For the stressed-out university student: supplements 101
Are you stressed out and in need of some supplemental advice? We talked to Nicole Fodor, a certified holistic nutritionist, about five supplement recommendations for stressed-out students.
According to Fodor, an issue in today’s society is that many of our foods are less nutrient–dense than ever before, and our nutrient needs are increased due to stress and exposure to toxins. Even a person who is eating the healthiest diet is often dealing with some sort of nutrient deficiency. This is where the supplements come into play.
The first supplement Fodor recommends is a general multi- vitamin, as it helps to support the body during times of stress and helps to balance out an improper nutrition. It is difficult to consume the recommended intake of micronutrients by diet alone; multivitamins help to meet these recommendations and ward off vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is best to take multivitamins with food and take a two-a-day formula for maximum absorption, says Fodor.
Don’t be afraid! Fish oil supplements are sold in capsule form, so while the supplement sounds kind of gross, it’s easy to take. Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which Fodor says is beneficial for students because it helps to support memory, as well as brain and nervous system health. Fish oil is best taken with food.
It’s safe to say that most students are stressed. Fodor notes that stress can affect the health of the gastrointestinal tract (also known as the gut), which can result in impaired memory, focus, concentration, mood, and skin condition. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to stave off “bad” bacteria that can cause colds, infections, and weak immune systems, says Fodor. Formulas vary, so follow the label to see how best to take probiotics.
Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb that helps to increase circulation to the brain and acts as an antioxidant. Fodor says that the result is a modest increase in focus, concentration, and memory. Ginkgo can be taken when needed, with or without food.
There a variety of options to choose from, but Fodor recommends one that she used to take during university: L–Threonine. It’s an amino acid that helps to produce a sort of calm alertness, says Fodor. This amino acid works quickly, and individuals can take it during a stressful day or when preparing for a test. This supplement does not need to be taken every day, and it can be taken with or without food.
Supplements do just that: supplement
Fodor cautions that supplements are not designed to replace a healthy diet. Rather they are intended to complement it. As well, some supplements may seem expensive, but the size, quality, and dosage all factor into the price.
If you’re interested in finding more information about supplements, visit Optimum Health Vitamins in Oliver Square, just a few blocks from City Centre Campus, or check out Fodor’s website: