Does your supplement regimen need a makeover? Update your family’s medicine cabinet with these natural health-enhancing products for people of all ages.
KIDS AND TEENS
What they are: Good bacteria found in supplement form or in fermented products such as yogurt.
What they do: Rev up the immune system after courses of antibiotics; help stymie diseases related to allergies, such as asthma and eczema; alleviate gastrointestinal troubles such as diarrhea.
Dose: Take 1 capsule of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (available in products such as Culturelle) daily. Or open it up and sprinkle over lukewarm food.
Omega-3 fatty acids
What they are: Polyunsaturated fats found in fatty cold-water fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
What they do: Boost brain function, sharpening vision, improve behavior in kids with ADHD, decrease the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Dose: 600 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (or DHA, a key omega-3) daily. Breastfed babies should get the DHA they need from mom’s milk if she consumes 600 mg every day, but infants who aren’t breastfed should receive 300 mg through fortified formula daily.
What it is: A nutrient found in eggs (282 mg per serving), cauliflower (22 mg per serving), or peanut butter (26 mg).
What it does: Particularly important for teens, choline builds a key neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, aids the proper metabolism of fats, and helps keep the liver healthy.
Dose: If your teen doesn’t regularly eat choline-rich foods, supplement with 425 mg for girls or 550 mg for boys daily.
WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE
What it is: An antioxidant vitamin produced by the body after exposure to sunlight; also found in fortified milk and cereal.
What it does: May guard against high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Dose: 1,000 IU daily
What it is: An essential mineral absorbed through food.
What it does: Essential to nerve function, calms anxiety and headaches, lowers blood pressure, reduces heart disease risk, and may protect against complications like preeclampsia and preterm delivery.
Dose: 310 mg daily; 360-400 mg while pregnant and 320-360 mg while breastfeeding
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)
What it is: In Ayurvedic medicine, this herb is prescribed for anxiety and memory disorders.
What it does: Bacopa shows promise for people with hypothyroidism, a condition most common in women who are over 50; stimulates thyroid function.
Dose: 2 ml in tincture form three times daily
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
What it is: An Ayurvedic, adaptogenic herb that helps tame inflammation and alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome.
What it does: Possesses anticancer and anti-anxiety properties, relieves the fatigue and widespread pain of fibromyalgia.
Dose: 1-2.5 ml in tincture form twice daily
Sutherlandia (Sutherlandia frutescens)
What it is: Amino acid-rich legume–also known as “cancer bush”–popular among Southern African herbalists for its antitumor properties.
What it does: Relives pain, anti-inflammatory, enhances mental health, reduces, stress and anxiety.
Dose: 400 mg of the leaf twice daily
Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
What it is: Flower extract.
What it does: Treats high blood pressure.
Dose: No dose specifications; drink it in tea or take in tincture form.
Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.
By Elizabeth Barker, Delicious Living