Supplements – Inspire Us https://www.inspireusafoundation.org Inspiring People To Lead a Healthier Life Through Fitness & Nutrition Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:41:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/favicon.png Supplements – Inspire Us https://www.inspireusafoundation.org 32 32 4 Reasons to Choose Whole Foods Over Supplements https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/whole-foods-vs-supplements/ Mon, 29 Jul 2019 04:36:49 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=113 supplements vs whole foodsThe supplement industry is a billion dollar industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Chances are if you have some sort of ailment, there’s a pill for it. For some reason people like the ease of supplementing nutritional pitfalls with a pill.  Some folks see it as a way to protect against illness. However, […]]]> supplements vs whole foods

The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Chances are if you have some sort of ailment, there’s a pill for it. For some reason people like the ease of supplementing nutritional pitfalls with a pill. 

Some folks see it as a way to protect against illness. However, despite advertising gimmicks, taking a supplement isn’t a substitute for a nutritious diet. 

Supplemented Vitamins & Minerals Could be Harmful

Many people have a mindset that “more is better.” In the case of  antioxidants, this is especially true. We’ve heard so much about how antioxidants are effective  at warding off oxidative stress and cellular damage. We’re quick to find a way to add them to our diet, and it’s usually in pill form. 

Antioxidant vitamins and minerals include: Vitamin A, C, E, as well as the mineral selenium. There are also supplements like COQ10 aand alpha-lipoic acid. However, studies indicate that taking these vitamins in pill form isn’t always a good idea.

For instance, research suggests that taking Vitamin A in a supplement form can lead to lung cancer in smokers. It was also believed that taking Vitamin E could help prevent heart attacks, instead it was found that taking Vitamin E in a supplement form lead to increased risk of stroke.

Selenium intake is important to monitor. At a certain dosage, selenium can actually be toxic. If you also get selenium in your food it’s important to determine whether or not you actually need a supplement for it. 

Calcium supplements are another example. Some studies show that taking calcium in a supplement form can lead to a greater risk of developing kidney stones. 

Your body will have a hard time using it

A supplement is only good if your body is readily able to use it. For instance, Folate is a good example. Folate is an essential B-vitamin for cell repair and growth. Lower levels of folate can result in birth defects referred to as neural tube defects in pregnant women. To help prevent these defects, foods like flour and bread contain a synthetic form of folate called folic acid.

However, 30% of our population has an enzyme variant that makes it difficult to convert folic acid into folate. If not prevented, folic acid can build up in your tissues and may lead to various health conditions. The best, natural way to get your much-needed folate is to eat green and leafy vegetables.

FDA Who?

Most of the time, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and supplement manufacturers don’t get their approval before developing and marketing them.

The only time the FDA steps in is when the company is sued for something, mainly because of side effects. So what you read on a label, may not be what you’re getting. Manufacturers try to cut costs and even use fillers that aren’t on the label.

Decades ago, independent agencies found dangerous substances in supplements such as heavy metal, and various contaminants. What’s even worse is that some of these supplements don’t actually contain what’s listed on the label and some have ingredients that aren’t supposed to be there.

You’re missing out a lot

Supplements are limited since you’re only getting one very specific vitamin or mineral. Meaning, if your diet is poor then you may have to buy another to fill the gap.

When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, you get hundreds of vitamins and minerals in their natural form. These components work together better than being taken in an isolated pill form.

Conclusion

In some instances, a supplement may very well be necessary. Vegans for example,  may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement since this particular vitamin isn’t found in vegetables. It can also be tough to get enough zinc, iron, and calcium if you aren’t eating meat or dairy.

Another example is people that are undergoing a restricting their calories, where they have to take supplements to fill in their body’s vitamin and mineral requirement.

Lastly, people that are experiencing health conditions or pregnancy require extra nutritional support that they can’t get from their diet alone.

There is a place for supplements, however they shouldn’t be used to replace a healthy diet. They are created for a purpose, to literally supplement your natural food intake.

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Four Heart Health Supplements You Should Consider Using https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/heart-health-supplements/ Mon, 27 May 2019 04:35:45 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=109 heart health supplementIf there is one organ in your body you should be thankful for, it’s your heart. Our heart is an involuntary muscle and works nonstop. Some organs you can carry on without but the heart isn’t one of them.  With that said, the heart is a strong muscle. It plays a key role in cardiovascular […]]]> heart health supplement

If there is one organ in your body you should be thankful for, it’s your heart. Our heart is an involuntary muscle and works nonstop. Some organs you can carry on without but the heart isn’t one of them. 

With that said, the heart is a strong muscle. It plays a key role in cardiovascular health. A healthy heart ensures a long fruitful life. 

Below, we will break down four supplements that have been shown to improve heart health.

4 Heart Health Supplements

heart health

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a naturally-produced enzyme that is responsible for helping mitochondria convert food compounds as energy for our bodies to use. It also functions as an antioxidant that helps ward off hardmful substances that are caused by free radicals. Various studies have shown that CoQ10 helps with heart health and in endothelial function.

However, the production of CoQ10 slows down as we age. That’s why consuming foods that are rich in CoQ10 are needed. To name a few: various meat, fish, and whole grains.

You can also supplement CoQ10. When it comes to supplements, opt for one that contains ubiquinol, which is a form of CoQ10 that is naturally produced by the body and is readily absorbed.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acid is another nutrient that is essential for your heart health. It is proven by scientists that omega-3 fatty acids help maintain blood pressure as well as controlling cholesterol.

There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  1. ALA = alpha-liolenic acid
  2. EPA = eicosapentaenoic acid
  3. DHA = docosahexaenoic acid

You can get omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish or nuts; Both of these contain high amounts of EPA and DHA. If you’re allergic to eating nuts, you can opt for an omega-3 supplement instead.

Astaxanthin

If you ever spotted a fish or shellfish with a bright pink color, that is because of Astaxanthin, an antioxidant that is made from small algae. Various research has shown that Astaxanthin supports heart health and reduces inflammation.

Other benefits also include improved cognitive function, athletic performance, as well as reducing your skin’s signs of aging.

Garlic

Research shows that garlic is not only useful in warding off monsters (as our ancestors say), but also for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it effective for regulating heart health, and dissolving blood clots, thus, resulting into a healthier heart.

If you’re turned off because of its flavor and smell, you can opt for an odorless garlic supplement that are available over the counter at any drugstore.

Tips to Improve Heart Health

Along with the supplements listed above, below are lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.

Reduce Salt Intake

Consuming too much salt will result in high blood pressure, which in turn weakens the walls of your blood vessels. Along with that, the heart will have a more difficult time pumping blood throughout the body.

Consume Less Saturated and Trans Fat

Hydrogenated oil is a kind of trans fat that increases bad cholesterol and inflammation. Too much consumption of this along with saturated fat, will lead to plaque accumulation in the bloodstream. It’s best t avoid trans-fat and saturated fat for a healthier heart.

Stop Smoking

Smoking, secondhand or not, is bad not only for your lungs but also for your heart as well. It may be hard to quit smoking at first, but you’ll eventually get over it as long as you put discipline into action. Benefits of quitting smoking include lower heart rate, less risk of a heart attack, and slowing plaque build-up.

Exercise Regularly

To keep your heart healthy, it’s important to do physical activity every day or every week. Not only it is beneficial for your heart, but also your overall well being.

Stress Management

Letting stress control you will result in various health conditions, and most especially, stroke. That’s why stress management is a must to keep your physical and psychological health stable. Here are a few things you can do to manage stress:

  1. Meditating
  2. Visiting a mental health specialist
  3. Yoga
  4. Building a strong support network

As we said earlier, our heart is the most important organ in our body. That’s why it is crucial to keep it healthy and stable and ward off various health conditions. If you need professional help, consult your doctor to find a supplement that’s tailored to you. 

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