Even if you eat a healthy diet, there are some health supplements you might want to take. Especially as you age, your body might not absorb certain nutrients or make the same amount as it once did. This is where supplements can help us stay healthy and thrive.
Some supplements are well-known to everyone like vitamin C, but other supplements are not as well-known and can be a benefit to your health and worth the money.
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our body makes vitamin D when we’re in the sun. But many people today are deficient in vitamin D. You could be deficient if you aren’t in the sun enough, wear sunscreen, or live in a northern area (above 30 degrees latitude) where the sun is too low during the winter.
Vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium, and to balance sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Vitamin D also boosts the immune system and regulates the neuromuscular system.
The VITAL study found that it does not prevent cancer, but that vitamin D might decrease the likelihood of metastasis, and keep cancer from being aggressive. The study also suggested vitamin D can reduce the risk of dying from cancer.
Other studies have found that vitamin D can protect us from the flu and other acute respiratory illnesses by as much as 50%. There is vitamin D2 and vitamin D3, with D3 being the best to take. A daily supplement of 2,000 IU is safe.
Vitamin K2 is a fairly new supplement to hit the health market. Vitamin K2 is different than vitamin K and functions differently in the body. We get plenty of vitamin K by eating green vegetables like broccoli, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, but K2 is harder to get through our diet.
There are several types of vitamin K2 known as menaquinones (MK) and ranges from MK4 through MK13, with the most interest in MK-4 and MK-7. Researchers now believe we should view vitamin K (or K1) differently than we do vitamin K2.
The main benefit of vitamin K2 is that it directs calcium in the body to where it belongs and keeps it from going where it doesn’t belong. Calcium belongs in the teeth and bones, not as plaque in the arteries or as kidney stones.
A study conducted in the Netherlands found that vitamin K2 is inversely related to heart disease and could be important for the prevention of cardiac heart disease (CHD).
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is made by our body, and present in every cell. As we age, the production of CoQ10 decreases, and by the age of 20, it is already starting to drop. It is vital for the production of cellular energy and a deficiency of this nutrient can cause a lack of energy and stamina.
If you take statins, you already know the importance of taking CoQ10, since statins reduce the amount of it in our body. CoQ10 is important to the health of our heart and can prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of inflammation markers.
If you’re interested in better digestion or how to block lectins, digestive enzymes could be for you. Each of the food groups we eat like beans, grains, meats, and vegetables all take specific enzymes to digest properly. If our gut doesn’t have enough of the right enzymes, we could have bloating, gas, or indigestion. Taking digestive enzymes could help relieve your digestive issues.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
About 70% of our immune system is in the gut or gastrointestinal tract, and having good gut bacteria is important for our overall health. Taking probiotics can help populate our gut with the good gut bacteria necessary for a strong immune system.
Prebiotics are the foods that cause the good gut bacteria to grow and multiply. In addition to eating plant foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, taking a prebiotic supplement can ensure that the good gut bacteria continue to thrive. You can take them as a separate supplement or both probiotic and prebiotic in the same supplement.