While designing clothes for my Mia Brazilia Collection is a daily, overriding passion of mine, I never allow work to prevent me from achieving daily balance in my life through a nutritious diet and exercise. Like everyone else, my body reacts most favorably to indoor and outdoor activity that is both varied and challenging. My weekly dietary goals are no different: a diet rich in a diverse array of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meats, and the occasional, "naughty" snack, providing ample nutritional value and energy absorption to facilitate my workday. No other source of vitamins and minerals exist that offer a more complete and beneficial response to you than food itself. Fruits and vegetables contain rich antioxidants, fiber, and amino acids that are easily absorbed in the most complete form by your body. Meats and dairy offer iron, protein, and calcium that is invaluable for your body's motor functions and energy output. However, if you wish to invest in your overall health and fitness over and above your food intake, then why not consider health supplements? Over the past decade, I have enjoyed the benefits of a myriad health supplements in combination with my weekly diet and exercise regiment. The following five supplements have a proven track record of providing additional health benefits to the average consumer:
1.) Probiotics
  • Taking a daily probiotic is a terrific option to strengthen your immune system and encourage your body's absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are actually a form of "good bacteria" that settles along the lining of your digestive tract to expedite the processing of incoming food and maintain the health of the gut region. The choice of probiotic instrument varies from a capsule to a drink to even a powder form. Regardless of the choice, a probiotic is essential to support your body's immunity and digestion ability.
2.) Fish Oil
  • Fish oil is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that is vital in contributing to a healthy heart as well as a healthy brain. Omega-3 fats also have a definitive role in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Yet, in spite of these crucial benefits, most people have a woefully, inadequate intake of omega acids in their diet. Since our body does not naturally create omega-3 fatty acids, we can derive them from our diet (oily fish like salmon, for example) or through supplement form. Omega-3 acids are composed of eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) acid. So, when choosing the right, fish oil supplement for you, be sure that your choice includes both EPA and DHA acids to derive the maximal benefit for your heart, brain, and body.
3.) Magnesium
  • Magnesium supplements are an ideal companion to a healthy diet for any fitness advocate. It plays a key role in facilitating the chemical reactions among a laundry list of enzymes and amino acids. Magnesium also helps in the synthesizing of fatty acids and proteins, as well as the proper metabolizing of food. Magnesium supplements are also thought to have a beneficial effect on the ability to have a good night's sleep as well as managing a healthy hormone balance and stress level.
4.) Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D supplements are a critical component in maintaining strong bones and muscular health. Vitamin D deficiency among the world's population has been a common problem for centuries, so Vitamin D supplementation is a healthy alternative if you are unable to get enough Vitamin D from foods or direct sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is most glaring, obviously, during winter months as opposed to summer months (when most of us can receive our daily allotment within 20 minutes of sun exposure). Also, for people who spend extensive periods of each day indoors, taking a Vitamin D supplement is a nice substitute for sunlight deprivation.
5.) Protein
  • As an avid athlete, I can attest to the power and popularity of the protein supplement, as many of my friends have taken some form or another of protein supplement. Although most people can receive an adequate supply of protein from either meat-based or plant-based foods, certain segments of the population, i.e. athletes and bodybuilders can benefit from protein supplementation. A protein supplement shake or bar can accelerate muscle gain and promote fat loss by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger. In concert with a dedicated, fitness training regimen, these protein supplements are an essential tool to building lean, muscle mass and improving muscle definition.
Probiotics, fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, and protein supplementation are all optimal, supplement choices in partnership with a healthy, balanced diet and daily fitness routine. While food alone should always remain the primary source for most of your daily vitamin, mineral, and protein intake, secondary supplements can serve as a convenient and worthwhile investment to ensure maximal health, fitness, and longevity.