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Best Foods and Supplements for the Mind, Body & Gut
By Jill Levy
September 8, 2022
While some foods and supplements provide benefits for specific parts of your body, such as your joints or gut, others are great multitaskers. This makes sense, considering that the brain, immune system and gut are all connected; therefore, when you benefit one of these body parts, you’re likely also supporting the others.
Which foods and supplements support your body overall? And can they help with exercise recovery, energy, maintaining healthy metabolic functions and cognitive health? Yes.
Among the top recommendations for “mind, gut and body-wide” supplements and foods are: leafy greens, oily fish, Multi Collagen Protein, multivitamins, SBO probiotics and others.
Not only do these provide nutrients that are critical to our overall health and well-being, but they can also help us perform our best both physically and mentally and to age gracefully.
For example, collagen contributes to joint comfort and mobility, while probiotics can play a role in digestion, nutrient absorption and even one’s mindset.
Fresh vegetables — especially leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens — are full of beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemical compounds that help to build and support various parts of the body.
Adding leafy greens to your diet can help promote a healthy immune system, antioxidant activity and a normal response to inflammation. Greens also help fight oxidative stress (linked to accelerated aging) and support the health of the gut lining, which is essential for normal digestion, elimination and assimilation of nutrients.
Some of the best ways to incorporate more greens into your daily diet include: eating a daily salad, adding a handful to smoothies, or sauteing them with olive oil and spices to serve with your favorite meals.
Oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna are among the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which we must get from our diets since our bodies cannot make them on their own.
Omega-3s are “heart healthy fats” that help promote a normal response to inflammation, support cardiovascular and cognitive health, and contribute to growth and development in children.
Loaded with antioxidants and full of vitamin C and fiber, berries are some of the healthiest fruits available to us. They can support healthy immune function, due to their supply of essential vitamins and phytonutrients, plus they benefit digestion and gut health by providing a good amount of fiber.
Some of the best types include strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, acai, goji, camu camu and also cherries. Add them to smoothies and shakes, yogurt or kefir, oatmeal, baked goods and healthy desserts.
Probiotic foods are gut-friendly foods that foster the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut, while also supporting digestive health and healthy immune function. They help your body absorb and synthesize essential nutrients, support a healthy gut lining, and promote healthy elimination.
You’ll find probiotics in fermented foods including sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other cultured veggies. Try to fit 1–2 servings of these foods into your meals each day, such as by adding sauerkraut to meat dishes or having yogurt for breakfast, for digestive support and beyond.
Some people fear eating eggs regularly due to their fat and cholesterol content, but the truth is, you need some cholesterol in your diet for overall health, but eggs provide many other valuable nutrients too.
High in choline, which isn’t widely found in many foods, eggs can contribute to supporting brain health and cognitive functions. They also provide carotenoid antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, iron, vitamin B12, plus some omega-3 fats and protein.
Most of the eggs’ nutrients are found inside the yolks, so opt for organic, free-range eggs and eat the whole thing. Enjoy eggs with sautéed veggies, in frittatas or omelets, or in stir-fries such as “fried brown rice.”
Nuts and seeds — such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia, flax and hemp seeds —can be considered superfoods for nearly your whole body because of the many minerals they provide, plus their healthy fats and fiber.
Because they’re rich in polyunsaturated fats and even some omega-3s, nuts and seeds have been shown to play a role in supporting cardiovascular health, cognitive health, and healthy, normal hormone production. They also keep your appetite in check by making you feel fuller, and they can contribute to gut health by providing fiber and prebiotics that help to “feed” beneficial probiotics in the gut.
Whether you’re looking for a collagen product geared towards cognitive support, exercise performance, joint comfort or skin health, we’ve got a formula for you. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation.
Our need for collagen, a type of structural protein that forms connective tissues throughout the body, typically increases as we age, but the typical diet offers practically no collagen.
Our new Collagen Matcha Energizer combines the gut, skin and joint support of Multi Collagen Protein with those of antioxidant-filled matcha green tea.
Featuring both protein (from 10 types of collagen!) plus phytonutrients, matcha collagen supports healthy energy levels, a reduction in fatigue, enhanced focus and mental stamina, plus a healthy gut. And because it supplies you with multiple types of collagen protein, it also supports healthy skin, joint comfort and mobility, and exercise recovery.
To reap the benefits of cognitive health-supporting botanicals, try our Multi Collagen Brain Boost formula, which features clinically studied ashwagandha root and leaf extract, ginkgo leaves and bacopa brahmi leaves, plus organic lion’s mane extract. This combo can help promote mental clarity and concentration, support a positive mindset, help alleviate the effects of stress and tension, and support healthy energy and more restful sleep.
To use our MCP products, simply add a scoop to coffee, a smoothie, your favorite type of milk or water. MCP can be enjoyed hot or iced, and it’s even great to bake with. Always read and follow product label directions for use.
Even if you eat a relatively healthy diet, you still may be lacking certain nutrients (such as vitamin D or magnesium) that often come up short in many people’s diets.
Supplementing daily with a high-quality, fermented multivitamin is a simple way to fill in potential gaps in your diet and to contribute to benefits such as supporting a healthy immune system, healthy energy levels and more.
What’s special about fermented multis? When you take a food-based multivitamin supplement that’s been fermented, it helps to break down some of the nutrients and make them more absorbable. In other words, some of the work is already done for you; this way you digest and utilize the vitamins and minerals as well as possible.
Ancient Nutrition offers several unique multivitamin formulas tailored to the specific vitamin needs of women and men. Most often you’ll need to take 1–3 capsules daily, usually with a meal to support absorption. Be sure to read and follow label directions for use.
For adult women, we offer Ancient Multi Women’s, which features 100 percent or more of the daily value of 14 essential vitamins and minerals plus multi-kingdom ingredients inspired by the Traditional Chinese Method, or TCM. Adult men can opt for our Ancient Multi Men’s that includes functional mushrooms and herbs for healthy immune system and cardiovascular support, and beyond.
When it comes to supporting healthy aging, omega-3s are often included. That’s because, generally speaking, they play a key role in cardiovascular health, brain function, joint health, healthy growth and development, a healthy inflammatory response and more.
As mentioned above, eating fish regularly is one way to meet your needs for these healthy fats, but unfortunately many people don’t realistically do this. For those falling short of their omega-3 needs, taking an omega-3 supplement makes it easy to get a balanced serving of different essential fatty acids everyday, including omegas 3s, 6s and 9s.
Ancient Omegas Whole Body capsules feature a special combination of organic plant and wild ocean omega fatty acids, including those from chia oil and wild-caught tuna and New Zealand hoki.
Most adults can benefit from about 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids daily. A general recommendation of Ancient Nutrition’s Omega supplements is three capsules daily with 8 ounces of water or juice for most adults.
As a functional mushroom with centuries’ worth of history, cordyceps mushrooms are prized for their impact on energy, endurance and physical performance. They can help support both exercise performance and recovery, as well as overall stamina.
What makes these mushrooms special? They’re rich in polysaccharides, which are digested by and used by the body as potential energy sources, plus they contain antioxidants and other protective compounds.
Try either our Cordyceps Energy and Endurance capsules — which also feature ashwagandha to help promote a positive mindset and healthy response to stress — or our Multi Mushroom Daily Immune Defense tablets if you want to benefit from eight different species of functional mushrooms.
As you learned above, probiotics are live microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and other microbes, that live inside the gut and support digestion and immune system health. They can be obtained from fermented foods, plus in capsule form which is a convenient way to boost your intake.
Why should you add a probiotic supplement to your routine? They’re best known for contributing to a healthy gut microbiome, but probiotics do much more. They can help reduce occasional constipation, gas and bloating, support a healthy inflammation response, and more.
Ancient Nutrition’s soil-based organism (SBO) probiotics feature “hardy” and survivable microbial strains that are capable of making it to the right parts of the gut without being destroyed.
Depending on your health interests, try one of Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotic formulas, which feature between 25 and 100 CFUs* (*at time of manufacture) of SBOs per serving in combination with organic fermented blends of superfoods for extra mind-body support. We offer formulas tailored to women and men, plus those intended for gut support and promoting a healthy immune system.
A general recommendation for Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotics is for adults to take two capsules daily with 8 ounces of water. SBO Probiotics are best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before a meal. Always read and follow label directions for use.
If you’re not familiar with the many benefits of turmeric and its active ingredient called curcumin, this is a powerhouse herb that has been used in health traditions for thousands of years.
Turmeric is best known for supporting a healthy response to inflammation, but it can also contribute to joint health, including joint range of motion and more. Adding it to your daily routine can help reduce joint tenderness, improve joint mobility and decrease exercise-induced joint discomfort.
There isn’t one established recommended dosage of turmeric for adults; however, it’s thought that taking approximately one gram of curcumin per day can help promote better health. However, you should always read and follow label directions for use.
For turmeric supplements to be best absorbed they should be combined with black pepper, which contains the compound called piperine that’s been shown to enhance curcumin’s absorption.
Ancient Nutrition's Organic Turmeric tablets are made with a blend of organic turmeric root extract and fermented turmeric root, plus organic black pepper fruit. Fermentation supports the body’s ability to absorb the herb’s compounds. Take one tablet per day with 8 ounces of water or your favorite beverage.