Overwhelmed by the array of supplements on offer? Make a beeline for the super stars that can make a real difference to your health and wellbeing.
When it comes to optimising nutrient intake, there is nothing that can replace a healthy, balanced diet.
But busy lives can make it hard to eat the range of fresh, nutritious foods required to tick all the essential nutrient boxes each day.
Whether it¡¯s long work hours, life¡¯s challenges, food preferences or intolerances getting in the way of your nutritional goals, supplementing can help fill the gaps.
Dietitian Susie Burrell reveals the supplements routinely recommended to help maximise nutrient intake every day, no matter how busy you are:
Commonly referred to as ¡°good bacteria¡±, probiotics are microorganisms naturally found in the human digestive tract that improve the health of the gut.
Probiotics have been shown to help reduce digestive symptoms such as constipation and bloating, help restore gut flora after consuming a course of antibiotics and help rebalance the bacteria required for optimal nutrient absorption.
Probiotics can be found in various food sources, including fermented drinks and yoghurts.
Studies have found these foods can reduce bloating in sensitive stomachs, especially when they contain multiple strains of probiotics.
For those opposed to yoghurts or milk-based drinks, probiotic supplements can be an effective way to get a daily dose of probiotics.
Where possible, look for varieties that contain multiple strains of probiotics to help ensure you get the range of gut related benefits.
- Gut health: The rise of the designer microbiome
While there are a many different varieties of Omega-3 fats, the mix of DHA and EPA food in deep sea cold fish has been shown to have the best heart-related health benefits.
The average Australian does not reach the recommended daily intake of these important fats, which play key roles in reducing inflammation in the body.
Lower levels of inflammation are associated with a lower risk of developing a number of lifestyle-related diseases, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Child-friendly fish oil supplements can be a great way for young kids who don¡¯t like eating fish to get their recommended intake Omega-3s.
- Good oils: Which fats are healthy?
Low Vitamin D is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in Australia, a result of a strong commitment to sun safety and relatively long hours spent indoors throughout the working day.
Vitamin D deficiency impacts a number of the body¡¯s systems and is associated with muscle soreness, reduced bone density, low mood and a reduced immune response.
So if you spend plenty of time indoors and try to cover up when out in the sun, it is worth having your Vitamin D levels assessed by a GP to determine if you may benefit from a dietary supplement.
- Sunlight saviour: How to balance vitamin D with staying sun smart
Australians need 30g of dietary fibre a day to support digestive health.
To get this amount each and every day, the average adult needs at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables, along with wholegrain varieties of bread, grains and cereals.
With nine in 10 Aussies not getting enough daily fruit and veggie serves, it is safe to say that many of us can benefit from a daily fibre supplement.
Found in a range of different soluble powders, adding a fibre supplement to your morning smoothie, yoghurt or even hot drink will ensure your gut gets a daily dose of the nourishment it needs.
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Magnesium is one of the key minerals involved in energy production and muscle contraction, and extremely active individuals need plenty of it to support muscle recovery, growth and metabolism.
Magnesium is found in highest amounts in fresh, plant based foods including nuts, wholegrains, and fruits including bananas and avocado.
While magnesium deficiency is relatively uncommon in Australia, teenagers and adults who do not consume the recommended intake of fresh fruits and vegetables are at higher risk, as are those who participate in lots of physical training.
For these people, adding extra magnesium will support optimal recovery.
The only thing is to be mindful of different doses of magnesium and stick to recommended intakes, as excessive intake is related to gut discomfort.
More tips for your health and wellness toolkit:
- 5 medicinal mushrooms that can power up your health and immunity
- 6 superfood powders that actually work
- Does anyone really need vitamin IV drips?
Written by Susie Burrell.