Here’s the first half of a handy A-Z reference guide offering an alphabetized assortment of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, supplements, and tips to help you optimize your health and overall fitness.
If any of this is new or otherwise unfamiliar to you, be sure to see a health-care professional for guidance and to have your questions answered. Consider this your first of two doses of alphabet soup. Today we cover A through M, with N through Z to follow soon.
Ayurvedic medicine. A type of holistic medical practice dating back thousands of years and growing in popularity in Western civilization. It is rooted in time-tested principles that involve treating illnesses through the use of, mainly, herbal compounds and special diets instead of prescription medications.
Biotin: Also known as vitamin B7, biotin takes the food we eat and helps transform it into energy. It also contributes to the health and wellness of your hair, skin, nails, eyes, liver, and nervous system.
Chelation therapy. This is a go-to type of therapy for anyone suffering from heavy-metal poisoning. Its key ingredient is EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), a synthetic amino acid that is injected into the bloodstream, where it binds to metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic before removing them from the body via the passing of urine..
Depression: This condition involves a disorder of the mind that can wreak havoc on your quality of life. Symptoms can include a persistent, underlying sadness accompanied by thoughts of negativity or worry difficult to shake. Dietary supplements such as St. John’s Wort can help alleviate such problems.
Echinacea: This herb, readily found in grocery stores as a nutritional supplement, can aid in boosting the immune system and as an effective treatment for wounds and infections.
Folic acid: Folic acid is a form of vitamin B9, a water-soluble vitamin. Among its many contributions to your health are playing a role in the production of DNA and in preventing birth defects in a baby’s brain and spine while in the mother’s womb.
Ginger: This herb can be a wonderful spice for adding flavor to foods. It has been helpful in alleviating digestive issues such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and stomachache. And that’s just scratching the surface of ginger’s many health benefits.
Hyaluronic acid: This is a substance naturally found in your body as well as in skincare products with a strong record of effectiveness. It is a clear lubricant that can help in the retention of collagen, increase moisture, and promote elasticity and flexibility.
Iodine: About 60 percent of the iodine in your body is stored in the thyroid gland. That makes sense because iodine plays a central role in supporting the functionality of the thyroid gland, which sends out hormones that regulate your body’s basic metabolic rate. Food sources include shellfish, seaweed, garlic, kelp, lima beans, spinach, soybeans, and sesame seeds.
Joint pain: Chalk this up to inflammation within the joint, leading to both pain and swelling, and, possibly, arthritis as you age. Foods and nutrients that can help ward off joint pain include vitamin C, glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D and, of course, fruits and vegetables in general.
Ketogenic diet: A low-carb diet, somewhat similar to the Atkins diet, in which the goal is to get a higher percentage of your calories from protein and fat, and fewer from carbs. It is a popular weight-loss diet in which a metabolic process known as ketosis is induced in your body, with the idea being to burn more fats. It is helpful in other areas of health as well, such as potentially clearing up acne, helping with nervous system disorders, and treating diabetes.
Leaky gut. This is the phrase that describes a condition in which your intestinal lining has become too porous, permitting undigested food molecules and other forms of waste to seep out into your bloodstream before being properly broken down.
Melatonin: This popular sleep aid, abundantly available as a dietary supplement, can also help in reducing the symptoms of jet lag.