People often forget that supplements are meant to be a convenient addition to a diet. The nutrients they provide are often found in everyday foods. Follow on as we reveal some of the most common supplements and their natural food alternatives.
While we may think we are getting enough iron from our daily diets, experts reveal that more than one-quarter of the global population is deficient in iron. According to the better health channel, one of the common causes of iron deficiency is an inadequate dietary intake. While iron supplements are a convenient way to boost this intake, eating foods naturally high in iron can be a healthy substitute.
Iron rich foods such as seafood, beans, red meat, peas, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit can all help to increase the body’s intake of iron. Eating these foods with Vitamin C can further assist with the absorption of iron. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes.
Protein Powder & Branched Chain Amino Acids
Protein powders such as whey, casein, and soy help to recover, tone and develop muscle. This is done by supplementing the macronutrient protein. When protein is digested, it is broken down into individual amino acids. These amino acids not only help the body function, but they are also required to synthesise muscle. In particular, proteins high in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) have shown in studies to enhance this muscle synthesising process further.
While protein powders and free form amino acids (BCAA’s) are a convenient way to up your supply, they can also be found in everyday foods. Chicken, meats, and fish are a good lean source of protein that is high in BCAA’s. Additionally, eggs, milk, soybeans, lima beans, nuts, whole wheat and corn also contain BCAA’s and protein.
Weight Loss Supplements
Weight loss supplements can assist with reducing hunger and increasing both the release of fat and the body’s metabolism. Often, they will have a range of ingredients from caffeine and green tea extract to a variety of spices and herbs.
While we all know the benefits that a cup of coffee and green tea have, you might be surprised to find out that decaf coffee is actually more effective at reducing hunger than regular coffee. Spread out through the day, these 3 beverages can be a good alternative to the average fat burner. Furthermore, you can go that extra mile by consuming hot spices such as cayenne pepper and hot sauce, which can increase the metabolism and help control hunger.
Additionally, herbs such as cinnamon and ginger can also assist with energy, appetite, and digestion. While eating these spices and herbs by themselves might be somewhat challenging, eating meals that embrace their taste can be a good alternative. Spices can go well with Mexican and Indian food, while cinnamon and ginger can add extra flavour to those healthy smoothies.
According to the Australian Thyroid Foundation, “Iodine deficiency is becoming an increasingly common cause of thyroid health problems in Australia”. Experts have linked this to the naturally low levels of Iodine found in the soil, where our crops are grown.
This, in turn, affects home grown produce such as grains, vegetables, and livestock that are grass fed. As Iodine is commonly found in sea water, eating seafood helps boost its intake. Along with eggs, dairy, bread and other foods that contain iodised salt.
Sports Hydration Drinks
Sports drinks are formulated to provide quick energy while replenishing the body’s reserves of electrolytes, sodium, and potassium. Athletes that have an intense training session or are in competition find these sports drinks help to retain the lost water and vitamins that are lost or utilised by the body for performance.
While sports drinks such as Gatorade are great at providing these nutrients, there are other more natural alternatives from which you can also benefit. Coconut water can be a good alternative, as it is naturally high in simple carbohydrates, electrolytes, sodium, and potassium. Additionally, a banana or a handful of raisins can be a good, light meal replacement.