Herbal and natural supplements are widely used the world over to complement diets that are deficient in minerals and vitamins, to assist sleep, weight loss, anxiety, and in some cases as an alternative to medicine to alleviate pain and illness.
Approximately 29% of Australians take at least one dietary supplement, with women more likely to take them than men (33% and 24% respectively). 50% of people who take supplements only take one kind of supplement with multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements being the most commonly taken dietary supplements (consumed by 16% of the population), while fish oil is taken by approximately 12% of the population. (statistics sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics)
The good news is that you can give your diet a boost with some natural supplements that are likely to be lurking in your kitchen cupboards. In the words of Greek physician Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Cinnamon – known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antivirus properties, cinnamon is also associated with helping weight loss.
Garlic – not only does it keep vampires away, garlic is well known for boosting immunity and reduces high blood pressure.
Ginger – infuse it in hot water with lemon to help relieve symptoms of the common cold, it may also help reduce nausea associated with morning sickness and is a good anti-inflammatory.
Here are my top three supplements that you should add to your next shopping list:
1. Chia seeds, a member of the mint family and ancient ‘superfood’ loved by the Aztecs, Mayans and Native Americans, so much so that it was used as a currency. Anything containing chia has become a trendy staple in our modern diets and it’s no wonder given that the seeds are full of natural unprocessed nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, chia seeds are richer in Omega 3 than flaxseed, richer in fibre than bran flakes, richer in magnesium than broccoli, richer in calcium than milk and even richer in potassium than bananas!
2. Goji Berries – used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, Goji Berries are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and proteins. They are said to increase energy levels and even eyesight, whilst lowering blood sugar and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
3. Multi-vitamin – if you’re not sure about what herbal supplements to buy, then you can’t go wrong with a multi-vitamin that will cover the key vitamin and nutrient bases.
There is no alternative to having a healthy diet. Your health and wellbeing is your biggest asset and something to treat with respect and love. If you feel that you may be lacking in any particular nutrient or experiencing any deficiency, it is always important to consult your doctor or health care professional.