Friday, March 4, 2011

Getting to know the basics...

Today's post will be by Alina's best friend, Adrienne, who hails from Texas but currently resides in California.

Hello! To give you a little background info about me, I'm a certified yoga instructor with a masters in American Art and Literature now working as a supplement counselor in southern California.  While this isn't my first time working with natural health, I continually learn new things everyday, especially as trends come and go (Atkins anyone?).  Vitamins and supplements can be tricky and overwhelming as we start self-diagnosing all the things we'd like to improve, but there are three basics I recommend to everyone for foundational health: a good probiotic, your omegas, and a multivitamin.
Working in the natural food industry has always been an interesting place full of interesting people- the jocks, the old women with flaming red hair that want to live forever, mothers who want their children to be perfect, and then the rest of the normals who just want to take care of themselves day to day.  For those of us in that last category, there are some basics that everyone can benefit from.  
We'd like to think we can eat healthily enough to get our vitamins and minerals, but with the stresses of everyday life and overproduction of foods, we actually miss out on a lot of those vitamins and minerals our body craves.  This is where a good multivitamin comes in. 

Then there are the omegas: your fish oils, primrose oils, borage oils, and flaxseed oils.  Generally, go for fish oils (the best are derived from smaller fish: anchovies, sardines, etc., but salmon's always a good choice as well.  Less chance of mercury poison in these.).  But if you're a vegetarian or vegan go for flaxseed oils.  When you look for a good omega, look at the back and look at the amount of DHA's and EPA's.  DHA is for your neural tissue; builds up your brain, etc.  Then EPA is for your heart, skin, and hair health. 

Lastly, your probiotic: the good bacteria in your digestive system.  With all of the antibiotics that we take and the overprocessed foods, the good bacteria that helps us digest our food gets wiped out and we get left with all sorts of digestive problems.  With a good probiotic, the flora in your system gets replaced and your system gets a boost in the right direction. 

Of course, all of these will vary according to quality and cost, but just know that most of the time you get what you pay for.  All in all, though, it's better to have something than nothing.  

What do you take to keep you healthy?

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