February 2019

What exactly is a healthy diet?  The dictionary definition is simple…”A diet that contains the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to maintain good health”.  Okay, that’s easy enough…but what exactly does that mean?  Is it really something you can put into action without details?  Probably not, and that’s why people tend to fall short of eating enough healthy foods to reap the benefits…and also where supplements come in.

It’s important to remember what the difference is between a vitamin, a mineral and a supplement.  This should help:

Vitamins & Minerals:  Natural substances usually found in food that help the body remain healthy.

Supplements:              Products taken orally that contain one or more ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. that are intended to “supplement” one’s diet; not considered food.  Meant to “fill in the gaps”, so to speak, of what you require for good health and what you’re actually eating to meet that requirement.

Many people take vitamins and minerals in either a type of multi-vitamin or in larger individual doses to cover a specific area they know they’re deficient in to make sure they are getting the proper amounts.  Whether doing it for the specific diet they eat that doesn’t provide all of the necessary nutrients, to help naturally treat specific conditions, or just to aid in the general functions of the body, taking vitamins and minerals definitely serves a purpose.  However, each one might only address one or two things.        

Supplements, on the other hand, serve a different type of purpose.  Many of the ingredients in supplements are meant to promote a certain type of action or even reaction in the body based on the functions of the different ingredients as well as having them work together to achieve an intended result.  Take for example our Liver Formula…a product containing powerful ingredients that on their own provide beneficial elements, but working together perform in multiple areas.  They aid in detoxifying the liver and body, protecting the liver from damage with antioxidants that aid in helping it function more efficiently, and aiding in liver repair and regeneration.

Many people prefer supplements to just vitamins or minerals as they get the individual elements in the proper amounts to achieve the intended result from the product without taking so many of them separately.  Just remember, vitamins and minerals are individual items that are found in foods and sometimes eating these foods can give you the beneficial amount each day.  Supplements are a combination of vitamins and minerals intended to achieve a specific result…eating foods to get the same amounts as the ingredients in the supplement is not something realistic you can do.

As always, do your research before taking any product so you know what the ingredients are intended to do and that they’re in the proper doses in the product that are considered beneficial for results.  That research must also include checking with your doctor about your personal health situation that might prohibit taking supplementation and asking your pharmacist about any type of interaction with your medications.

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A nice cold drink on a hot day is very satisfying but not something you might want when it’s freezing outside.  While water is always vital for your health regardless of the season, staying hydrated during the colder months is crucial if you want to remain healthy.

Your body needs water to not only stay hydrated but it also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues, and organs.  Water can also give your immune system a boost and help you keep from getting sick during peak cold and flu season along with increasing your metabolism and helping you feel full longer.

Many people don’t like “plain water” and want to use flavor “drops” or “powders” to get in the necessary hydration.  While these aren’t that terrible they do add unnecessary elements that sometimes cause bloating and adverse reactions.  You can try adding lemons or limes for flavor and even berries, cucumber, mint, etc. if plain water just isn’t for you.

Hot beverages count towards your water content as well.  Tea, hot water with lemon or a nice cup of green tea not only keep you hydrated by are known to boost your metabolism as well.  Be cautious of powdered hot drink mixes as most contain a lot of sugar.

You can also eat your water!  Several fruits and vegetables have a high water content that can help you reach your daily intake goals.  Broccoli, celery, cucumbers, mixed greens, strawberries, watermelon, pears, and grapefruit are just a few of the foods that help you stay hydrated.

Don’t drink the wrong things either!  Caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate your body and so can soda and coffee.  Many people feel that wine isn’t going to dehydrate them but that’s just not the case…wine still isn’t a good option for hydration so limited consumption is advised.

Remember too that a humidifier is useful in adding moisture to the dry winter air and can help keep you hydrated while preventing a scratchy throat and dry skin.  It’s crucial to stay hydrated in cold weather and with a little bit of forethought and planning it’s really not that difficult to do.

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