When I was asked to write about the “Top-5” natural remedies, I was stuck at first. Naturopaths cater to every patient on an individual level, so for us, it is a ‘no-go’ to generalise – we always tailor-make a protocol and hand-pick remedies.
But on second thought, I realised, that there are indeed hot supplements that everybody should consider. However, in order to enter the top 5, a supplement must pass certain tests: It must be risk-free and safe to use in self-medication and it must have a wide range of physiological benefits.
There is hardly anyone who doesn’t benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids, and few nutrients have been studied this thoroughly. PA and DHA can help fight a series of health issues.
- Omega-3 is crucial for the brain development of a child, from when the baby is growing inside the womb
- It has been proven to combat all kinds of inflammation
- It helps defeat depression and anxiety
- Several studies link higher omega-3 intake to decrease age-related mental decline, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and better bone strength.
Especially cold water, fatty fish such as salmon, cod or mackerel are very high in Omega-3 and best vegan sources are flax seeds, chia seeds, seaweed or beans. However, because fish today contain heavy metal loads and plant sources do not always provide EPA and DHA in sufficient amounts, consuming them from dietary supplements, sometimes is the only practical way to increase levels of these fatty acids in the body.
Magnesium is the foundation of a good heart function and plays a major role in our respiratory system. Sporty people wouldn’t have enough endurance if it weren’t for this mineral. More than 400 enzymes depend on this nutrient and more than 800 different essential biochemical reactions where magnesium plays a role have been identified. Together with Potassium, it is the most important substance inside our cells.
- keeps the heart rhythm steady and maintains muscle function
- metabolises glucose, ensures nerves fire properly, creates cellular energy and helps to make, repair and protect DNA and proteins.
- It helps with acid reflux and heartburn, sleep, muscle pains and cramps, blood sugar problems, constipation, anxiety, stress, depression, chronic fatigue, PMS and menstrual cramps.
Sadly you won’t get enough of it just through food soils are depleted, and food processing and refining remove the remaining amounts of magnesium from legumes, grains and greens, so again, it’s preferable to get magnesium through supplements.
3. Vitamin C
This is one of my favourites. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and therefore efficiently protects us from free radicals, the very aggressive particles that attack our cells day by day. The brain, the lenses of the eyes, heart, adrenals, kidneys, bones, blood vessel walls, liver and muscles and the immune system would be quite helpless without it this ascorbic acid.
You can detect and undersupply of Vitamin C, if you catch a cold much faster, your bone structure gets weaker and your stress resilience becomes quite poor. If you have a serious Vitamin C deficiency, you will experience increased bleeding and poor wound healing.
Vitamin C is accessible everywhere, but because a cheap and minor-quality product might not be absorbed as well, I advise to buy a natural or liposomal formulation to get the most out of the supplement. Also, don’t use the whole amount in one go, it’s better to spread the intake throughout the day.
Today, new discoveries about these minuscule inhabitants of our gut are published regularly and there seems to be no end to the praise of probiotics. These microbes are influential on our bodies and little works properly without them, including our nervous system, immune defence and digestion. Without sufficient colonization with these microscopic companions, our hormones and immune system can get out of balance and the brain and concentration could become foggy. Thumbs up for probiotics, but don’t forget to use them correctly, otherwise, you won’t see the benefits from a dietary supplement.
With the help of UVB, our bodies create this Vitamin on its own. Easy, you might think, living in a country like Singapore, with the sun out all year round. However, blood tests show that the majority of people still do not have enough of this Vitamin in their blood.
When it comes to Vitamin D, modern scientists tend to speak of it more as a hormone than a vitamin. This nutrient influences a wealth of metabolic processes and genes. Receptors for Vitamin D are found in nervous tissue, digestive system, immune system, breast tissue, ovaries, bones, brain heart, muscles and more, so in case of a critical deficiency, our organism could be in serious trouble. I’d say yes to supplement Vitamin D but under controlled conditions. Different from the above supplements, Vitamin D is not completely risk-free and an uncontrolled intake is likely to backfire. Therefore get your blood levels checked with your doctor and dose accordingly. If the blood levels are ok, a daily dose of 1000 – 2000 IE is sufficient to maintain.
But don’t forget: My top 5 do not replace a balanced diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are still to be eaten in adequate amounts every day, and if you experience health issues, please contact your doctor or naturopath, so you will be adviced accordingly.
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