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5 Secrets of Getting the Most from Your Vitamins and Supplements

5 Secrets of Getting the Most from Your Vitamins and Supplements

Many of us take vitamins and supplements in order to support our health and well-being. One of the challenges we face is choosing from the many options. It might be an even greater challenge yet to properly prioritize our vitamin intake.  We must address such questions as, “Is there a specific time of day to take a given supplement that is most ideal?”, or “Can they all be taken together at the same time?”

Indeed, we should be mindful about which supplements to take, when.  According to the latest research from the medical community [1], some vitamins and minerals, like calcium and iron, can inhibit absorption of each other up to five fold [2]. On the other end of the spectrum there are vitamins such as iron and vitamin C that work in synergy with one another, and taking them together improves absorption [3]. In fact, there has been a great deal of quality research conducted for years which we can draw upon, that can lend itself to practical, daily, real-life application.

Knowledge is power.

Below is the summary of the strongest and most common interactions of vitamins and minerals with each other and with food. Following suggestions outlined below will help you get the most from your supplements. Until now, most people have lacked the proper information about vitamin interactions.  With the vitamin secrets I share below, you will be able to take them in a way that they have the most positive effective on your body.  If you are prepared to receive these well-kept, hidden secrets of vitamin know-how, it will prove beyond powerful in the most beneficial, healthy ways.

Secret 1

Take vitamins B1, B12, iron and CoQ-10 during the first half of day.

These micronutrients especially in the larger quantities have energizing effect on the body and as such are best taken during the first half of the day [4,5].

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Secret 2

Take all fat-soluble vitamins and minerals with a meal containing fat.

Fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K) as well as fat-soluble micronutrients such as CoQ-10, lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin and other carotenoids need presence of fat to be absorbed well [6].

Secret 3

Take calcium and magnesium supplements in the evening.

Calcium and magnesium are important minerals that can help our bodies relax. The body uses calcium at night as it is a natural muscle relaxant. Research has shown that disturbed sleep patterns, such as a lack of deep REM sleep, have been associated with low levels of calcium [7,8].

Secret 4

Take calcium and iron supplements at least 4 hours away from each other. Opt for liquid iron supplements and take them with vitamin C. Drink with water or orange juice.

Calcium and iron can inhibit absorption of each other up to five-fold and are best taken at different times of day [2].  Vitamin C greatly improves iron absorption. Iron absorption can be inhibited by polyphenols in beverages, thus iron supplements should be taken with water or juice.

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Secret 5

Do not drink soda, tea or coffee within 2 hours of taking your supplements other than antioxidants.

Polyphenols in many beverages greatly inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals [9,10]. Take your supplements with water or juice.

 

While it might be the most convenient to take all the supplements at once, in order to get all health benefits it’s worth following the Vitamin Secrets and setting appropriate times for taking each of them.

 

List of References:

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1. http://www.vital-formulas.com/scientific_evidence/nutrient-interactions/

2. Calcium supplementation: effect on iron absorption. Cook J.D., et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991; 53: 106–11.

3. Effect of ascorbic acid intake on nonheme-iron absorption from a complete diet. Am J Clin Nutr January 2001 vol. 73 no. 1 93-98.

4. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin

5. Clinical aspects of coenzyme Q: Improvement of cellular bioenergetics or antioxidant protection? Littarru, Gian Paolo, et al. Handbook of Antioxidants, Eds. Enrique Cadenas, Lester Parker, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1996, pp. 203-239.

6. Influence of dietary fat on beta-carotene absorption and bioconversion into vitamin A. Nutr Rev.</span> 2002 Apr;60(4):104-10.

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7. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. S. Johnson. 2001. Med Hypotheses. 2001; 56(2).

8. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/163169.php

9. Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Mar;37(3):416-20.

10. Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. Br J Nutr.</span> 1999 Apr;81(4):289-95.

Featured photo credit: Vitamins Clock via vital-formulas.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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