OK In Health - Body Plus

The Foundation of Supplementation - March 2012

By Elaine Munro

The importance of investing in our health is something we all need to remember. While the intricate details of what we consume and the activities we engage in are of obvious significance, the need for supplementation is often overlooked. Health food stores are filled with hundreds of products with almost countless applications. While there are condition-specific supplements required for some people, these top 5 foundation supplements will cover the bases for most. They address the significant nutritional concerns of a contemporary lifestyle including pH level, bone density, hormonal balance, free radical defense, cardiovascular protection, immune function, and cholesterol levels.

  • Multivitamin and mineral Choose a formula that considers age, gender and level of activity and avoid the old-fashioned “one size fits all” formulas, the high potency one-a-day tablet, and the time-released versions. Choose a multi in a vegetable based capsule, designed to be taken more frequently to ensure optimal absorption and nourishment.

  • Green food supplement A single serving of a quality greens formula is equivalent to six to eight servings of vegetables. They are highly alkaline and are packed with phytochemicals and trace nutrients that keep us well. Look for a comprehensive formula that includes vegetables from many different sources. Additional EFA’s, probiotics, fibre and digestive support are also welcome additions.

  • Calcium Men, women, and post menopausal women all have very different calcium needs, so choose a product that considers both age and gender. Look for a formula that combines isolated and botanical sources of calcium in order to provide the greatest synergy. A large dose taken once will not offer all day protection, nor will it be efficiently absorbed. As a dose exceeds 400 to 500mg, the body’s ability to utilize calcium is impaired, and much of it is wasted. Taking a lower potency 2 or 3 times a day is a much more beneficial.

  • Fish oil capsule High quality fish oils are a complementary array of multiple molecularly distilled small, cold water fish. The ideal fish oil also offers gender specific formulas with specific ratios and additional ingredients designed to satisfy the unique nutritional requirements of men and women.

  • Berry Concentrate


Despite their more pleasant taste, fruits and berries are neglected nearly as often as vegetables. They are loaded with phytonutrients, polyphenols and natural antioxidants. If a green food supplement represents everything nutritious and wonderful about vegetables, then a berry supplement is equivalent to everything in fruit. The perfect strategy is to consume both a berry and a green food supplement every day. However, they digest in conflict with each other, and should be taken separately. We should all do our best to eat well and exercise regularly, but taking advantage of these foundation supplements equally as important. They offer the greatest compliment to your diet and the greatest impact on your overall health and well being. Health is the foundation our lives are built upon. Find the time and make the effort; the rewards are enormous.


Elaine MunroElaine's Bio: An active businesswoman and training athlete, who conducts seminars focusing on active lifestyle & healing nutrition, as well as raising consumer awareness about the natural health industry. - Elaine Munro Website


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Recipe
Tuscan Leek, Potatoe & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
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