Dietary supplements do more than fill nutrition gaps in a less-than-perfect diet. Between botanicals and therapeutic doses of vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients, supplements feed your body’s support system that targets a range of health concerns.
We sussed out hundreds of products to find the cream of the crop supplements from companies that are doing it with quality, transparency and integrity. If you could use an assist in any of the following two dozen areas, take this list to your local health food store and fill up your basket with the goodness that nature intended.
Bitters are an old-world digestive support that are making a comeback—enough so that we created this new bitters-only category. About 10 or 15 minutes before a meal, drop four drops into your mouth, hold briefly to savor the complex flavors and then swallow. Everything will go down easier.
Science Says: bitters increase digestive juices and stimulate the “rest and Digest" system. (Mcmullen, 2015)
We also love:
Vitamin K2 (not to be confused with vitamin K1) is the forgotten vitamin, but it’s becoming better known for its role in both bone and cardio health. That’s because K2 helps the body properly place calcium—in your bones and not in your soft tissues like arteries. Plus, 400 mg magnesium is healthy for more than just bones. It also benefits your cardiovascular and digestive systems.
Science says: Vitamin K2 improves flexibility of hardened arteries. (Vossen, 2015)
Nordic has taken its expertise in omega-3s and formulated a brain-health juggernaut that starts with a high concentrate of 560 mg DHA (a major fat in the brain). It also has 280mg of EPA, which studies suggest is more influential on behavior and mood. It includes brain-health ingredient huperzine A, a neurotransmitter that increases levels of acetylcholine and that Traditional Chinese Medicine uses to enhance memory.
And it’s topped off with a patented curcumin that boasts published studies showing it improves sustained attention, working memory and mood.
Science says: Longvida curcumin (a proprietary form) improved working memory and mood in healthy older adults. (Cox, 2015)
This herbal formula restores regular bowel movements, reduces bloating and water retention, and does it quickly. It’s free of GMOs, gluten, soy, dairy, tree nuts and artificial ingredients.
A healthy jolt of vitamin B12 boosts energy by helping the body convert food to glucose, which the body uses as energy. You also need B12 to produce red blood cells and to sustain your nervous system. We especially like the gummy, which makes taking your B12 a snap.
Science says: If you are over age 50, the Institute of Medicine recommends you get extra B12 from a supplement.
CoQ10 is the energy source used by each cell’s power plant, the mitochondria. Because the heart is the body’s most-used muscle, there are a lot of mitochondria there. That makes coQ10 perhaps the best single ingredient for heart health. Other hearty cardio ingredients contained herein include fish oil, hawthorn and gsleinkgo. All in all, a solid heart-health supplement.
Science says: 100 mg coQ10 improved physical function and symptoms like fatigue and insomnia in Gulf War vets. (Golomb, 2014)
There are a lot of choices when figuring out which supplement you’d like to help your immune defenses. Bluebonnet takes the guesswork out by giving you just about everything in two capsules: vitamins A, C and D; zinc; ten different plant defenders, including elderberry and echinacea.
Science says: 15 milligrams of zinc daily can cut the duration of a cough and runny nose in children. (Rerksuppaphol, 2013)
We like curcumin for its ability to temper the body’s inflammation response, which is the underlying mechanism at the heart of so many chronic diseases. And we love that you can now take it in a yummy chewable form that’s flavored with cinnamon. Supplements have never tasted so good!
Science says: Curcumin cuts inflammation, and fast. (Yang, 2015)
Specially designed for men, this product proved to increase collagen content in joints in a double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial on men. This validated subjects’ reports of joint discomfort relief, increased range of motion and greater flexibility.
People of every age benefit from the omega-3s DHA and EPA, and a half-teaspoon of Beginner’s DHA provides 400 mg EPA and 250 mg DHA. But a little-known fact is that one’s chances of succumbing to osteoporosis as an elderly person is predicated on peak bone mineral density as a late adolescent. We’ve been saying for some time that supplement companies need to put vitamin K2 in children’s formulations for just this reason and Wiley’s finally did it—and in a liquid, not a hard-to-swallow pill.
Science Says: for building strong bones, consider increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamins k1 and k2. (o'keefe, 2016).
If you’re a man and you get old enough, sooner or later you’ll succumb to prostate problems. This comprehensive formulation starts off with a proper dose of saw palmetto, and then supplements that with seven other botanicals like pumpkin seed and nettles, which help maintain normal urine flow and other elements of holistic prostate support.
Science says: Saw palmetto with the leading prostate drug is better than the drug alone. (Ryu, 2015)
Multis have diversified—a one-a-day for everyone in the family is so 20th century. Why not get one specifically for women? Furthermore, how about one to support your energy with adaptogenic herbs? And maybe to also give you extra support for digestive issues? Rainbow Light has done all that for you. We thank them for that.
Science says: Adaptogenic herbs can improve your ability to cope with stress. (Seely, 2007)
While official "meal replacement" powders typically have more than 200 calories, this one has only 180 and just 9 grams of carb. It's chock full of 25 grams of vegan protein, MCT oils that keep you feeling full longer, three servings of fruits and veggies, probiotics, and a range of plant-based vitamins and minerals. Smoothie up!
Science says: medium-chain triglycerides make you feel fuller longer and reduce food intake. (Coleman, 2016)
This vegan-sourced, algae-derived omega-3 is full-on DHA in a unique spray delivery (600 mg DHA per squirt) that’s flavored with organic pineapple and citrus by Ora’s in-house chef. This company is the future of supplements.
This broad-spectrum formulation soothes everyday aches and pains while relaxing muscles and quieting mental chatter. It contains ingredients that target anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation and headaches.
Your pup will dig this high-potency, multistrain probiotic formula for dogs, containing 20 billion CFUs of friendly bacteria for Fido from 10 probiotic strains. Get a capsule down your pup’s throat in your favorite way, or open the capsule and sprinkle the powder on Fifi’s food. Organic acacia fiber is also used as a prebiotic source to make the probiotics more viable.
Human studies have found that myo-inositol, a B-complex vitamin, can improve ovulary function, in particular in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. These unflavored, individual powder packets also contain folic acid, which protects against neural tube defects. Combined, this might just be the ticket to getting you where you want to be.
Get your goat on, and worry not about dairy sensitivities or allergies. Two scoops—either in vanilla honey flavor or unflavored and unsweetened—bring you 22 grams of protein, sourced from small family farms in Wisconsin.
The two top health complaints of Americans are lack of energy and sleep. You can’t get one without the other. This powder stack contains magnesium, L-theanine—the relaxation amino acid—and melatonin. Combined, it should promote the rapid onset of sleep, improve sleep quality, and lead to deeper and more refreshing zzz’s. This can be easily stirred into a glass of water before bedtime.
Science says: Melatonin lowers blood pressure as it improves sleep in older people. (Gubin, 2016)
Attention, sports enthusiasts! This is the complete package: amino acids and creatine for energy, electrolytes and the patented Sustamine ingredient for stamina, and a passel of vitamins and antioxidants for recovery. Add a small scoop to your water bottle and off you go.
Science says: Creatine improves maximal muscle strength. (Wang, 2016)
Science says: Sustamine wards off exhaustion during strenuous exercise. (McCormack, 2015)
What do we want? Serenity! When do we want it? Now! Master herbalist David Winston has formulated this tincture that addresses stress and anxiety without causing drowsiness or depression. Take a dropperful three or four times a day for as long as it takes to get you down off that ledge.
Science says: Eleuthero is an adaptogen that can modulate the stress response. (Gaffney, 2001)
The pioneer of greens has been doing slow-grown wheatgrass right for more than 40 years. This is not the low-quality wheatgrass you see growing in trays at your local smoothie joint. This is high-quality organic wheatgrass, organic alfalfa and organic hemp, along with a little stevia to round out the taste.
Science says: Wheatgrass shows antioxidant effects, benefits immunity, and fights obesity, diabetes and colitis. (Bar-Sela, 2015)
You say UTI, I say cranberries. CRAN d’Or is a special type of cranberry that dispenses with the juice and contains 135 mg per serving of the all-important proanthocyanidins. This drink mix powder provides four times more antioxidants than pure cranberry juice and is made without solvents. Bonus: A select handful of other botanicals help your urinary tract even more.
Science says: High-proanthocyanidin cranberry supps can prevent Urinary Tract Infections. (Occhipinti, 2016)
Supplements cannot legally claim to treat diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but this powder product gives a wink and a nod with its IBS formula, which stands instead for the nondisease-state improved bowel support. 100 billion CFUs of eight different probiotic strains does a lot, but that’s not the half of it—it’s also laden with a lot of fiber and a generous helping of gut-friendly vitamins, minerals and herbs.
Science says: Certain specific probiotic strains can decrease diarrhea (Majeed, 2016), constipation (Eskesen, 2015) and abdominal discomfort (Choi, 2015) in IBS patients.
Delicious Living’s 2017 #Supplement Awards from @deliciousliving
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