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Supplements Explained – Part II

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This is part II of my explanation of supplements.  If you missed part I CLICK HERE.  These supplements were taken from Tony Horton’s book, “Bring It!” 

Coenzyme Q10

Why You Might Need This: Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant and produces energy in every cell of your body. It also has anti-aging effects; increases tissue oxygenation; strengthens the heart muscle; treats angina and high blood pressure; reverses gum deterioration; aids circulation; and enhances immunity. It also may lower the risk for recurrent breast cancer.

Effective Dosage: 30 to 200 milligrams daily with food that contains fat. Gel capsules are more potent and more easily absorbed than powdered products.

Green Foods

Why You Might Need This: The term green foods generally refers to about half a dozen foods recognized as having the highest chlorophyll content: barley grass and other cereal grasses, wheat grass, alfalfa, spirulina, and chlorella. Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their emerald hue, is the magical substance that makes greens so great. Chlorophyll is often compared to hemoglobin, the red coloring in blood that delivers oxygen to our trillions of cells. The notable difference between these two substances is that in the center of the chlorophyll molecule is magnesium, while in the center of hemoglobin is iron. Because of the closeness of their structures, scientists postulated that chlorophyll in plants could be effective in treating blood and circulation disorders, including anemia and high blood pressure, in humans.

Not only are green foods rich in chlorophyll, they also contain a spectrum of beneficial nutrients that are said to fight infection, boost the blood, and remove toxins from the body. They’re full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. And they’re loaded with active enzymes, generally in short supply in the typical refined-and-processed American diet. Because many of the brands on the market are spiked with other nutrients like mushrooms, carrots, beets, ginger, garlic, herbs, vitamins, and minerals, nutrient-dense green foods can fill in substantial nutritional blanks. It’s sort of like having a salad in a glass.

Effective Dosage: Read the manufacturer’s label for suggested dosages. Most brands recommend a scoop or more of powder mixed with water or vegetable juice.

Red Foods

Why You Might Need This: I’m on the road a lot, so I don’t always have access to fresh, organic fruit. In its place, I take a super-concentrated fruit powder that is naturally high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. This particular supplement is an extract of certain red foods, namely cranberries, red grapes, watermelon, cherries, and tomatoes. These foods contain compounds that give deep red, purple, and blue hues to fruits and vegetables, and these substancesmay help protect our bodies against cancer, heart disease, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Effective Dosage: These products typically come in capsules or powders you can mix with liquids. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Oregano Oil

Why You Might Need This: The flavor and fragrance of this popular herb is inextricably associated with its use in flavoring tomato dishes, primarily of Italian cuisine. But while it adds a unique taste to Italian dishes, oregano has even greater value as a healing herb. It has shown promise as a treatment for bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. It also fights inflammation. Carvacrol is the primary active component in oregano oil. A study conducted at Anadolu University in Turkey analyzed the biological activities of carvacrol and concluded that it is antitumor, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, and a whole host of positive “antis”!

Effective Dosage: To treat bacterial and fungal infections or to guard against damaging inflammation and pain, place a drop of the pure oil under your tongue twice a day.

Flaxseed Meal

Why You Might Need This: I make sure to take flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds) everyday. It’s an exceptional source of mucilage fiber, a gelatinous substance secreted by plants, which soothes the intestinal tract and slows down absorption of glucose from the intestine. Mucilage also helps establish and maintain bowel regularity, prevents bacteria from taking hold in intestines, and escorts cholesterol, bile acids, and toxins out of the body.

Another of flax’s superpowers is its ability to provide essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, carbohydrates that are thought to fight cancer and diabetes. Nutrition experts say that anyone who is at risk of heart disease, breast cancer, or prostate cancer should take this supplement. In fact, research from Duke University indicates flaxseed may slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors. A month before 160 men were scheduled to have surgery for prostate cancer, researchers divided them into four groups: Subjects received either 30 grams of ground flaxseed, flaxseed with a low-fat diet, a low-fat diet without flaxseed, or no diet change or supplement intake. The men underwent surgery as planned. Researchers then examined the tumors and found that the cancer cells grew 30 to 40 percent slower in men with flaxseed in their diets.

Effective Dosage: For general health, health care practitioners generally recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal once or twice per day. For bowel regularity, take 3 to 5 tablespoons of whole flaxseeds with plenty of water over the course of the day. You can stir whole or ground flaxseed into cold cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt or sprinkle on vegetables or salads.

Recovery Drink (P90X Results and Recovery Drink)

Why You Might Need This: After workouts, a sports beverage can help speed recovery by supplying nutrients like amino acids, which the body uses to repair muscle, and carbs to help restore depleted glycogen stores. Even on nontraining days, these beverages are a convenient way to fit in small, frequent meals. Refueling every few hours prevents overeating. There are hundreds and hundreds of recovery drinks on the market. The product I use contains whey protein (a fast-replenishing protein), electrolytes (which are lost in sweat), and fructose, as its main carbohydrate. Why fructose, you’re probably wondering? Fructose, a single sugar (monosaccharide) found in honey and fruits, must be metabolized first by the liver before it can be absorbed into the muscles, which makes it an excellent source of sugar for blood sugar maintenance.

Effective Dosage: Following your workout, there’s a 60-minute window during which you can replenish muscle glycogen and speed recovery two or three times faster than if you wait several hours to eat—so you want to take your recovery drink within that time frame.

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