Everyone wants to live a healthy life, but sometimes an on-the-go lifestyle can make that goal extremely difficult. Energy levels wane, and times of stress and extra demands make it harder to eat well and get enough sleep. Over time, this can wreak havoc on the body and its functions, including the immune system.
It can all too easily become a vicious cycle of feeling low and trying to combat your fatigue with all of the wrong tools. People want a quick pick-me-up so they use caffeine as a stimulant, or they grab a donut for a sugar rush. This only makes sugar levels in the blood crash even harder later, leaving the person feeling worse than they did before and reaching for yet another cup of coffee or another donut.
Instead of repeating this detrimental cycle, try supplementing your routine with green tea instead of coffee. The properties of green tea are beneficial in so many ways! Green tea contains phytochemicals with wonderful antioxidants. Some researchers believe the antioxidant properties of green tea to be stronger than those found in fruits, vegetables and berries. Green tea also suppresses appetite, and this of course helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Finally, there is a calming effect for most green tea drinkers, and no danger of over-indulging in this supplement. There is a mild caffeine level in green tea, so one should be aware and not drink enough to become affected by the caffeine. For the most part, though, the benefits far surpass any possible negative element of green tea.
Another natural supplement that can contribute to a healthy life is vitamin E. Vitamin E is metabolized in fat, unlike some vitamins which are water soluble and leave the body soon after digestion. Because of this, you do not need to supplement with vitamin E as often or as heavily as you do with some other supplements. This vitamin is not found as readily in popular foods as some other vitamins such as vitamin C or vitamin A, which makes it a great candidate for supplementation. Vitamin E is important for good cardiovascular health, and is also a factor in healthy skin and nails. Some people have been known to use Vitamin E topically, as the capsules can be broken open and used directly on the skin to heal and soothe.
Whey protein is another supplement that you may not consider when you think of taking something ‘extra’ to meet your nutritional requirements. However, in this day of overloading with carbohydrates and eating fast foods, many people have a difficult time meeting their protein requirements for the day. This is not only true of vegetarians! It is very easy to mix up a protein shake in either milk or water; mixing it in milk adds about ten more grams of protein. While protein powders come in various forms such as egg protein, whey (milk) protein and soy protein, whey isolate is the most easily assimilated by the body and probably your best bet. It comes in delicious flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and even odd dessert flavors like cookies and crème. These shakes are tasty and low calorie, and offer upwards of 30 grams per shake along with a number of essential amino acids.
Another supplement gaining in popularity is probiotics, and with good reason. Probiotics are a great way to keep your intestines healthy. They help to maintain the good bacteria in a healthy digestive tract, and can replace the good bacteria in the colon that is lost through consumption of preservatives, toxic food substances and other environmental dangers. Some of these supplements need to be refrigerated, as the cultures are live and need to be kept in a certain temperature. However, you can find probiotics that are easily kept without refrigeration and have a longer shelf life.
The latest in supplements that pack a great nutritional punch are drinkable greens. Many people (try as they might) do not like the taste of vegetables and refuse to eat them despite their important role in a healthy diet. With greens in supplement form, you can get all of the benefits and antioxidant properties of a great number of vegetables in one shot. Some are available in pill form, but most are drinkable powders that offer up a wide array of vegetables, fruits, and other whole green foods into a serving the size of a tablespoon. The taste may take some getting used to, but the health benefits are worth making the adjustment. There are virtually no calories in greens you can drink, but they have more nutrient value than virtually anything else you can consume in such a small quantity!
These are just some of the important and basic supplements that, when incorporated into an otherwise healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise, can go a long way to help you live your healthiest and longest life possible. If you are new to the world of supplements, these few are a great place to start!
About the Author
Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about health, fitness and nutrition, often discussing specific products such as supplements .