In recent research conducted by Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse it was discovered that while 50 per cent of Australians class their lifestyle as ‘healthy’, 82 per cent don’t maintain a healthy diet and 66 per cent don’t do the recommended amount of exercise each week (3 x 30 minute sessions).
An unhealthy diet and limited exercise can have a variety of negative health outcomes. Heart disease is the number one killer in Australia, and is caused predominately by obesity. Liver disease, often caused by excessive drinking, currently affects more than six millions Australians. A weak immune system, often caused by a diet low in nutrients and high in sugars, fats and alcohol, can lead to regular illness, fatigue and allergies.
In order to combat these worrying trends, leading naturopath of Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse, Michael Jeffrey, has developed a list of all natural supplements that can be added to your everyday diet to assist in improving your body’s health and functionality, in turn leading to a healthier, happier, longer life.
Fish oil tablets – Boost metabolism and improve brain function
Fish oil tablets are proven to have a wide range of positive effects on the body, from reducing risk of heart disease to assisting in brain health and function.
Unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise lead to unwanted weight gain – often a contributor to heart disease, diabetes and a plethora of other health problems. Taking fish oil contributes to your metabolism is processing food at an optimum rate, which assists with weight loss and in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
Take milk thistle to improve liver function
One of the most enjoyable things in life is sharing a few drinks with family or friends. Sadly, excessive drinking is also a good way of increasing your chances of liver disease. Making sure your liver is working at its optimum level will mean that alcohol is processed as efficiently as possible and your body can recover quickly. Milk thistle has long been recognised as an herbal supplement that detoxifies and protects vital liver functions. It works by blocking harmful toxins from the liver, and helping remove these toxins. It also helps by accelerating the regeneration of damaged liver tissue.
Another good way to protect your liver is to avoid taking paracetamol or acetaminophen (Tylenol) while or after drinking alcohol. These medicines are processed by the liver, and after alcohol it is under enough pressure without adding further work for it to do. If you really need painkillers – stick with Ibuprofen.
Lower your blood pressure with spirulina
Spirulina is often touted as the most complete food source in the world, containing over 100 different nutrients. Made from blue green algae, spirulina has been shown to regulate blood pressure in both men and women aged 18-65. This can minimise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease – outcomes we all want to avoid.
Spirulina is also very high in protein, so is a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans who are looking for alternative ways to subsidise their protein intake without meat.
Get a natural energy boost with Maca powder (instead of caffeine!)
Some mornings you just need a little bit of help getting ready to face the day. Many people head straight to the coffee machine or to an energy drink, both of which use caffeine for an energy boost. However high caffeine consumption can have a host of negative side effects, including nervousness, irritability, insomnia, an upset stomach, muscle tremors, and an irregular heartbeat. As well as this, it can cause short term blood pressure spikes, making it potentially dangerous for people with high blood pressure.
Instead of your morning coffee, or a 3pm energy drink, try including Maca powder into your diet.
Maca powder is a ground up root that is well known for its health benefits, in particular an increase in energy levels and stamina. Just half a teaspoon day mixed in with a smoothie or juice or over cereal can provide you with the energy to get through the late nights and early mornings we all face from time to time, without the nasty side effects of caffeine.
Strengthen your immune system with Vitamin D
Late nights, excessive alcohol, an indulgent diet and contact with large numbers of other people are all key contributors to a worn down immune system, which can lead to any number of illnesses. The last thing you want is to get sick, so make sure you protect your immune system by getting enough essential vitamins.
While most vitamins can be linked to improved immunity, vitamins A and D are key contributors in staving off illness and infection.
The best ways to get these vitamins is naturally, through foods like sweet potato, carrots, green leafy vegetables, mango and tuna and through 20-25 minutes of exposure to sunlight a day (after you have slip slop slapped!). Otherwise, vitamin supplements can also help make up for any deficiencies in your diet. We would recommend a multi vitamin that contains 100 per cent of the RDI (recommended daily intake) of the included vitamins- any more than that is a waste.
These supplements are not substitutes for healthy eating and regular physical activity, but will assist in optimising your health irrelevant of external lifestyle choices. As with any medication, should you experience any negative side effects to any of the featured supplements, cease use and see a health care professional.
This article was written by Michael Jeffrey. He is a leading naturopath for Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse. He is an expert in the fields of natural health and alternative treatments.
What supplements do you take regularly? Which have you seen the best results from? Tell us below.