Protein intake may be supplemented by various protein types and also by raw food, most people who focus on their protein intake find it beneficial to combine the two for convenience. Our bodies must first convert the raw form of protein to “usable” amino acids in order to uptake the nutrient. It is therefore not a myth that amino acid supplements are absorbed more readily and with greater efficiency. Combining your other food groups with a portion of protein will not only balance your food groups for better overall health but it will also lessen the body’s insulin response to food, vital for diabetics.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to assist in reducing inflammation, risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Eating oily fish like sardines & salmon several times per week is an excellent habit. This fatty acid cannot be produced by the body and is most conveniently supplemented as most people consider it impractical to eat oily fish frequently as required.
Creatine is one of the most widely used and studied performance enhancing supplements we have today. The results are well documented amongst young and old – increased lean body mass, increased strength and enhanced resistance to fatigue. Short term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power and strength by 5-15%, the same improvement was reported amongst sprinters and runners. Creatine supplementation coupled with resistance exercise results in a greater bone mineral density than resistance exercise alone. Consequently higher concentrations of creatine in the brain are associated with improved neurophysiological performance and cognitive benefits to boot.
Magnesium is an essential mineral utilised by the human body, it has been proven that magnesium assists in more than 300 biological functions required for homeostasis! Some of these mechanisms include regulation of glycolysis, energy production, blood pressure and heartbeat, muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis and healthy brain function. Because most people fall short of adequate magnesium intake even with a well-balanced diet, magnesium supplements have become popular. Good food sources of magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, cashew nuts, almonds and dark chocolate.
B-complex vitamins – Certain factors may increase our needs for B-vitamins such as age, pregnancy, nutritional intake, pregnancy, genetics, medications, alcohol use, and chronic stress. This group of vitamins also perform other functions within the human body but are mostly known for their positive effects on brain function.
Vitamins D, E, A, C & calcium –Calcium is not absorbed if low levels of magnesium and vitamin D are present. Fun sport science fact: we require more calcium for optimal muscle function than we need for our bones or teeth! Vitamin D and calcium have been proven to offer protection against some of the most common health threats that adult men and women face. It is estimated that about 75% of adults in the U.S. suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.
Antioxidants – Two of the most potent and well researched antioxidants we have today are coenzyme-Q-10 and resveratrol. More than 244 clinical trials have proven resveratrol to improve therapeutic outcome of patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, breast cancer, obesity and diabetes. It is important to note that coenzyme-Q-10 levels in the body decrease with age, and decreased levels of CoQ10 have been observed in certain conditions such as heart disease and Parkinson’s. Most studies on antioxidants real world effectiveness and value in our health regimen lack support, the above two mentioned are an excellent ‘health investment’.
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Best Supplements: Top 6 for Overall Health – Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
Creatine supplementation – PubMed (nih.gov)
The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review – PMC (nih.gov)
Magnesium – Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov)
Health benefits of resveratrol: Evidence from clinical studies – PubMed (nih.gov)
Coenzyme Q10 – Mayo Clinic
Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits – PMC (nih.gov)
B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review – PMC (nih.gov)
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