Choosing a healthier lifestyle can be exciting and overwhelming because of the countless options and advice available. Some say eating a balanced diet is the key to better health, while others swear by certain mineral and vitamin supplements. Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, some essential nutritional supplements and nutritious foods can help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
We’ve listed down some essential supplements and nutritious foods that support overall health:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are essential for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, helping to reduce inflammation, and promoting optimal heart health. Foods high in omega-3s include:
- Fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines, and tuna)
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts.
- Supplements like fish oil capsules
This vitamin helps with calcium absorption, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. It assists in regulating the immune system and promotes mental well-being too. Some excellent dietary sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, tuna, salmon, fortified milk and cereal, and mushrooms. But since many people don’t get enough sunlight to generate adequate amounts of vitamin D, taking a supplement is often necessary.
This mineral regulates muscle and nerve function, bone health, blood sugar levels, and energy metabolism. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard, are good sources of magnesium, as are avocados, legumes like peanuts and lentils, nuts like almonds and cashews, bananas, dark chocolate, and green tea.
Magnesium supplements can also be taken in the form of capsules or powders.
This acid is essential for proper hydration as it attracts water molecules from the environment and binds them to skin cells to help keep skin plump and moisturized. You can get hyaluronic acid from food sources, such as:
- Root vegetables
- Supplements like hyaluronic acid capsules
These are beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Good sources include:
Supplements also come in pill and powder forms, which can be added to drinks and food.
Fibers are essential for digestion, absorbing nutrients, and keeping us feeling fuller for longer periods. Excellent dietary sources of fiber include beans, legumes, vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, fruits like apples and bananas, and whole grains such as oats and barley.
In addition, green supplements are now becoming popular, as they provide concentrated amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can be added to smoothies or taken in a pill form to boost nutrition on the go.
These compounds protect the cells in our body from damage by free radicals caused by environmental stressors like pollution, ultraviolet radiation, and cigarette smoke. They can help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and promote overall health.
Some of the best dietary sources of antioxidants include:
- Dark leafy greens (spinach and kale)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
- Nuts & Seeds
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons)
- Green tea
Supplements are also available for those who want a more concentrated dose.
Note that these supplements and vitamins can also be sourced from some of the common pantry foods in your kitchen. These include cereal and oats, beans, nuts, and seeds.
The Bottom Line: Balanced Diet Is Key
Although certain supplements and nutritious foods can support overall health, having a well-rounded diet is key to a healthier lifestyle. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats in moderate amounts will give your body all the nutrients it needs for optimal health. Additionally, get regular physical activity and plenty of restful sleep.