Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Vitamins in my Cabinet

Herbs & vitamins are a staple in my kitchen.  Unfortunately because of my hectic life I do not always get all the nutrients I need from my food.  Also whenever possible I try to use food & herbs as "medicine", both preventative & as needed, in place of allopathic medicine. I try to keep my body as chemical free as possible.  Here is what I have in my cabinet now:

October is the beginning of Airborne season - when I stock up and take immune boosters regularly.  These are especially important now that I'm on immune suppressing meds for my Stills Disease.

Flax seed oil is not only full of Omega 3-6-9 and good for your heart, it is an anti-inflammatory.  I take this to prevent joint inflammation because of my Stills Disease and for my TMJ.   Cal/Mag/Zinc is to keep up my mineral levels, but especially now since I'm taking steroids which can decrease calcium in the bones.  Zinc is great for building up your immunity to the common cold.  I like so many women am Vitamin D deficient.  Since my illness I've become even more deficient, so my rheumatologist put me on 50,000 iu taken once a week for 8 wks.  After that I need to supplement enough that I get at least 2000 iu a day.  This 1000 iu supplement plus what I get from the sun & diet usually does the trick.  The feverfew capsules I take for migraines for both preventative and as needed.

Milk Thistle is a social drinkers best friend!  After a night of cocktails take this to support liver functions as it cleanses your body of alcohol.  If you are taking Tylenol or similar meds that can have negative effects on the liver it is also a good idea to pop some of these.  I can't take this now because it can effect the meds I'm taking by running them out of my system too quickly. (CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING MILK THISTLE WHILE ON MEDICATION)  Psylium husk powder will keep your colon free and clean!  However, I recommend getting it in capsule form - this is just loose powder that does not mix well in drinks.  It's like adding ground cardboard!  Accuflora is my daily probiotic.  Probiotics are great for everyone, but especially helpful for those with acne or taking anti-biotics.  Flax seeds are full of Omega fatty acids needed for optimum health.  Sprinkle some in your food, or grind them in a coffee grinder for a less noticeable addition.  I usually just prefer to take the flax seed oil gel capsules.

 I haven't had much experience with homeopathic remedies.  The bottle on the right was given to me, I haven't tried it yet.  Then we have my feverfew tincture.  These can be a bit yucky tasting, but I find that adding a few drops to organic ginger ale is fine.

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Although not vitamins, I usually have all of these in my kitchen for the same reasons:
Berries have fantastic antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties.  I'm not a big berry eater so I drink this like its water!  There are over 100 berries, apples, and 2/3 banana in this ready made smoothie (which is good because I need potassium but I hate bananas - you can't even taste it in there).

Mmmmm... spinach & broccoli! I hate the texture of cooked spinach, so I eat it raw as a salad. Both are full of vitamins A (beta-carotene which inhibits carcinogens & great for health skin), C (antioxidant & immune strengthener), K (controls blood clotting - avoid if on blood thinners), folic acid & protein.  Did you know the protein in broccoli is a higher quality protein than red meat?

Garlic - the superfood!  Add it to everything you can (unless you're a vampire... ha). It prevents blood clots, lowers cholesterol, prevents atherosclerosis, inhibits certain carcinogens, is an antioxidant, and lowers homocysteine levels (the product of the amino acid methionine that is usually turned into antioxidants by B vitamins, but can be harmful in high levels if left unchanged by low B vitamin levels).  Eat in food or take in capsule form. Onions have many of the same qualities since they are in the same genus, Allium.

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I got most of my nutrition knowledge from The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford, and the many books & audio materials by the great Dr. Andrew Weil.  His 8CD collection "Guide to Optimum Health" is one of my favorites, and it's perfect to listen to on the go if you don't have time to sit down & read.  These are probably my favorite of all the nutrition materials I've ever listened to or read!

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