With the summer days seemingly drawing to a close, we may all be feeling a little more lethargic and lacking in energy. Could that be down to the change in the weather or are you not getting the right nutrition to support your body’s energy production? Find out in this week’s Nutrition News.
The vitamins and supplements that support energy
Vitamins and minerals are important for all sorts of functions within the body; one function that may not be quite so obvious, however, is their role in energy production. Without enough of certain vitamins and minerals we can end up feeling lethargic and weaker than normal, this article from Healthline evaluates a number of different dietary supplements and their role in energy production.
Vitamin B12 is one vitamin that is well known to support energy production, which is why it is so important for those on vegan or vegetarian diets to monitor their B12 levels as it is mostly consumed through animal-derived products. Vitamin B12 helps transform the food you eat into energy to be used by your cells, it also helps keep your body’s nerves and blood cells healthy.
Other nutrients that could support energy production according to Healthline’s article include:
Ashwagandha is a small shrub found in some parts of sub-tropical India and North Africa. It has been used for centuries as a way of supplementing the diet and support feelings of energy and vitality as an adaptogen.
COQ10 is another nutrient that is involved in the production of energy in the mitochondria of all cells. It is a vitamin and enzyme combination that is fat soluble, so doesn’t need to be consumed as regularly as water soluble vitamins but its levels in the body do decline with age so it is important to monitor as we get older to ensure our vital organs, such as the heart, get the energy they need.
Iron is needed to produce haemoglobin, which is a protein in the red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to organs and tissues in the body. Without enough iron, you develop anaemia and the organs do not get enough oxygen, leading to feelings of weakness and fatigue.
Creatine, which is naturally found in meat such as pork, red meat and poultry, serves a quick source of energy. When the body uses ATP for energy, it loses a phosphate group and becomes adenosine diphosphate. When your body needs a quick source of energy, creatine lends its phosphate to ADP to become ATP.
See the Healthline article for more examples of nutrients that support energy production in the body.
How SAMe with probiotics could support mood
New research, as reported by Medscape, suggests that the combination of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) could support mood. The research, carried out by Italian investigators and led by Alberto Saccarello, MD, a physician in private practice, assigned 90 participants with mild-to-moderate depression to receive either the supplements or a placebo over a six week period. The researchers claim that, from as early as two weeks, they saw improvements in mood and feelings of wellbeing in the non-placebo group.
The research looked to further prove the role the microbiome plays in our mental state and while more research is needed, it is a positive step with the results both showing that such supplements may have an effect on mild depression as well as acting quickly, without any noted side effects.
The nutrients for a healthy heart
Heart health is incredibly important, while we all know we should watch our weight in order to stay healthy and not put strain on our organs, there are many vitamins and minerals that are needed to maintain a healthy heart. This article on heart health by Healthline looks at a number of heart healthy foods that we can incorporate into our diet.
One such example is leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, as they are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin K1, which contributes towards normal blood clotting. Avocados are another food that helps support heart health through their monosaturated fat content, they’re also a great source of potassium, which contributes towards normal blood pressure.
Fish and fish oils, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, contribute to the maintenance of normal blood triglycerides and normal heart function.
These foods, and many others on Healthline’s extensive list, are packed with nutrients that support normal health and wellbeing, illustrating the importance of a varied and balanced diet.
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Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.