At SmartyPants, we've made it our mission to be in-the-know, to sift through all the latest nutrition research to make it easier for people to be healthy. And we've found that amid the hype of all the new wellness trends, it can be easy to overlook some of the most essential nutrients that our bodies really need.
That's why we're taking the time to point a spotlight on some of our favorite (and potentially most overlooked) nutrients. Here are three superstar nutrients that we're learning new and amazing things about everyday--nutrients that are on rise and deserve our undivided attention...
1. B12, methylcobalamin
As we mentioned in a previous post on MindBodyGreen, vitamin B12, like other B vitamins, is important for your metabolism. It's a facilitator of macronutrient processing and helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system. In it's natural form, B12 is called cobalamin and only found in animal products, which is why the synthetic form of B12 is preferable to anyone limiting their meat intake.
There are two types of lab-created vitamin B12: (1) cyanocobalamin and (2) methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a man-made form of vitamin B12. As its name implies, it contains a minute dose of cyanide, a toxin your body must work to remove, and is the most common and least expensive form of B12.
But B12 methylcobalamin is an important nutrient that deserves more attention. As the name implies, it's part of the methyl group and is nontoxic and more bioavailable. It's also been shown to be potentially better absorbed in your tissues, which is more beneficial for your liver, brain, and nervous system.
2. EPA, omega 3
There are many kinds of omega 3 essential fatty acids that can be derived from food sources and supplements such as fish oil and flax oil, but the most important of them are EPA, DHA and ALA. They're essential and cannot be produced by the body so we must get them from our diets.
In wellness, we hear a lot about DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in omega 3's, but the truth is, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), is just as important and deserves more attention because, unfortunately, EPA isn't present in a lot of omega 3 supplements.
EPA's are excellent for your heart. They help in maintaining healthy triglycerides levels, blood vessel function and they support a healthy heart rhythm.*
Additionally, EPA and DHA are the dynamic duo of bio-available omega-3s that may have increased benefits when consumed together. These benefits include: