I am FINALLY getting it together to give you guys the 411 on all the woo-woo potions and supplements I have been posting about over the past year. I used to be very unfamiliar with any type of non-western medicine, but have been researching and trying different things since nursing school started kicking my A$$ and I felt so unhealthy.
As my very good friend Jaime once replied to an insta-story on how I make my coffee, “I have to be honest, Aishi and that Rwanda are beyond me.” I TOTALLY GET IT. We can learn about this together 🙂
Every quarter of nursing school seems to compound on the one before when it comes to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. I have experienced muscle pain, nausea, complete exhaustion, and just an overall run-down feeling. I am also actively trying to handle some of my PCOS symptoms that are due to hormonal imbalance, and this is actually what got me started on my supplement train.
Here is a list of supplements (herbs, mushrooms, vitamins, and minerals) that I have been using for over a year. I’ve provided a bit of information on each, and you can click on the supplement to see the brand I use. I usually prefer powdered form when it comes to supplements, because it is so easy to add them to bulletproof coffee, smoothies, night-time teas, or even baked goods!
Ashwaganda: This is my favorite adaptogen so far, but let me warn you, this stuff is powerful! An adaptogen is a substance that helps your body adapt to stressful situations, calming the adrenals and your fight or flight response. It helps the body restore hormonal balance, and reduced the effects that stress has on the body, helping it adapt in times of stress. When I use this in combination with reishi, my body feels instantly calm and I get really sleepy, so I only use it at night.
Reishi: Reishi is known as the queen of mushrooms, or the mushroom of immortality. It has natural anti-aging properties and promotes longevity. It is also a wonderful adaptogen that calms the body during times of stress.
Chaga: I use this to boost my immune system. It contains B-vitamins and is a great anti-oxidant. I personally like to add this to morning coffee/green tea/smoothies.
He-Shou-Wu: Another mushroom that enhances mood and provides immune support. I usually do this in conjunction with Reishi in my bulletproof coffee.
Spirulina: This blue-green algae has amazing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a ton of easy to digest protein. I use it in smoothies, and have recently put the powder of about 2-3 capsules in my oatmeal. I love the green color it gives my smoothies.
Turmeric: This spice is a kitchen must-have! Another anti-inflammatory supplement that has proven time and time again in many studies to prevent cancer, help reduce the effects of many autoimmune disease, and is so easy to incorporate into your everyday foods. I use it in soups, nighttime coconut milk elixirs, and even oats! I usually use 1-2 tsp. and then add black pepper, which activates the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric.
Magnesium: I love magnesium because it is a multi-tasker when it comes to health. This mineral calms the nervous system so is great for anxiety, promotes digestive regularity, helps bones stay strong, and also helps with muscle cramps! Win win! I use this before bed, and love how easy it is to mix with cold or warm water. It is nice and fizzy and I always sleep so well when I take it.
Electrolyte powder: If you suffer from low blood pressure like me, or find that you have difficulty drinking water, then you need this! It is a powder you mix with water, tastes amazing, and give you a little boost of important electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and sodium. My favorite part is that it contains no sugar, which is heavily laden in most electrolyte sports drinks.
Collagen: This is probably my favorite supplement EVER. I add it to my coffee/matcha every morning and it froths it up so nicely after I blend it. Collagen is exactly what it sounds like, the stuff that your tissue, bones, skin, hair, and are made up of. This collagen is also an awesome protein source, and is very healing for the gut and joints. It is a tasteless powder that mixes into basically everything. I love collagen creamer too!!
Daily Vitamin: I love a good vitamin that is one pill, food-based, and not filled with synthetic fillers. I still take a pre-natal because I do plan on having another child at some point (gotta build those folic-acid stores!), and it is great for skin and hair!
Probiotics: Probiotics are awesome for gut health and the immune system. I love this brand because it combines both pre-biotics (what the good bacteria in your gut feeds on) and pro-biotics, and does not have to be refrigerated.
Fiber: I do not have the best tummy, and this fiber supplement keeps things regular in that department (if you know what I mean!!). It also contains probiotics and L-glutamine, another gut healer! I either take this in capsule form or open the capsules and put them in my smoothies
Digestive Enzymes: I follow the 80-20 rule when it comes to my diet. I usually omit gluten and dairy, but sometimes a girl just has to have a REAL BAGEL amirite???? So if I know I am going to eat something that may bother my tummy, I pop one of these digestive enzymes before and it helps to break down these foods.
A few notes about supplements:
- I am not a doctor! I am not even a nurse yet! I have just done my own research and urge you to do the same.
- With any of the adaptogens (reishi, ashwaganda, chaga) I would start one at a time and begin by using 1/4 a teaspoon. You can titrate up once you have been using it consistently and know how it affects your body.
- Always discuss taking supplements beforehand with your doctor, especially if you are currently on medications or pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you want more information on ways to keep your body healthy using foods and supplements, check out the Nutrition Stripped Blog. The creator is a registered dietician with a Masters degree, and has done copious amount of research on nutrition and how it helps or harms our bodies.