I’ve never been the type take supplements. In my opinion, they had always seemed rather useless, and I often didn’t want to spend money on them when I could buy delicious food with that money instead. And for some supplements, I still feel that way. But over the past few years, I’ve tried three different supplements that have actually made a huge difference in my health.
I will admit that although these supplements have added useful and necessary nutrients to my daily routine, I think the main reason they have made such a difference in my health is that they have helped me focus more on my overall diet and the types of nutrients (or lack of nutrients) I was giving my body through the foods I was eating. In a way, they helped me refocus on what’s important in my diet.
Here are the three supplements I took and still love today. And for more healthy eating tips, read I ate like the longest living people in the world.
I took a probiotic supplement
In 2018, I was battling constant stomach issues. After seeing a doctor about it, they concluded that many of my symptoms sounded like “leaky gut”. Leaky gut, which can’t really be tested at all, is what can happen if your gut barrier weakens over time, allowing more toxins to seep into your body.
Healing Leaky Gut Is Possible, it just requires a few changes in your diet to rebuild that gut barrier. My doctor suggested I improve my gut health this way by eating more probiotics AND prebiotics.
Prebiotics are fibers that help healthy bacteria in your gut grow, while probiotics are actually live bacteria that can contribute to existing bacteria in your gut microbiome. Together, these two are known for help repair and restore your gut healthso I definitely wanted to try.
Foods rich in prebiotics are easy to find and are found in many fruits and vegetables. Probiotics, however, are found in more fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha, things that I don’t usually eat a lot in my daily diet. I wanted to make sure I could get enough prebiotics and probiotics, so I decided to eat prebiotic-rich foods and supplement the probiotics with a pill instead.
The combination of taking a probiotic supplement regularly, while focusing more on consuming prebiotics and maintaining a balanced, nutrient-dense diet, cured my gut issues much faster than I could have. ‘to imagine.. You can find probiotic supplements just about anywhere, but this is one I liked and would recommend:
I started using protein powder
Like many people, I find it difficult to get enough protein in my diet throughout the day. Before I started paying attention to how much protein I was getting, I found myself lazy and hungry all the time. I had tons of food cravings and didn’t feel full after most of the meals I ate.
After learning that I wasn’t eating enough protein, I decided to start putting in more. high protein foods in as many meals as possible. While it certainly helped, I still struggled to meet my protein goals, especially during seasons of life when I was more active or on the go.
Supplementing protein using protein powder has really been a game changer for me. It gave me something to throw in a smoothie or my yogurt bowl in the morning, so I could always have a protein boost even on my busiest days. However, like most supplements, I had to make sure that wasn’t the only time of day I focused on my protein levels.
My protein powder never replaces the protein I get from balanced meals throughout the day, it just gives me a boost when I need it. There are so many protein powders on the market with their own unique benefits, but I really appreciate the herbal one:
I learned more about Lion’s Mane
The use of mushrooms as supplements is still a hotly debated topic in the medical world. Some people are well aware of the potential benefits of these mushrooms, while others call it a bluff. But based on my experience with Lion’s Mane (one of the most common mushroom supplements), I have seen significant changes.
Lion’s mane contains two compounds, erinacins and hericenones, which have been shown to help in the growth of brain cells. For this reason, people continue to research Lion’s Mane’s effect on older people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
These mushroom compounds are also known to help with things like brain fog, memory, and mild symptoms of anxiety and depression. I tried Lion’s Mane capsules for the first time in 2020, and after taking them regularly for about four months, I really felt a huge difference in my brain fog levels and information retention. However, I didn’t really feel any changes in the symptoms of anxiety or depression.
It’s hard to say if it was the Lion’s Mane that contributed to my brain fog, or if the supplements acted more as a motivation to pay attention to areas of my diet that might be contributing. Taking Lion’s Mane on a regular basis gave me more motivation to take care of my cognitive health and make changes where I could, like trying to eat less added sugar or limiting my alcohol intake during the week of work.
If you want to try them for yourself, I recommend this brand:
Overall, these supplements have made a huge difference to my health and I’m glad I tried them. They may be worth looking into if you have similar issues, but it’s always important to speak with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet!