Supplementing your lifestyle

Crystal Hohenthaner

Crystal Hohenthaner

Heart disease is now one of the number-one killers of Americans and with the fast-paced yet sedentary lifestyle of the current “technological age,” many are finding it harder and harder to eat right.

That may be why the FDA recently released new food pyramid guides and why it recommends people take a multivitamin to supplement their diets. Many health insurers have also begun to include supplementation in their coverage.

The high numbers of obesity in our nation also point to the fact that many are either unable to or unwilling to exercise.

Perhaps your lifestyle isn’t sedentary, or perhaps you just find it difficult to make time for all the things you should do to keep your body fit and healthy. Whether it’s because of your work or your play you may need to look into ways to supplement your lifestyle

If You’re the Average Joe…

… you probably don’t get quite enough exercise and don’t eat as healthfully as you should.

To boost your health levels you may need to get your body on a schedule. If you get enough sleep, wake up, go to bed and eat at the same times every day your body will thank you.

Senior dietetics major Karie Mitchell says, “Everybody should drink more water and it’s actually good for you to get a little bit of sun every day.”

Getting 15 minutes of sun each day will help the body convert and distribute vitamin D and can even combat depression.

People looking into dietary supplements should know that supplements are not regulated by the FDA and therefore it is important to consult a physician before implementing a plan. Don’t go to just anybody though.

Mitchell warns that most general practitioners have almost no training in clinical nutrition so you should seek help from a registered dietitian. Dr. Erica Layton is a chiropractor with a Masters of Science in biochemistry and she agrees whole heartedly with Mitchell.

“You want to find someone with a Masters in nutrition, a registered dietician or a sports medicine doctor who is well versed in nutrition for athletes,” Layton says

“If you are planning on starting with supplements the first step is to be tested,” she says. “Although there are recommended doses on the bottles it is important to remember that everyone is different and vitamin needs vary greatly from one person to another.”

According to The Prescription for Natural Healing, the “Average Joe” should probably start with a multivitamin and a multimineral before incorporating other vitamin supplements into a diet because there is a cooperative action that goes on between certain vitamins and minerals.

Layton also recommends omega three fatty acids for almost everyone.

“Because of the diets we Americans have I would recommend that most people supplement with Omega 3 ,” Layton says. “And stay away from anything with Omega 6.”

Mitchell and Layton both warn against taking chemically produced supplements because it is hard to tell how the body will break them down and in many cases they are undigestable.

Whole food supplements are the best but they are also expensive. But Layton says, “you get what you pay for.”

If You’re

the All American…

… and you exercise at least an hour each day, you have some special needs. For example, you need a lot of calories.

Layton recommends an athlete take whey protein and extra antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E and selenium and chromium. Extra antioxidants can prevent injury and help the body heal more quickly.

“A little extra iron can be important too,” Layton says. “Especially if they are in a high impact sport like football, because they will have a lot of breakdown of red blood cells.”

Layton also has all athletes under her care supplement their diets with an anti inflammatory like Omega 3 fatty acids. Other anti inflammatories include Green tea extract and flax.

Athletes may also want to look into using a B complex supplement to help with physical and mental stress. And of course it is very important for athletes to stay hydrated. The best way to do this is to avoid carbonated and caffinated beverages and to drink plenty of water and other drinks that containing electrolytes.

If You’re a Couch Potato…

… and your thumbs have become the strongest muscles in your body from the hours you spend channel surfing and video-gaming, there are some supplements you should look into.

Your big need is to eat less and make good use of all the food you eat, which means keep the snack food out of reach. Junior dietetics major Julie Elgersma says, “Couch potatoes need to watch the amount of calories they eat because their metabolism is slow.”

Coconut oil can help speed up your metabolism and recent studies suggest it may be one of the healthiest ways to fry food. Keep in mind that it is a fat and the average person should only ingest about one or two tablespoons per day.

Elgersma also urges couch potatoes to eat a lot of fruits and veggies instead of the standard snacks. Certain fruits like pineapple and papaya can help aid in digestion because they contain high levels of natural enzymes.

Supplemental enzymes might be a good idea for the as well because they will help fully break down food to ensure that your body makes the most of what it gets.

“Also avoid food with too much fat because it won’t nourish you so you’ll end up eating more and just ingesting a lot of empty calories,” Elgersma says. “I’d recommend whole wheat and less processed food. Organic is probably the best if you can get it. The more natural the better.” That goes for everyone.

For the couch potato health educator Ellie Trautman says that it is important to get in some aerobic activity three times a week.

“Try walking to class instead of driving,” Trautman says. “Or just park further away from class and walk across campus.”

If You’re a Weekend Warrior…

… and you take it easy working or studying all week just so that you can play hard all weekend, you probably wreak havoc on your joints and your muscles.

You might want to consider adding a little more action to your weekly routine so that you can avoid injuries. It can be especially beneficial to stretch throughout the week and before and after your periods of high activity.

Supplementing with milkthistle cleanses the liver and the body’s tissues. This can flush toxins through your system including the extra lactic acid that can build up after periods of extreme activity.

You should look into most of the supplements that the All-American takes. And Layton suggests an anti-inflammatory diet.

“Most people don’t want to hear it, but that means no sugar, milk, grains, soy, or corn and really go high on the protein.”

If You’re a Book Worm…

… watch out, you eyes, your brains and your joints might be suffering some major damage.

If you’ve been squinting from reading all day you’ll want to amp up your vitamin A, but be careful, Layton warns, because Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin so if you take too much you run the risk of toxicity.

Taking regular breaks to get up for a few minutes every hour and do a few stretches. Optometrists also recommend looking away from your work for a few minutes every hour. These breaks should also ramp up your brain power by getting the blood flowing throughout your body and your cranium.

Ginkgo Biloba is a popular herb that can help circulate oxygen, facilitate blood flow and help with brain functions. Careful, all herbs have toxicity values. Studies have shown that B complexes increase nerve activity and promote nervous system health, which means good stuff for your brain.

If You’re a Party Animal…

… who likes to go out and paint the town at least twice a week, you are probably exposing yourself to a lot of smoky environments and drinking and eating unhealthy foods.

Partiers need to keep in mind that their body wants to be on a schedule and staying out all night messes with that schedule. Also, party foods can be high in fat, processed flour and sugar. Be careful that these foods don’t become the majority of your diet.

“As soon as we’re born everything we put into our bodies has an effect on us,” Layton says. “I see too many 30 and 40 year olds that wish they would have known better when they were young.”

Also, for anyone who smokes or is exposed to smoke-filled environments for a long period of time, Layton says, “Vitamin C is a must” a well as extra B vitamins

“There is a lot of research about B vitamins helping hangovers,” she says. “B-6 is a diuretic and it helps flush toxins out of the body’s system and remember, alcohol is a toxin. Enzymes are also good for removing alcohol from the system.”

#1.885218:4107849578.jpg:juicecover copy.jpg::#1.885217:953674529.jpg:WeekendWar2Aa.jpg::#1.885216:4293536440.jpg:Couch PotatoAa.jpg::#1.885215:2073383019.jpg:BookwormAa.jpg::#1.885214:2522654285.jpg:Athlete1Aa.jpg::