Many folks are looking to nutritional supplements to augment their diet for optimum health.
Written by Marylouise Sholly
Consumers can purchase mushrooms for the immune system and green milkshakes for energy.
The American diet has come a long way from mom’s apple pie.
That’s because mom’s recipe, while delicious, perhaps wasn’t all that healthy.
Busy lifestyles, processed foods and the ubiquitous fast-food restaurants all conspire to make diets less healthy than they could be, and many folks are looking to nutritional supplements to augment their diet for optimum health.
Cindy Boyer, co-owner with Susanne Fiori of Nature’s Garden Natural Foods and Shoes in Exeter Township, said customers have a lot of good things to say about cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which is derived from hemp.
The oil is used to lower pain, anxiety and stress, Boyer said.
â€śWe’ve carried CBD oil for a while, and in the past year people’s interest in it has really exploded,â€ť Boyer said.
The oil is purported to support healthy blood-sugar levels and help with seizure disorders, too.
For those concerned about ingesting a product made from hemp, a cousin to marijuana, Boyer said not to worry: Hemp doesn’t have the psychoactive component of marijuana.
â€śIt’s a much different plant,â€ť Boyer said.
Customers can find CBD in a variety of strengths and in gummy form, in capsules, or in a liquid tincture that is placed under the tongue.
But CBD is just the beginning, Boyer said. Researchers are enhancing the oil’s beneficial effects by the addition of terpenes.
â€śThis is cutting-edge,â€ť Boyer said. â€śThis is the next generation of CBD.â€ť
Naturally occurring in all plants, terpenes are the plant’s natural oils that give each plant its scent, taste and color.
â€śThese terpenes have powerful effects, emotionally and physically,â€ť Boyer said. â€śInfusing CBD with them is an innovative way of addressing pain, stress and insomnia.â€ť
Dietary supplements, or nutraceauticals, are growing in popularity for a number of reasons, Boyer said.
â€śPeople are realizing when they take medications, it’s a necessary evil, and the side effects are not just side effects, they are the effects of the medication,â€ť Boyer said.
People are looking for natural alternatives to synthetic medications while they also focus on better nutrition, Boyer said.
Many are trying supplements for pain relief as a safer alternative to opioid-based pain medications, Boyer said.
â€śYou have to remember that not every problem is one-dimensional,â€ť Boyer said. â€śIt’s mind and body together. If you’re physically in pain, you’re probably fatigued too. Body, mind and soul go hand-in-hand.â€ť
Reading Eagle: Natalie Kolb | Suppliments at Health Cupboard in Muhlenberg Township.
If an herbal product doesn’t seem to be alleviating symptoms, it could be that the customer isn’t using the correct product, the dosage should be higher or the potency is lacking, Boyer said.
She advised making sure you buy quality products.
â€śThe proof is in the pudding,â€ť Boyer said. â€śFor us, we’re really picky about our products and we look at the clinical research behind the product.â€ť
At Health Cupboard in Muhlenberg Township, owner Joyce Heckman practices what she preaches by daily reaching for a â€śgreen packâ€ť drink infused with vegetables.
Filled with antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics, the daily drink gives her endurance, Heckman said.
â€śIt takes 30 seconds to drink it and it doesn’t taste bad,â€ť Heckman said, noting that her whole day will go better. â€śWe don’t eat enough greens.â€ť
At Health Cupboard, customers can find all sorts of supplements, probiotic mixtures, essential oils, teas and natural foods.
â€śThere are always new things coming out,â€ť Heckman said. â€śWe are getting really good feedback from CBD oil, and I haven’t heard of any side effects.â€ť
While new supplements are filling the shelves all the time, customers definitely come in to the store for the tried-and-true, Heckman said.
â€śVitamin C is at the top of the list,â€ť Heckman said. â€śPeople also like the B vitamins, which are supposed to help with stress, and magnesium, for leg cramps.â€ť
Sublingual B-12 is popular, since it’s supposed to have calming qualities, Heckman said.
She tries to carry products from the higher-quality companies, Heckman said, using â€śNature’s Way Herbsâ€ť as an example.
Karen O’Connor is a holistic practitioner and owner of the Natural Hope Center in the 300 block of West Wyomissing Blvd. in Spring Township since 2013.
At one time in her life, O’Connor had been seriously ill, but found healing through a combination of naturopathic treatments and supplements, she said.
O’Connor attributes her good health to a regimen of supplements.
Having your head in the right place helps, too, she said.
â€śYour thoughts are very powerful: As you think so shall you be,â€ť O’Connor said. â€śThe body has an amazing ability to heal itself.â€ť
It’s always important to eat properly, O’Connor said, but people sometimes give up nutrition for convenience.
That’s where supplements come in.
â€śSupplements are a beautiful thing to do for your body,â€ť O’Connor said. â€śThere are beautiful tools out there that can help you heal yourself.
â€śFollow a mind-body-spirit approach; change your thoughts (to positive ones) and use hands-on therapies,â€ť O’Connor said. â€śThat’s a well-rounded healing approach, and supplements are a big part of that.â€ť
While the field of supplements is vast, O’Connor has a few basic favorites that she considers to be very helpful.
â€śProbiotics for gut health are very important,â€ť O’Connor said.
Prebiotics are good, too. They are a type of nondigestible fiber that lowers inflammation in the body.
As an example, kombucha tea is a prebiotic.
O’Connor advised checking one’s Vitamin D level.
â€śFor some reason, we’re not absorbing Vitamin D properly, and we live in the northern hemisphere, too (with fewer sunny days),â€ť she said.
Vitamin C helps the body fight infections by its alkalinity, versus the acidity of sugar and flour. B-complex vitamins help people handle stress. Omega 3s fight free radicals.
Add a good mindset, and stir.
â€śWe all have that ability to heal,â€ť O’Connor said. â€śBut when you’re feeling down, it’s hard to do.â€ť
Contact Marylouise Sholly: firstname.lastname@example.org.