Sunday, 17 November 2013

Health & Beauty Supplements: My Picks

Health Beauty-Supplements

I used to be very cynical about supplements until I tried Imedeen for the first time last year and was amazed by the results, which motivated me to research other options.

I’ve picked up quite a few new supplements recently, so thought I’d share what I’m taking and what’s working in case it helps anyone else. I’m no health expert, so this is just my personal opinion and experience of what works best for me, based on my own research.

Organic Burst Maca - for energy and endurance: I sprinkle this on cereal and it’s one of the few supplements I’ve found that tastes inoffensive. It’s kinda cinnamon-ish and blends in well with muesli or granola.  I’ve been taking this for a few months since Beauty Shortlist recommended it on twitter (thanks Fiona!) and really do think it’s helped my energy levels.  I bought it directly from Organic Burst online (link in brand name above), though it may be available elsewhere.

Agnus Castus - for hormonal balance: this herbal remedy has many uses and I popped it in my basket in the chemist this week after realising *that* was why I was in banshee mode and had better do something about it! I’ve taken this in the past and it works. Nuff said!

Floradix - liquid iron, rosehip & B VItamins - for energy: I first took this on recommendation from midwives after having a baby and have repurchased it many times as it really does help my energy levels and gives me a bit more oomph! I take one capful twice a day for a few weeks and then once daily.  When I forget to take it I know I’ve probably had enough and am not longer feeling the need! It’s pricey but really works for me and I know many others who rate it highly.  I quite like the taste too - like a slightly herbal syrup.

Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend - an organic blend of Omega 3,6 and 9 for skin, hair and nails: this is an exceptional supplement in an extremely pure form.  I must admit it took me a while to get used to taking it and I did divert and try the Paradox lemon flavoured Omega oils (also above), but Udo is of such high quality I think it’s worth persisting with. Best mixed into food, there are lots of recipes around… I find it easiest to take mixed in with something strong flavoured, like a pasta sauce or garlic & chilli salad dressing.

Ddrops Vitamin D drops - for healthy bones, teeth & immune system:  Ddrops are at the other end of the spectrum from Udo in that one single *tiny* drop a day is all you need for your recommended vitamin D dose.  As someone who struggles with both tablets and liquid supplements, I can’t tell you how much this excites me!  It’s literally pure Vitamin D in coconut oil, so I just lick a drop off the back of my (clean!) hand, though you’re supposed to add it to food… I just don’t want to risk missing any! I definitely do tend to feel a bit low and sluggish in Winter and don’t know why it never occurred to me before to try addressing this with a Vitamin D supplement, so I’m really hoping this helps! The baby & nursing mum version is available at Boots and the adult one at Amazon.

Imedeen Hair & Nails: I’ve tried both Imedeen’s Skin and Hair & Nail formulas and noticed improvements with both.  I spotted the biggest changes when taking the Hair & Nails, possibly because they’re more obvious and easier to measure.  My nails looked longer and stronger and lashes more voluminous… there may also have been improvements to my hair and skin, but these were the things that jumped out at me.

Ilumina by Seven Seas - Skin Nutrition vitamins: Again, I used both the Skin Nutrition and Hair, Skin & Nails formulas by Ilumina and was really impressed by these vitamins, again noticing healthier lashes and nails in particular. I also noticed quicker regrowth on my legs, so I’m guessing the hair on my head was growing faster too!

I tested Imedeen Hair & Nails and Time Perfection skin formula, then Illumina Hair, Skin & Nails and Skin Nutrition.  I took each supplement individually for 3 months before taking a break of 1 month (so that I could measure results from scratch) and then started the next one.  It’s difficult to say which was best as I noticed improvements from both, but do have a slight preference for the Imedeen as I felt they made the most significant improvements and I also felt calmer when taking them, possibly due to the Vitamin B content (though they both contain Vitamin B - go figure!).  I’m still taking the Imedeen Hair & Nails and the Seven Seas Skin Nutrition a year later, so do believe in both brands.

I expect that all individuals respond differently to supplements, according to personal needs, but it’s really important to check the labelling for specific ingredients and RDAs as they can vary quite significantly.  I bought a men’s multivitamin for my husband last week and the more expensive brand - (honestly can’t remember which one it was) - had much lower levels of some vitamins, like almost half the amount, for twice the price!  It’s also important to take care not to overlap certain supplements - check with your GP or pharmacist if you’re unsure.  Personally, I’ve seen greater benefits from taking vitamins for my specific needs rather than a one fix multivitamin.

[links to the best prices I could find via the sub headings above]

Do you take any supplements - and which ones do you feel make a real difference?

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