if you like your bone broths but don’t really have time to cook them! This could be the answer for those niggling aches and pains, giving you so many benefits in one glass (the powder is also odourless and tasteless – even when added to water).