Having the right supplies on hand can be a lifesaver when you are in need. A recent survey of 2,000 US adults found that the average American’s medicine cabinet is stocked with 15 different products – and don’t you often wonder what other people keep in theirs? Lisa RichardsCNC, nutritionist and creator of the candida diet, opened up to hers best lifeshares four of her favorite items and explains why she keeps them ready.
Read on to find out what products are in this nutritionist’s medicine cabinet and if they could be a good addition to yours. (Just be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any new health program.)
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Probiotics are live microorganisms that are incredibly healthy for you, especially when it comes to your gut health. Other health benefits of probiotics include a more robust immune system, reduced cholesterol levels, cancer prevention, treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, and improved metabolism, according to a study published in 2016 Tropical Life Sciences Research. Probiotics are found in fermented foods, certain beverages, dietary supplements, and beauty products.
Richards says probiotics are a staple in her medicine cabinet. “Probiotics are a great addition to any health plan, regardless of age, gender, or medical condition,” says Richards. “They help with digestion, reduce inflammation, boost your immunity and maintain a healthy balance in your gut flora. I recommend three probiotic strains: L. plantarum, L.paracasei, and L. acidophilus.”
Choosing the right probiotics can be difficult with so many different products available. According to Richards, it’s important to make sure your probiotic contains at least 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria and various probiotic strains. Also, watch out for probiotics that have added additives like sweeteners or chewing gum, as they say they can cause gastrointestinal inflammation.
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Vitamin D (sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin) is essential for good health and is vital to several critical bodily functions. For example, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, improves bone health, promotes healthy muscle contraction, and strengthens your immune system. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency has become a global problem. About a billion people worldwide have nutrient deficiencies, including 35 percent of US adults.
“I keep vitamin D in my medicine cabinet for its immune support benefits,” says Richards. “The active form of vitamin D helps reduce the body’s inflammatory response and boosts the body’s production of immune cells. In addition, vitamin D is essential for your body to use the calcium it receives to support bone growth and health. When vitamin D levels are low, this process isn’t as efficient and your bones can become weak.”
Zinc is known to boost your immune system so it can fight off harmful bacteria and viruses — but that’s not all it’s good for. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adequate zinc intake is required at all stages of life to help your body synthesize proteins and DNA (the building blocks of cells), support the wound healing process, and promote healthy growth and development.
Richards keeps her medicine cabinet well-stocked with this vital nutrient, as zinc deficiency can lead to serious health complications. “Zinc deficiency is linked to stunted growth and has also been used to prevent or treat eye diseases, diarrhea, ADHD and acne, and to support immune function. This mineral can be taken daily and is a great bonus to regular supplementation,” explains Richards.
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Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin essential for increasing energy and supporting red blood cell/DNA formation, reports the Harvard School of Public Health. Inadequate intake of B12 can lead to pernicious anemia, a condition characterized by extreme fatigue, weakness, and mood disorders. Additionally, B12 is critical for the synthesis and metabolism of serotonin — the “feel good” chemical responsible for mood regulation.
“Adding B12 to your diet or vitamin regimen can improve energy and overall mood,” says Richards. “I add B12 to my daily supplement for a simple and effective way to increase my energy.” Not sure when to take this supplement? “It’s best absorbed when taken early in the day, ideally with breakfast, to improve absorption and effectiveness,” she explains.
Best Life provides the most up-to-date information from top experts, emerging research and public health authorities, but our content is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Always consult your doctor directly about the medications you are taking or any other health-related questions.