What do supplements actually do for us?

Supplements come from all over the place and are definitely not great when it comes to carbon footprints but they definitely whack a punch in nutritional values. I can’t resist taking them but I often forget what’s actually in them and what they’re for. Most of mine tend to come from Detox Trading, the lovely people who took us through our first raw detox in the UK in 2007.

BEE POLLEN (China or various places) ~ contain all the essential amino acids. It contains a full spectrum of vitamins especially vitamins B12 and E, and significant amounts of B1, B2, B3, B5, C, and vitamin D. It contains various minerals including calcium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, sodium, potassium, aluminium, magnesium and copper. It contains trace elements and enzymes (including antioxidants), and co-enzymes, pigments, xanthophylls, carotenes, and sterols, phytosterols, lignans (dibenzyl butanes) isoflavones and flavonoids Hormone precursors (which stimulate hormone production and help anti-ageing). It contains carbohydrates and fatty acids. Bee Pollen is made up of 5-25% amino acids, up to 40% carbohydrates, 5% fatty oils and up to 35% protein. Apologies to my vegan friends. I have a lot of bee pollen in stock and I’m not sure that I’ll buy it again … I haven’t quite decided.

CACAO (Peru) ~ is remarkably rich in sulphur and magnesium. Magnesium balances the brain’s chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard UK Diet (SUKD); over 80% of us are chronically deficient in Magnesium. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin C and E and at least 300 other identifiable chemical compounds and possibly up to 1,200 chemical constituents. Cacao contains Serotonin, Tryptophan, Anandamide, Dopamine, PEA and MAO inhibitors which all have a positive effect on brain chemistry. Cacao beans are high in anti-oxidants – they are 500 times richer in anti-oxidants than blueberries with a flavonol anti-oxidant count of 10%. … and yes it also apparently contains caffeine which is why it can keep you up all night! I love making raw chocolate as a treat.

CAMU CAMU POWDER (Peru) ~ apparently has the highest recorded amount of natural vitamin C known on the planet. Oranges provide 500-4,000 ppm vitamin C, or ascorbic acid; acerola has tested in the range of 16,000 to 172,000 ppm. Camu-camu provides up to 500,000 ppm, or about 2 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. In comparison to oranges, camu-camu provides thirty times more vitamin C, ten times more iron, three times more niacin, twice as much riboflavin, and 50% more phosphorus. Camu-camu is also a significant source of potassium, providing 711 mg per kg of fruit. It also has a full complement of minerals and amino acids that can aid in the absorption of vitamin C. Alpha-pinene and d-limonene (compounds known as terpenes) predominate as the volatile compounds in this fruit. I sometimes add a spoon of camu camu to my green smoothies.

CHIA SEEDS (Ecuador) ~ have the highest plant source of Omega 3 on the planet, more antioxidants than blueberries, all 9 amino acids, calcium, magnesium and iron. Make a great porridge with almond or hemp seed milk and are a great alternative to flax in crackers. Kate Wood has a marvellous recipe for chocolate chia biscuits.

GOJI BERRIES (CHINA) ~ are reported to contain 18 Amino acids (six times higher than bee pollen), more Beta Carotene than carrots, more Iron than spinach, and 21 Trace Minerals. They contain Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E (rarely found in fruits), and more Vitamin C by weight than oranges. They are 13% protein, contain many complex compounds, phytonutrients and lastly they contain extremely high levels of antioxidants. I love eating a small handful of these when I’m craving something sweet.

HEMP SEEDS (Germany) ~ has 3 unique nutritional factors. It has an ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6 for sustainable human health, it has a full amino acid spectrum meaning it provides complete protein, and it has a massive trace mineral content. They are completely versatile. I love sprinkling them on salads, adding them to smoothies …

LUCUMA POWDER (Peru) ~ is a sweetener and an excellent source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has lots of beta-carotene, niacin (B3) and iron. It’s good in a smoothie or added with cacao.

MACA POWDER (Peru) ~ contains 10% bioavailable calcium and about 12-14% bioavailable protein and nearly 60 phytochemicals. It’s an adaptogen so it “adapts” to your body’s metabolism, working with your body on to repairs. It doesn’t contain hormones, but it naturally stimulates the pituitary into producing the precursor hormones which ultimately end up raising oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels. It also helps to balance the adrenal glands, the thyroid and the pancreas. It’s good in a smoothie or added with cacao.

MESQUITE POWDER (Peru) ~ is a low glycemic sweetener that works well with cacao, nutritious powder that is ground from mesquite pods. It is high in protein and rich in lysine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and dietary fibre. It’s good in a smoothie or added with cacao.

MSM POWDER, PLANT-BASED (China) ~ stands for Methyl‐sulphonyl‐methane. MSM is a nutritional form of sulphur, which is an essential component in the formation of collagen, elastin, cartilage and keratin. It gives flexibility, tone and strength to muscles, bones, joints, internal membranes and especially the skin, hair and nails. Adequate levels of sulphur in the body help to promote a radiant complexion, glowing skin and mineralised hair. Sulphur is often referred to as “The beauty mineral”. However, research has found that most people are deficient in sulphur and that deficiency increases with age. I have a teaspoon of this in filtered water when I first wake up.

RAW ONE FOR MEN ~ seems like the safest bet. It’s uncooked, untreated and unadulterated. It is raw, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no soy allergens, no binders and no fillers. It contains vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, Folic Acid, B12, Biotin, B5, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Indian Gooseberry and a blend of Raw Enzymes and Probiotics. I don’t even know what all of these things are but it’s an impressive list! I try to take one every day.

SPIRULINA POWDER (China) ~ is a tiny aquatic plant that offers 60% all-vegetable protein, essential vitamins and phytonutrients such as the antioxidant beta carotene, the rare essential fatty acid GLA, sulfolipids, glycolipids and polysaccharides. Its deep green colour comes from its rainbow of natural pigments – chlorophyll (green), phycocyanin (blue) and carotenoids (orange) – that harvest the sun’s energy. Easy-to-digest so nutrients are absorbed quickly. I love adding this to my smoothies or.

WHITE MULBERRIES (Turkey) ~ a rich source of resveratrol which is found primarily in red wine. Mulberries contain moranoline, which delays the absorption of carbohydrates and promotes healthy glucose levels already within normal range. The anthocyanins in Mulberry are strong antioxidants. Besides being an antioxidant, resveratrol is an anti-mutagen and a strong anti-inflammatory. An anti-mutagen is a compound that inhibits the mutation of healthy normal cells into cancerous growths and tumors. Chronic inflammation is believed to be at the root of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer. I love eating a small handful of these when I’m craving something sweet.