A selection of supplements to make every day easier...
You already know that a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains is the key to a healthier lifestyle but sometimes we're just not able to get all the vitamins and nutrients we need from our diet alone.
Occasionally, we've only got ourselves to blame (like when we eat more biscuits than broccoli) but often, we're faced with an unexpected health issue that requires an extra helping hand to fix. That's when the right supplement could work wonders.
Lacking in energy? Found that your hair and nails are noticeably lacklustre? Battling a nasty cold? Our round up of the best supplements for women could help.
The truth is that today a growing number of women are taking a cocktail of wonder supplements, juices and powders each day, in the daily pursuit of perfect health and eternal youth. From the energy boosting powder that combats tiredness, to the immunity building plant juice that speeds up your digestive system, the never-ending string of supplements on the market can be enticing.
We've complied a quick glossary containing the best supplements for women for everything from insomina and fatigue to anti-ageing and digestive help to make the whole process of better health a little less overwhelming...
Inner Me Daily 4 Me (opens in new tab) is a great place to start if you want to try supplementing your diet on a daily basis. Each box contains a four-week supply of multivitamins tailored to women in their teens and twenties, thirties and forties, and fifties and over, making them an equally great gift for friends and family. It's a real hassle-free way to make sure that you body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs at every stage in life.
Keep reading to find out more about our pick of the best supplements for women...
Vitamin D: Boosts your mood
Yesterday new guidelines released regarding vitamin D by the Public Health England (PHE), which advised that adults and children over the age of one should be getting a minimum of 10 micrograms (mcg) of the vital vitamin. Vitamin D is acquired through sunlight and aides our body in processing calcium which is essential for healthy bones. During the year our natural vitamin D levels rise and fall in relation to the weather and the varying number of daylight hours available to us. Just 10 minutes spent outside in warmer months is enough to keep your natural levels topped up. Chores such as walking the dog, watering the plants and washing the car are all simple ways to quickly soak up those essential rays. However during the winter months it can be hard to maintain so to avoid mild Seasonal Affective Disorder setting in take one supplement capsule (opens in new tab) before bed to ensure you are get your daily dose.
Turmeric: Improves skin tone
Turmeric – the golden spice commonly found in curries - is taking the beauty world by storm, thanks to its ability to give you glowing youthful skin. This ancient spice can help everything from acne to psoriasis to ageing skin. Sounds too good to be true? It’s all down to curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its yellow colour. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and can stimulate cellular antioxidant defenses, which in turn improves skin tone. If you aren’t a fan of the slightly bitter taste (or don’t want to splash out on expensive face creams), you can purchase turmeric supplements, such as Pukka Turmeric Active (opens in new tab), to reap the benefits of this anti-ageing spice.
Multivitamins: For an all round boost
If you only take one supplement, make it Swisse Womens Ultivite (opens in new tab), available to buy at Boots (opens in new tab). Containing a range of vitamins, minerals, extracts of natural botanics plus antioxidants and herbs, this multivitamin is specially tailored to help support the nutritional needs of women. Working as a booster for the immune system and helping to promote red blood cell formation as well as aiding heart function and bone maintenance, this genius multivitamin is the perfect component to balanced, healthy diet. It also contains zinc and vitamin C which will keep your skin plump and hair glossy. Just one tablet daily is all you need.
5HTP: Regulates sleep patterns
5HTP or 5-Hydroxytryptophan is a naturally derived amino acid which boosts serotonin and aides sleep. Minute quantities of 5HTP can be found in cheese and poultry, but to prop your levels up take one 50mg tablet (opens in new tab) an hour before bed.
B Vitamins: Healthy Hair and Nails
In the pursuit of thick glossy tresses and strong healthy nails? Pick up Imedeen Hair and Nails (opens in new tab)tablets from your local chemist. Packed with zinc, biotin and beauty enhancing B vitamins, this two month supply should kick-start a noticeable transformation just in time for Christmas.
Wheat Grass: Good all-rounder
Wheat Grass is a great way branch into supplements. An iron rich nutrient it contains energising chlorophyll, bone-nourishing calcium and anti-aging antioxidants. Slip one tsp of wheatgrass powder (opens in new tab) into your morning juice to reap the benefits.
Spirulina: Fights fatigue
The superfood of supplements, Spirulina is a rich source of protein, vitamins and iron, which helps fight fatigue and lower cholesterol. If you have a meat-free diet or are suffering from undue tiredness, try adding one tsp of spirulina powder (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) to a glass of water before meals.
Enchincea: Combats colds
Enchincea has long been used to fight the common cold and minor infections. However there has been much debate as to whether it's actually caplable of preventing a cold or just aides other medicines in speeding up the recovery. The medical studies are divided. Try it for yourself by taking 140mg of echinea (opens in new tab) a day and see if you manage to keep the sniffles at bay.
Omega 3: Keeps you young
Packed with potent anti-inflamatories, Omega 3 fatty acids are often used to reduce rosacea and improve uneven skintone. The essential oils leave skin looking healthier resulting in a more youthful appearance. Eggs, seafood and walnuts are all great sources which can be sifted into your diet but to really see the benefits take one 1200mg capsule (opens in new tab) with every meal.
Zinc: Maintains immunity
Zinc is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system and warding off colds but as it can't be produced by the body the only way to acquire it is through your diet. The good news is that some of our favourite foods including chocolate, cashews and spinach are all rich in this essential mineral. If you're a fussy eater don't fret, one 25g Holland & Barratt Zinc (opens in new tab) tablet before breakfast will do the trick.
Aloe Vera: Improves your digestive system
Native to Africa, Aloe Vera is a prickly green plant that produces an anti-inflammatory gel which when applied topically soothes sunburn and calms skin disorders. The yellow sap of the plant can be ingested and beauty enthusiasts swear by its ability to speed up digestion. See if it makes a difference to your metabolism by taking one 330mg tablet (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)or 50ml of juice (opens in new tab) a day.
Iron: Gives you energy
Iron helps to produce red blood cells and transport oxygen around the body and it also helps covert blood sugar into energy. But it can be lost through menstruation and exercise, causing anaemia. Visit your GP and ask them to check your iron levels if you are feeling fatigued, dizzy or are finding it hard to concentrate. Take Spatone Iron sachets (opens in new tab), which are much kinder on your stomach than tablets, but be careful not to over do it as too much iron can be as much of an issue.
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