Supplements can be the key to improving your health as an easy way to get vitamins and minerals on the go. Here are a few to add to your morning practise.
Vitamin K2 is one of the best supplements to take. Most of the vitamin K in our diet is in the form of vitamin K1. This comes from plants such as cauliflower, broccoli and dark green leaves. Only around 10% is in the form of vitamin K2. You can find K2 in liver, egg yolk, meats and fermented foods such as live yoghurt, cheese and natto. Viatmin K2 helps protect against blood thinning and unwanted calcification of artery walls. Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan Medical Director, says, “Research involving over 16,000 women aged 49 and over, who were followed for 8 years, found that every 10mcg increase in dietary vitamin K2 intake reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 9%.”
Iodine us essential for the production of two thyroid hormones. These hormones control the metabolic rate in your body, conversing food and fat stores into energy. Food sources for iodine include seafood, milk (cattle feed is iodised) and crops grown on soils exposed to sea-spray. Dr Brewer says, “Supplements providing iodine act as a mild thyroid stimulant and may encourage a more efficient metabolism if your iodine intake has been sub-optimal. It may also improve energy levels and quality of skin, hair and nails.”
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Dr Brewer says, “Sea buckthorn is a medicinal plant whose leaves, orange fruit and seed oil have been used for centuries to relieve conditions that share the common problem of dryness, such as eczema, dry eyes, dry hair and female intimate dryness.” It’s rich in beneficial omega-3, omega-9 and omega-7 fatty acids, all of which can improve skin and hair quality whilst reducing dryness through the body. It can even provide relief from eye redness, dryness and burning.
Suffering from hair loss? Biotin may be your answer. The water soluble B vitamin is essential for healthy hair, skin, nails and sweat glands. Dr Brewer says, “Biotin supplements were shown to increase nail plate thickness by 25% in women with brittle nails. In other study in which 71 people were given 2.5mg biotin per day, 91% showed definite improvement in nail firmness and hardness after 6 months treatment.”
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and essential mineral that supports the immune system, cognitive function and helps defend your body from chronic conditions, as well as being able to fight oxidative stress. The richest dietary source of selenium is Brazil nuts and small amounts are also found in fish, poultry, meats, wholegrains, mushrooms, onions, garlic, broccoli and cabbage. Dr Brewer says, “As it is difficult to obtain, the EU recommended intake of 55 mcg per day, a multivitamin that includes selenium is a good idea.”
Royal jelly is one of the most popular supplements for women over 50. It contains powerful antioxidants, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects for immune support. Dr Brewer agrees, saying, “Royal jelly is one of the best sources of vitamin B5, which helps to combat stress, fatigue, insomnia and helps maintain healthy skin, hair and digestion. Research shows that Royal Jelly supplements have oestrogen-like effects and contains proteins which stimulate the production of collagen in skin cells.”