Nutrition

Supplements to take in your 20s

green leaf with flower buds in it, tablets splattered on blue background

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is certainly important to provide vitamins and nutrients which sustain adequate function of the body.

However, when you are in your twenties, you may be leading a fast-paced lifestyle often having the time of your life. You may be eating all the wrong foods or may simply be skipping meals due to your busy life; it may be that you may be drinking a lot more than you should and/or are staying up late. This can result in an inadequate supply of nutrients to your body which take a toll and your overall health may suffer.

For all the reasons mentioned above, I believe that it is important to take some fundamental supplements to ensure that any nutrient deficiencies are corrected, so I have created a guide to the supplements to take in your 20s. To begin with I would always recommend a food-state multivitamin because a multivitamin will provide all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to fuel the body’s processes and acts as a back-up if your diet doesn’t provide these.

Which multivitamin should I take?

Walk into any chemist or health store and you will be faced with numerous bottles of multivitamins and choosing one can be a daunting task. I recommend food-state multivitamins since the nutrients found within these are identical to those you would obtain from eating food as opposed to synthetic vitamins. Several studies indicate that isolated vitamins may not be as effective as food-state vitamins because often these vitamins work synergistically with numerous compounds found within food.

Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency is a great one-a-day multivitamin supplement containing all the essential vitamins and minerals combined with extracts from vegetables and fruits known to contain protective compounds. Alive Once Daily multivitamin is, however, not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan then consider supplementing with Terra Nova’s Living Multinutrient Complex which is also food-based and also contains a base of green foods and fruit extracts to provide antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body.

If you cannot swallow tablets and capsules then Source of Life Gold Liquid is one of the few food state liquids with a comprehensive formula of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids as well as fruit and vegetable extracts.

Do I need anything else?

Numerous studies indicate that the consumption of healthy fats, the omega-3 fatty acids, are below sub-optimal levels within our diets. We are supposed to eat a minimum of 8 ounces of oily fish on a weekly basis. This is often not achieved by young adults and remember this is only the minimum amount. Ideally it needs to be more because omega 3’s are beneficial for a variety of uses which include hormonal balance, brain function and numerous other processes carried out within our bodies. A good fish oil, tested for purity and derived from sardines, anchovies and mackerel is Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil.

If you are a vegan, then the best source of omega 3’s is echium seed oil marketed as Echiomega. Vegetarian sources of omega 3’s such as flaxseed oil and hempseed oil are ill-converted by the body into EPA and DHA, which are the active components found in fish oils and utilised by the body. Echium seed oil has been found to be efficiently converted into these specific fatty acids.

Is that everything I need?

In your 20s, a good multivitamin and an appropriate omega 3 fatty acid supplement should be sufficient however there are other supplements which may be applicable depending upon your needs.

If you have been suffering from repeated infections and have been on antibiotics, it would be prudent to take a probiotic for at least a month such as Mega Probiotic ND. This probiotic supplement delivers these friendly bacteria into the gut to help manufacture immune enhancing compounds.

If you suffer from acne and spots, you may wish to consider the additional use of a supplement called Clear Skin Complex which contains Burdock Root to help cleanse the body of toxins that can inflame the oil producing glands; probiotics are also included to help reduce inflammation in the whole body as well as zinc to help heal inflamed skin quickly. You should check that your multivitamin, when combined with Clear Skin Complex, does not provide more than 30 mg of zinc per daily dose. Strengths higher than 30 mg may disturb copper levels when taken for longer than three months so a break from either of the supplements may be advisable.

If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, painful periods or heavy bleeding, you can safely introduce a herbal supplement containing agnus castus as long as you are not on the contraceptive pill or taking hormonal medications. Agnus castus, also known as Chasteberry, works to exert a balancing effect on the female hormones helping to enhance progesterone levels relative to oestrogen. It is best to take this supplement for a minimum period of three months. Bio-Health PeriAgna is a supplement that provides Agnus castus and is free from all the common allergens such as gluten, wheat, sugar, salt and starch.

In conclusion I would recommend to limit your intake of alcohol, avoid excessive amounts of non-nutritious food and exercise regularly. Taking healthy steps including supplements in your 20s will make it much easier to keep them going in your 30s.

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collagen writin in white powder on blue background

There are hundreds of collagen supplements on the market, in powders, capsules and drinks, usually obtained from bovine and marine sources, however there is differing advice on when and how to take collagen supplements. It is not surprising that people get confused so below is a low-down on how to take collagen supplements. But what is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It is found in skin, muscles, blood vessels and other tissues and structures and its main role is to impart strength to these systems. Collagen production declines as we age and since adequate collagen is required to maintain our joints and skin, many consumers choose to introduce a collagen supplement into their regimen. There are different schools of thought on collagen supplementation and below are my recommendations: Read More…

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The increase in sugar substitutes, I believe, is because artificial sweeteners, whilst used extensively in beverages, are not really a relevant form of sweetener for deserts, cakes and other baked goods.

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What is Soursop?

Soursop is a fruit that grows in tropical areas, including South America, the Caribbean and parts of Africa. It’s also known as graviola and custard apple. It has a green skin and looks somewhat like a spiky mango with white flesh and brown seeds inside.  Read More…