Hello guys! I hope you have an amazing beginning of the week, as today I am sharing with you my natural pick-me-ups! Last week I did an Instagram poll asking if you would like me to do a full blog post about the natural supplements I take, and to my surprise, all of you said yes!
I love so much natural ‘medicine’ and I am super excited that you are interested as well. Since childhood, I had to take antibiotics every 3-4 months for 20 years due to severe flu and a barely existent immune system and now I am at a point where I didn’t need antibiotics for more than 2 and a half years!
I feel it’s also important to mention that although these supplements are beneficial for everyone, they are tailored according to my body’s needs. Throughout the years I had a low level of antioxidants and a low immune system and more recently I developed hypothyroidism, that came with dairy and wheat intolerances. The following supplements help me deal with these conditions in a natural, healthy way.
So if you want to give your immune system a boost this summer I highly recommend this lovely combination of plants, roots and algae!
This deep green-blue powdered algae is quite a striking superfood and there’s no disputing in its nutritional status. As one of the oldest life forms on earth, spirulina consists of single-celled organisms that produce protein, carbs and vitamins as algae, making up as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Spirulina is packed with beta carotene, iron, amino acids, antioxidants, complex B vitamins while it is also low in fat and sodium, making it easy to digest. Also, what is good for us on the inside often equates to what is beneficial for our skin; and spirulina is no exception. Antioxidants such as vitamin E contained within the algae help to eliminate free radicals, while the chlorophyll, which gives spirulina its beautiful, rich colour has cleansing properties which can also help your skin to retain moisture.
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and it is a very strong antioxidant. Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions. Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects. In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can contribute to healthy digestion and also be
used as a healing agent. Now Western medicine has begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability (caused mainly by gluten).
Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China and it belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal. Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few. One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain, sport-induced muscle pain and inflammation.
Girls! In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Ashwagandha is an ancient, medicinal herb that is incredibly healthy. It is also an ‘adaptogen’ meaning that it helps your body and brain managing stress. Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumour growth. (By the way, most diseases are a cause of inflammation in the body.) Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers reported that it blocked the stress pathway by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system, drastically reducing the cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Adaptogens, in general, have been scientifically proven to modulate hormone balances in the body, so naturally taking one of these herbs will assist with an underactive thyroid. Surprisingly enough, it will also work if you have an overactive thyroid, encouraging your thyroid to produce more or fewer hormones depending on your needs.
Guggul is known by the Sanskrit name “Guggulu,” which means, “protects from disease.” It has been traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions such as obesity, hypolipidemia, inflammation and acne. Guggul works very effectively to purify the blood, promoting healthy cholesterol levels and scraping toxins from the circulatory system. Guggul supplements have also the ability to regulate thyroid function and improve hypothyroidism, according to a study published in the January 2005 issue of the journal "Phototherapy Research." Dr. Richard B. Kreider, the author of the book "Exercise and Sport Nutrition," also states that guggulsterone, found in guggul, have the ability to increase the output of the thyroid gland and stimulate the conversion of the T4 thyroid hormone into its more active T3 form.
More and more studies show that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease. Probiotics include "good" bacteria, which are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed. These benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. Over one million people in the US and 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Certain types of probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis. Probiotics also help give your immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria.