Navigating the World of Supplements, Part Two

There are SO many herbs and supplements to aid in boosting immunity, aid in digestive health, and boosting overall wellness.  

Digging into part two!  Let’s look at four more supplements. . . Flax seed, Glucosamine, Vitamin B12, and Collagen. Read below for more about each one!

  1.  Flaxseed and flax oil:  I’ve done a blog earlier all about flaxseed and the multiple benefits.  I researched several resources – WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, HealthLine, BetterMe, and Women’s Health to find that they all agree on the top benefits.  These are:
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids:  These are the “good” fats that have been proven to improve heart health.
  • Prevent cancer:  Many recent studies show that flaxseed may have protective effects against certain cancer cells.  The plant omega 3 fatty acid found in flaxseed inhibited tumor growth in some studies.
  • Lignans:  These have both antioxidant and estrogen properties.
  • Helps prevent Cardiovascular disease:  The plant omega 3 fatty acids are at work again!  Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in normalizing the heart beat.  Newer research shows that flaxseed also can aid in lowering blood pressure AND cholesterol.  There have also been studies showing that diets which include flaxseed omega 3’s aid in preventing the hardening of arteries!
  • Helps decrease inflammation:  Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may help reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses. 
  • Helps decrease hot flashes:  Many studies have proven that the addition of flaxseed decreases not only the occurrence of hot flashes, but also the severity.  I can attest to this personally.  I am post menopausal, but recently I felt “under siege” with hot flashes.  My personal research and discussions with dieticians and nutritional experts convinced me to add flaxseed into my daily diet.  It may take up to two weeks to feel the full result, but it definitely works!  Initially I added 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed into my protein coffee.  I’m now using flaxseed oil.  I have seen a definite decline in how often the hot flashes occur, as well as in how severe and how long they last.  I definitely recommend the use of flaxseed – if for no other reason than help with these!
  • Boosts immunity:  Flaxseeds are a great source of magnesium, which is a mineral essential for the proper function of our nervous system.  It also helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and even migraine headaches.  If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may have a magnesium deficiency – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, insomnia, and migraines.  Try adding in some flaxeed!
  • Promotes weight loss:  Due to the high fiber content of flaxseed, it can help improve your gut health and help you feel fuller when you eat.  This also helps prevent constipation and keep your digestive system working properly.

2. Glucosamine:  I’m sure everyone has at least heard a little about glucosamine, so lets’s look at why it’s one of my favorites (based on more research from WebMD, Mayo Clinic and Healthline.com)! It is produced naturally in your body and found mostly in cartilage and helps create the proteins and fats that repair our cartilage when it’s damaged.  Taking glucosamine supplements offers many benefits (particularly in our joints)!  

  • Glucosamine can reduce inflammation.  Studies have proven that regular use of glucosamine and chondroitin lowers levels of inflammation.  Regularly taking this supplement can also help lower your risk of a number of chronic conditions.
  • It may improve bone health.  Some studies have shown, specifically, that it may lower the risk of osteopororis in post menopausal women.

3. Vitamin B12:  This vitamin is essential for our bodies, but our bodies do not produce it naturally.  B12 has many roles in our bodies, such as supporting the normal functioning of nerve cells and is needed for the formation of red blood cells.  Researching Healthline.com I found that Vitamin B12 provides many benefits!

  • Boosts energy;
  • Improves memory;
  • Aids in preventing heart disease;
  • Prevents fatigue and weakness;
  • Aids in preventing birth defects;
  • Supports bone health and may help prevent osteoporosis;
  • Aids in reducing risk of macular degeneration;
  • Aids in improving mood and in preventing symptoms of depression;
  • May benefit your brain by preventing loss of neurons (early studies show that B12 may prevent brain atrophy, and that B12 with Omega 3’s slowed mental decline);
  • Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails;

4. Collagen:  For starters, collagen is a form of protein, and it is one of the most common protein in our bodies.  It has many functions that include providing our skin with structure and strengthening our bones.

The benefits of taking collagen supplements are:

  • Improve skin health – it strengthens skin, aids in elasticity and hydration;
  • May relieve joint pain;
  • May prevent bone loss;
  • Can boost muscle mass;
  • Can promote heart health;
  • Increase strength of hair and nails;

There are SO many supplements available to us with SO many benefits! It can definitely be overwhelming. Read over these benefits and see if any, or maybe all, of these supplements will be helpful to you.  I personally use Flax oil and collagen daily in my protein shakes or coffee first thing every morning.  I also take extra Vitamin B12 in my favorite drink, Spark.  Glucosamine is one that I’ll be adding daily to help protect my joints as I age and continue to train hard.  

If you feel that getting assistance with your nutrition or workouts will help you reach your goals, please reach out to me.  I would love to help you!!

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