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Six Supplements to Aid in Your New Year’s Detox
By Jackson O’Connell-Barlow

Jackson O’Connell-BarlowMany folks make drastic changes to their diet and lifestyle to oblige New Year's resolutions after indulgent eating and drinking during the holidays, but that might be counterproductive in their progression towards deeper health. January and February, in much of the United States, are synonymous with inclement weather and stressful situations. Changing the goal from noticeable weight loss or muscle building to physiological adaptation and preparation might better serve us for the year ahead. I would suggest waiting for spring to do an ambitious cleansing, fasting, or weight-focused exercise. Better to spend cold winter months gently priming our body's systems. Below are some tips and a few of my personal favorite supplements to assist in the pursuit of better health in the New Year.

Support digestive health with probiotics, enzymes, and herbal remedies. This will encourage the evolution of your exclusive internal bacteria and ensure that the foods you eat are broken down, absorbed, and converted into energy. My favorites: Digest Gold by Enzymedica, Dr. Ohirra's Probiotic formula, and Triphala (A traditional Ayurvedic blend of three bitter Indian fruits that support the entire gastrointestinal tract, improving digestion, elimination, and assimilation of nutrients).

Reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health with Serrapeptase, a proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme. When this enzyme is isolated and coated in the form of a tablet, it has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and a pain-blocker, much like aspirin or ibuprofen.  Some preliminary research suggests Serrapeptase may even help inhibit plaque build-up in arteries.

Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids (or EFAs) and monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, are all excellent sources of energy, fat-soluble vitamins, and other vital nutrients, and are essential components of all membranes of the trillions of cells in the body. From cognitive function to hormone production, these fats play a significant role in nutritionally restorative regimens. My favorite: Udo's Oil 3-6-9 Blend

Winter can be quite stressful, both physically and mentally. Supporting adrenal health can help ease the effects of high cortisol levels, including quality of sleep and energy levels. My favorite: Adrenal Health by Gaia Herbs

Following these recommendations (which are not just that, and not intended to replace professional medical advice) may help you prime your body for a more rigorous cleanse or fitness routine when the days are longer and the weather warmer.

Jackson O’Connell-Barlow is East End Food Co-op Supplements Buyer. East End Food Co-op is the last natural foods co-op left in Pittsburgh from those original, back-to- nature stores. The Co-op offers all of the products of a full-service grocery store, but with a natural and local touch. For more information, visit www.eastendfood.coop.

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