Health | May 23rd 2017

Vitamin & Supplement Cheat Sheet

With the rise in supplements and the recent trend in “cool girl vitamins,” it’s so hard to know what is actually beneficial and what is just a gimmick. Will taking 20 vitamins a day really make me look like Miranda Kerr? Will adding 5 powders to my smoothie make me feel motivated and balanced? Or is it all a waste of money? The important thing to remember is that everyone’s body is different, which means that the types of vitamins people need will also vary hugely depending on one’s diet, genetic makeup and even geography. At HBFIT, we want to take the guesswork out of supplements and develop a go-to spot for daily vitamins that are safe and beneficial for everyone, although, as always, you should consult your doctor before starting any new regimen!

Vitamins for Every Day:

Multi-vitamin: Multivitamins are a great way to get a range of essential vitamins first thing in the morning that can help boost energy levels, support healthy cell function and correct nutritional deficiencies. It is hard to go wrong with a basic multivitamin as your body will absorb what it needs and get rid of what it has enough of. However, if you keep a well-rounded diet and you’re in good health you can most likely skip the multi-v!

Fish Oil/Omega-3s: Fish oil is a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are often difficult to get in an average diet. Fish oil supplements help support overall health, and can have specific benefits for heart health, mental disorders, eye health, inflammation, skin and hair health, as well as liver health.

Vitamin D3: We’re am sure any of us living in a city like Manhattan that experiences excruciatingly cold winters can testify to a level of the winter blues, whether feeling a bit down or just having a little bit less energy than usual. These are all symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, which is, understandably, more common in colder and darker months. Think of Vitamin D as the sunshine vitamin that promises summer emotions all year round when maintained at health levels.

Sick Day: 

Echinacea: This herb is usually found in tea (hello, Whole Foods tea aisle). It’s taste can take a little getting used to, or you can find it mixed with elderberry and hit two birds with one stone.

Elderberry: Elderberry is the grown-up version of the delicious pink drink your parents would give you when you had a cold when you were a kid. The only difference is it’s a much deeper purple and much better for you. Try these gummies to get your boost!

Olive Leaf Extract: Olive Leaf Extract is known for its disease-fighting characteristics and antioxidant levels that help boost the immune system and naturally encourage your body to fight off your cold.

Oil of Oregano: Similar to Olive Leaf Extract, Oil of Oregano is most useful to improving respiratory and immune system health.

Garlic: Garlic is a superhero for people fighting colds and can help speed up the healing process, whilst also minimizing cold symptoms. Garlic can be added to food or taken as a supplement.

Fighting Inflammation:

Inflammation is the body’s response to any kind of injury or stress, and can occur in any part of the body in many different forms. For example, when you injure your arm, your arm becomes inflamed. Similarly, if you are stressed, you can experience indigestion, which can also be traced back to a type of inflammation. Stress is an important regulator of inflammation levels in the body, but there are also certain supplements you can take to help reduce and prevent this inflammation. The HBFIT team has compiled an exhaustive list of supplements that can help you take control of the inflammation in your body:

Turmeric: Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that plays an important role in repairing damage caused by inflammation. Turmeric can be added to meals (surprisingly tastes amazing in pasta), as well as taken in the form of a tablet. Turmeric also has amazing benefits on the brain, such as preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine to help manage depression.

Fish oils/Omega-3s and vitamin D3: Both of these daily supplements also have anti-inflammatory benefits that help support and regulate overall wellbeing.

Ginger: Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. It also acts as an anti-oxidant, counteracting free radicals.

Green tea: Green tea contains high levels of catechin polyphenols which make it a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has been known for its anti-cancer benefits, helping the body fight infection.

Noni Juice: Noni juice, a superfruit high in anti-oxidants, combats inflammation and is known to help with joint pain and skin conditions. It can also help reduce cholesterol.

Black Walnut: The flavonoids, quinones, and polyphenols found in black walnuts are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, promoting healthy skin, heart health, healthy digestion, and antimicrobial activity.

Spirulina: Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae with strong antioxidant effects, reduces inflammation, combats aging and strengthens the immune system.

Bromelain: Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme found in pineapple, helps reduce inflammation in the body and is great for athletes or active people as it helps soothe and relaxe tense, inflamed muscles and connective tissue.

Tart Cherry Juice: Cherry juice, high in potassium, flavonoids, and other nutrients and anti-oxidants, helps with post-workout recovery, reducing swelling and inflammation. It can also boost immunity and metabolism.

Brain Game: 

The HBFIT team really believes in the powers of adaptogens & herbs to help keep our minds clear and focused and keep our energies balanced. Adaptogens are natural herbs and supplements that work with our bodies to help us adapt; most notably, to stress. Adaptogens work with our minds to deal with persistent stress and fatigue because they help regulate important hormones. Here is a list of the ones we take that we believe do really work!

Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps with high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms with anxiety or exhaustion. It enhances endocrine function, especially the thyroid and adrenals.

Reishi: According to myth, this mushroom powder was traditionally used in Eastern medicine to “nourish the heart and pacify the spirit.” It balances hormones, helping support immunity and stress relief, improving liver function, aiding in detoxification, and helping to fight allergies and asthma.

Cordyceps: This mushroom powder supports athletic, mental, and sexual performance. It’s also known to help with muscle tone!

Chaga: Known as the King of Plants, Chaga, also a mushroom powder, is a powerful adaptogen acting as a strong source of energy and promoting a well-being.

Rhodiola: This herb kills it when it comes to helping you focus. A super brain oxygenator, it relieves stress and provides mental clarity.

Bacopa: Also an Ayuverdic herb, Bacopa can improve your mood and cognitive function.

Mucuna Pruriens Powder: This dopamine bean extract enhances brain function, elevates mood, and soothes the nervous system.

Anandamide: This blend of cacao and herbs promotes your thought process and can help play a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory and fertility management.

Magnesium: Magnesium is known to calm nerves and anxiety, prevent migraines, aid in sleep, and increase energy.

Skin & Hair:

Warning! There is a lot of JUNK out there advertising the benefits for your hair and skin. Here is what we know to actually work for us.

Tocotrienols: Also known as tocos, this powder of rice bran solubles is an incredible super food and source of Vitamin E. It does an amazing job helping remove toxins from the body and promoting healthy skin and healing.

Astaxanthin: A powerful antioxidant that actually gives coral its pretty pink color, it is known to help heart health, prevent wrinkles and aging, and fight stress in the muscles.

Biotin: This classic hair & nail booster helps stimulate growth and is great for those with brittle nails or thin hair.

Astragalus: This root powder has strong anti-aging benefits, boosting metabolism & digestion and healthy skin.

Collagen: Collagen has amazing benefits, and improving the condition of your skin, hair, and nails is just the beginning. It helps aid leaky gut syndrome, improves joint health, produces energy, and boosts your metabolism. It also helps with digestion and detox, which brings us to…

Digestion & Detox:

Truly, we feel your best you comes from the inside. It’s important to be in tune with your gut as it dictates so many other factors including stress, skin, and energy levels. These are our tried and true friends when it comes to gut health.

Probiotics: Doctors like Alejandro Junger have been championing the importance of gut health for a while. A probiotic a day is a good way to promote gut health as a way to boost the immune system, improve digestion, energy, and even improve acne.

Chlorella: Chlorella is a freshwater, single-celled alga that contains antioxidants, including vitamin C and carotenoids, as well as high concentrations of B-complex vitamins and iron. It helps the body absorb the nutrients it needs, supporting the digestive cycle and nourishing organs.

Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is found in Chlorella, it is what gives it its bluish-green color. It helps liver detoxification, and the digestive system while also improving skin health.

Pine Pollen: Known to support hormonal balance, it improves endurance and boosts libido while also aiding in detox.

He Shou Wu: He Shou Wu has a long history of acting as a rejuvenation tonic, benefiting the endocrine glands, nourishing the blood, and enhancing immune function.

Beetroot: Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Dandelion Root: Dandelion root has aided in digestion and detox for years, acting as a diuretic to keep the kidneys clear and a mild laxative to help boost metabolism, stimulate appetite, and balance the natural bacteria in the stomach.

Selenium: Selenium improves blood function and immunity, regulates thyroid function, and maintains a healthy immune system.

Matcha!!!: As you all know, the entire HBFIT team is matcha ADDICTED! And for good reason. Matcha gives you a clear, focused energy while also helping to boost your metabolism and increase digestive function. Plus 15% off with code HBFIT here!