By Megan Barber, Grocery and Wellness Buyer, Merchandising Manager, Co-op Owner
We’ve all been standing at the shelves looking at supplements and wondering how you even pronounce “Ashwagandha” or “Schizandra” let alone what they are supposed to do for you and your body! When I first started working for the co-op, I was beyond confused about the rows of small supplement bottles. I had never even heard of most them outside the ingredients of my childhood Flinstone’s multivitamin. There’s a whole world of products like matcha and reishi that have been around for ages and used in health for just as long with a history of benefits for the body and mind. Here is a list of a few supplements which have been gaining popularity lately that I’ve found most people are curious about:
Maca: aids in stamina and endurance, this root grows in the Andes Mountains and has long been used by the Andean people as an energy tonic.
Ashwagandha: traditionally supports strength and vitality, it is also addresses short-term stress in the body from everyday causes, leaving you more calm and relaxed.
Matcha: is a finely ground powder of a whole young green tea leaf high in chlorophyll. It supports the body by supplying calm energy with no crash from its caffeine paired with the amino acid L-theanine.
Schizandra: aids in healthy heart and liver, but is also often used to boost energy and improve concentration.
Reishi: is a mushroom that grows on almost every continent where it is primarily used to support a healthy immune system with its high beta-glucan levels. It is also known to support the body in stress and provide antioxidants!
Turmeric: is a bright spice made from the ground rhizome that is mainly used to support joints and digestion! It is also gaining more research for pain and inflammation of the body as well!
Moringa: is a small leaf packed with nutrition! It is a great source of iron, potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene, making it a nutrient rival of kale and spinach! It also contains all nine essential amino acids we need from our diet.
Most herbs can be found dried, in capsule form, in a liquid extract, and already added to other prepared foods like Rebbl brand beverages. Adding powders and liquids to a smoothie can be a great delivery system and mask any possible herbal tastes. Some herbs make great teas as well! Others you might find more success in taking concentrated forms like capsules and extracts directly to be sure you’re getting a more impactful dose.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. As always, if you are considering a new supplement, or if you are experiencing an ongoing health issue, you should consult your physician or pharmasist.