Alternative and allopathic health care experts alike commonly make lists of the healthiest foods you can eat, often appropriately titled “Super Foods.” These lists typically contain many of the same items including various fruits and vegetables (especially berries, apples, kale, and spinach), nuts and seeds, and fatty fish. With so many of these super food lists already saturating the internetz, we decided instead to make a list of the best supplements you can take to improve your health, unoriginally titled “Super Supplements.” So, without further adieu…
10. Resveratrol – Resveratrol has received a lot of attention lately for its potential to increase life span, but so far this has only been documented in rats, and its benefits to humans are still relatively unknown. Still, resveratrol shows promise of being an important health promoting nutrient, and has exhibited potential as a powerful antioxidant, estrogen antagonist (blocks the actions of estrogen, which is beneficial under certain circumstances), and as a source of natural cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention.
9. Choline – As a precursor to acetylcholine (the primary neurotransmitter used for brain function), choline is a vital part of maintaining cognitive function and memory well into old age. Its various forms include choline bitartrate, choline citrate, phosphatidylcholine, CDP-choline, and Alpha-GPC. All of the forms are capable of increasing blood and brain choline levels, and each one varies in price and secondary health benefits (e.g., Alpha-GPC can acutely increase growth hormone).
8. Ginseng – There are two common forms of ginseng: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Korean or Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Ginseng is typically classified as an adaptogenic herb which means it can help the body respond to stress more appropriately. It is also beneficial for energy production, immune system function, blood sugar stabilization, and erectile dysfunction.
7. Greens powder– These are powders (or liquids) that contain any one or all of the following:
- Grasses (like wheat grass)
- Algae (like chlorella)
- Other ingredients including but not limited to healthy fats, enzymes, probiotics, and various amino acids and proteins.
In an ideal world where everyone eats 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, these types of products probably wouldn’t make this list. But, we don’t live in an ideal world, and with people constantly on the go greens powders offer a convenient way to get a large dose of fruits and vegetables and all the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants they provide.
6. Oryzatein – Protein powders are another convenient way to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs (and when combined with a greens powder, nuts, and some fruit make a great meal-on-the-go). Unfortunately, though, most protein powders are made with whey and/or casein proteins, and whey and casein are among the more common sources of food sensitivities. Oryzatein is a hypo-allergenic protein derived from brown rice (rice allergies are extremely rare), and it also has the benefit of being formulated to have an amino acid profile similar to human breast milk (making it an ideal alternative to soy protein for infant formulas). Oryzatein is the protein used in HPS Immuno Performance Protein and HPS Glycemic Performance.
5. Creatine – There are literally tens of thousands of studies on creatine in subjects ranging from elite athletes to Parkinson’s disease patients. As the benefits of creatine continue to be uncovered (especially in regard to neuromuscular, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases), many of its supposed harmful side effects continue to be disproven (it doesn’t stress the kidneys and it’s definitely not like steroids). Plain old creatine monohydrate can benefit just about anyone of any age with any health or fitness goal through its positive effects on strength, hypertrophy, cognitive function, and potential for disease prevention. The future definitely looks bright for creatine.
4. Curcumin – As a potent anti-inflammatory, curcumin can benefit a number of acute and chronic conditions including arthritis, irritable bowel disease, and cancer. It is also a strong antioxidant, helps prevent neurodegenerative and cognitive diseases, and can be beneficial against certain virus-based conditions. It’s also inexpensive and has no known side effects.
3. DHA and EPA (fish oil) – If you’re reading this and you’re not currently taking a fish oil supplement you need to start doing so immediately and get all of your friends and family members (the ones you like anyway) to do the same. Not just any fish oil, though, a highly-concentrated one free of heavy metals, PCBs, and other contaminants. Dollar-for-dollar, fish oil is arguably the best supplement you can take; it is anti-just-about-everything-bad-you-can-think-of.
2. Probiotics – While a lot of the other supplements listed here get a whole lot of front page attention, probiotics remain in the dark (perhaps because of the anatomical areas they’re associated with) yet offer profound health benefits that few other supplements and fewer foods can give you. By increasing good bacteria and decreasing bad bacteria in your gut, probiotics can lead to heightened immune function (so you get sick less), better digestion and absorption of nutrients (so you get more out of the foods you eat), and significantly better gastrointestinal function (so you experience less gas, bloating, and indigestion). Win/win/win.
1. Multivitamin/multimineral – Vitamins and minerals provide the micronutrient foundation your body needs to function properly in all areas of health, and taking a high quality multivitamin is an important key in proactive, preventative health care. Notice that we wrote “high quality;” the products sold in drug and grocery stores don’t cut it, and the vitamin/mineral market is saturated with cheap products made from cheaper ingredients that are at best ineffective (and at worst toxic). You can find a great multivitamin here (which also happens to contain a greens blend, fish oil, curcumin, and choline).