Nature’s Way: 10 Super Supplements is about the world of plant, mineral, and vitamin natural supplements, their health benefits, and 10 recommendations to try.
A supplement is a manufactured consumable that comes in capsule, liquid, powder, or tablet form and can be taken to complement your diet. They can boost the amount of nutrients that you’re consuming and lead to improved health, vitality, and wellness with little to no risk.
Natural supplements are most commonly derived from plants, herbs, roots, or other botanical extracts and can contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and tissues.
Vitamins and minerals are crucial for healthy functions, with many needed in small amounts for the effective operation of your body. You should be able to obtain the nutrients your body needs by eating a balanced, healthy, and varied diet, but in our fast-paced and sometimes unhealthy society, it’s not always easy, and there’s no sure way to know if you’re consuming the right quantities. That’s where supplements can be helpful!
In 2022, the UK vitamins and supplements market was estimated to be worth £520 million, and with good reason, because many people swear by their effectiveness. Supplements are credited with a range of incredible benefits and can help with serious health conditions that might initially seem unrelated to your vitamin and mineral consumption.
Problems related to inflammation, low energy, poor concentration, bad sleep, and oral hygiene have well-established links to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. But as scientific research progresses, more is being discovered, as evidenced by some recent findings with far-reaching implications, including that the hearing problem, tinnitus, could be due to a vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin D could help stave off dementia, and regular coffee and caffeine consumers are likely to have low levels of magnesium in their bodies.
Some natural supplements could be remedies for some of the most serious health problems, including depression, hypertension, cancer, and cognitive degeneration.
The latest, rapidly growing trend in the supplement market is those of the fungi and mushroom varieties, which are garnering attention due to their impressive range of benefits. Mushroom supplements contain dried mushroom extracts, either in capsules or as a loose powder that you can blend into teas, smoothies, and soups.
Mushrooms possess both nutritional and medicinal values and help in healing, recharging, and maintaining your body. Mushroom supplements may help with increased energy, better athletic performance, and boosting your immune system.
Some species of mushrooms, available in supplement form, can produce molecules that fit human brain receptors, helping to rebuild cerebral connections. These types can both prevent and heal, making them significant tools in battling the onset of brain diseases.
Other fungi species are being researched due to their effectiveness in preventing the growth of cancer and reducing the size of tumours, whilst further studies are focusing on their uses in treating depression, PTSD and anxiety.
The truth is that you don’t always hear about nature’s remedies in the mainstream media or in normal clinical settings because monopolising pharmaceutical companies invest resources in suppressing or discrediting supporting research, evidence, and information. There’s an ideology that says this is because their profits could suffer if consumers sought natural remedies over those widely accepted, produced, and sold in pharmacies.
You only need to step into a health-food shop to see the vast amount of natural supplements, remedies, and medicines that are already available, and as the sector continues to grow, increasing numbers of products are becoming available.
If you’re experiencing health problems, have consistent complaints, or are simply looking to give your health a boost, read on to learn about some tremendous, natural supplements in Nature’s Way: 10 Super Supplements!
Ginseng is a slow-growing, short plant with fleshy roots, of which there are several varieties. The plant can be taken as a supplement and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The root was originally used by Native Americans as a stimulant, in headache therapy, and as a cure for indigestion, fever, and infertility. It can reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and help improve brain functions like memory, behaviour, and mood.
As it possesses potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, it can also enhance the function of the immune system. Further benefits include improving lung function, lowering blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation in tumours.
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion’s mane mushrooms are white mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane in appearance. They are a good source of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin and an excellent source of important minerals like manganese, zinc, and potassium.
The mushroom has immune-stimulating properties that can treat autoimmune diseases like arthritis and cardiac conditions. According to studies, lion’s mane mushrooms are a good source of the compounds hericenones and erinacines, which hasten the formation of brain cells.
Intake can boost the generation of new nerve cells, which will enhance mental performance and aid in the treatment of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases.
B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism and the synthesis of red blood cells.
Vitamin B-complex supplements are generally composed of eight B vitamins (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12). They are key building blocks to a healthy body and the growth of strong, red blood cells that increase energy levels. They can aid with eyesight, digestion, and brain function, as well as promote cardiovascular health and muscle tone.
Some of the vitamins in a B-complex supplement can maintain neuronal viability and help with nerve damage by supporting the regeneration of new cell structures. B vitamins also aid in foetal development and reduce the risk of birth defects.
Cannabis-derived cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, is a natural treatment for a number of medical conditions. By extracting the chemical from cannabis plants and blending it with other natural oils like coconut or hemp seed, CBD oil is created. CBD doesn’t have the same effects as its mother plant and is not intoxicating.
Back pain can be relieved by CBD oil due to its properties; it also decreases inflammation and may be effective at calming neurotransmitters. CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for anxiety disorders. Research has suggested it may alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms, specifically suppressing pain, helping nausea, and improving appetite.
CBD can be found in various products, including dietary supplements, bath soaks, drinks, and food.
Maca root is known as Peruvian ginseng and is considered a super-food with rich properties. The plant can be eaten in its natural form or found in capsules or powdered supplements.
This herb helps balance hormones, and studies have suggested it can ease menopausal symptoms. It enriches energy levels and aids with cognitive function. The roots of maca have traditionally been used to cure infertility among women, and it also works as a natural aphrodisiac, stimulating sex hormones and helping to improve performance and endurance for all sexes.
The Red Maca variant can help reduce the size of the prostate gland in older men or those who use steroids.
Turkey tail mushroom
Turkey tail mushrooms have the ability to strengthen the immune system, and their extract is sold as a powder or tea.
Research has revealed that it is effective in battling several forms of cancer and reducing the size of tumours. The polysacchariopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK) chemicals found in the mushrooms appear to slow down the growth of cancer cells and have potent immune-stimulating capabilities.
Supplements made from turkey tail can help reduce inflammation and also contain pre-biotics, which feed healthy bacteria in the gut. Turkey tails can lower blood sugars to aid with diabetes, reduce blood pressure, improve bone health, and are rich in antioxidants. The powerful mushroom can also be used to treat the human papilloma virus.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for good health, but over two-thirds of adults are thought to have a deficiency.
Magnesium aids in a variety of bodily functions, including muscle, bone, and tooth support, as well as tiredness, fatigue, low mood, and nervous system strengthening. There are several different types of magnesium, including glycinate, citrate, and oxide.
Glycinate is good for musculoskeletal health, has been linked with deep, restorative sleep, and promotes relaxation. Magnesium can help with supporting cognitive ability, managing blood sugar levels, supporting heart health, and improving digestive system regulation.
Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint plant and contains menthol, which provides a cooling sensation and helps alleviate sources of irritation.
The menthol in peppermint oil is thought to have a relaxing effect on the intestine and aid with digestive problems and gut discomfort caused by conditions like IBS. It has strong cleansing properties that can aid with tooth health, and when applied to the skin and hair, it can reduce dry skin.
It is believed that the presence of calcium antagonists in peppermint oil helps relieve pain in muscles and inflammation of the joints and, if applied topically, can reduce swelling and reduce aches.
Vitamin E derives from certain foods, such as nuts and seeds. Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin and eyesight and strengthen the body’s natural defences against illness and infection. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and its anti-oxidant abilities fight free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells.
Vitamin E is a popular ingredient in many skin creams and can reduce the appearance of scars and help with other skin complaints such as UV damage, atopic dermatitis, and wounds.
Research has also suggested vitamin E can help fight fatty liver disease and slow the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Over-consumption of Vitamin E can be detrimental, so it’s best taken orally in moderation.
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant indigenous to Asia and Europe. The root of the Valerian plant is pressed into a fresh juice or made into a powder and used for medicinal purposes.
Valerian root has traditionally been taken to treat insomnia and nerve conditions like anxiety and restlessness. It contains a chemical compound called linarin, which has sedative effects when built up in the body.
It can be used to treat fatigue, hyperactivity, menstrual cramps, OCD, restless leg syndrome, and it can also help lower blood pressure levels thus reducing the risk of heart disease or cardiac arrest.
I wanted to write about these super supplements because, personally, I’ve had some positive results from using them.
I regularly take vitamin B-complex to help with nerve damage in my leg, caused by a nasty ankle twist, and found instant relief the first day I tried them. As a big coffee drinker, I’ve noticed that sometimes I have low energy and poor focus and find that courses of magnesium glycinate help with these without any side effects. I’ve also used vitamin E and peppermint oil to help ease joint inflammation and valerian root for treating stress and insomnia.
Having been prescribed much stronger medication to treat some of these problems, I think it’s intriguing that natural and softer approaches were just as, if not more, effective. I would never discredit the medical profession and believe professional advice should be adhered to, but I also advocate looking beyond what is conventional, especially for more minor issues or to complement any prescribed treatments.
Mother Nature has her ways of restoring balance and harmony, and some of the research and developments around vitamins, natural supplements, and medicines are very interesting. Nobody has the perfect diet or lifestyle, and we all need a boost from time to time; at the very least, supplements can provide this, and at the most, they could prove to be health-altering and life-changing.
Do you take any natural supplements? Tell me about any recommendations in the comments!
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All text ©J. Thomson, 2023