This Easter, I’m going to be gifting sunshine, “Hello Sunshine”, to be precise. And while I’m wrapping presents, I invite you to read this quick round of supplement FAQs. Happy Easter!
Suse Leifer, nutritionist and co-founder of the Hamburg-based vegan and organic supplement brand Ogaenics is my trusted go-to source for most recent nutrition knowledge. While I enjoy reading reports and studies myself, it’s always a good idea to ask an expert. And this is exactly what I’m doing today: asking Suse to respond to 4 most frequently asked supplement questions.
And My Current All-Natural Faves
“Does it matter when I take my supplements?”
“Yes. Fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K will be metabolised best when taken with a meal that includes at least a little healthy fat. Energising vitamins like D (boosts Serotonine), C, all B vitamins are best taken in the morning, as they suggest to the body: ‘Hey, it’s daylight and we’re having fun!”‘ Magnesium is a suppement that you should take at night as it’s good for a sound, healthy sleep – take it with your dinner. Probiotics are fragile and are best taken hours after a meal, before bedtime, when digestive enzymes, stomach acid and bile salts are at their lowest. Individuals on a certain medication (antibiotics, thyroid hormones, blood thinners, etc.) should always discuss their supplement intake and timing with their doctor first.”
“Why am I supposed to take supplements with cold water?”
“Can I take my vitamins with a cup of tea?”
“Generally speaking, supplements are always formulated with a specific breakdown in mind: and hot liquids are not part of the concept, as they will dissolve the supplement too fast. Coffee or milk are a bad idea as well, as they might interfere with the metabolisation of certain vitamins and minerals.”
“Why should I check the ingredients of my supplements?”
“Does it matter if supplements are synthetic or natural?”
“Many commercial supplements contain fillers, binders and other additives our body doesn’t need. They can also have unwanted effects. Ingredients to absolutely avoid are, for example, E 321 (BHT) and Magensium stearate.”
You also should avoid synthetic vitamins. Several studies link the intake of synthetic vitamins with quite dramatic side effects, and Suse Leifer explains why synthetic vitamins pose a danger:
“Synthetic vitamins are isolated substances – lacking the transporters and co-factors of naturally occurring vitamins. Our body can’t recognise nor metabolise synthetic vitamins without help. This is why synthetic vitamins will ‘steal’ the co-factors from our body, will be absorbed less efficienty and can cause depletion in the long run.”
“Can I balance out an unhealthy lifestyle and lack of sleep with good, organic supplements?”
“If your lifestyle consists largely of sitting down, a nutrient-poor diet and irregular sleep, no combination and dosage of vitamins will eliminate fatigue and erratic mood swings. However, supplements can support a change of lifestyle towards a healthier one and boost its effects, nurturing the new, more active, well-rested version of yourself.”
Further reading: Why I honestly love, buy, and support Ogaenics (this article and founders interview includes an update on their latest range additions, improved formulas, and upcoming 2018 launches!).
Winter is over! My better and well-rested version of myself has a few favourite little health-boosting helpers up her sleeve, and here they are, left to right, top town:
Ringana CHI: a fiery ginger and pineapple shot, to drink pure, in a hot beverage or in a smoothie, 12 x 30 ml, €44.50
Dark chocolates by Marou and Original Beans (starting at approx. €18)
Organic liver tonicum (mango-sweetened plant bitter compounds) and Floradix iron + Vitamin B12, 250 ml €18 and €11 respectively, Salus
Daily Biotic Complex, Plant-Based Magnesium, Skin Glow Complex by Ogaenics
Nanamint & Violet: an organic mint tea blended with fennel, red clover and vanilla, Lebensbaum
Nettle and Kale powders, a top addition to green smoothies whenever fresh produce is not available, Govinda
Benifuuki, Keiko, €15.90 – I just wrote about this wonder matcha for allergy sufferers!