As 2017 winds down, it's a nice practice to reflect on all the new things we learned over the last 12 months. This year was chock-full of innovations in the health and wellness sphere. We discovered the true powers of intermittent fasting, what health experts do when they have brain fog, and found the best natural skin care products at Target. We also got to know a lot of new supplements. We learned why we might need them, how to incorporate them into our wellness regime, and then reaped the benefits of their healing properties. Here are five that really made an impact this year:
5 Supplements We Became Obsessed With This Year
1. Magnesium oil and Epsom salts.
Step aside, capsules, because there are a thousand cool, creative, exciting ways to supplement with magnesium. Magnesium is a crucial cofactor in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body and plays a major role in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine, which are on the list of important feel-good chemicals we all want in our brains. Because of this, a magnesium deficiency—which can be caused by a lot of things but most importantly stress—can manifest in a wide range of symptoms like trouble sleeping, muscle spasms, and anxiety or mood problems. So what happens when you start taking magnesium? You might notice a healthier mood, less painful menstrual cramps, and more regular digestion. One of the greatest things about magnesium is that you don't have to just supplement with a capsule. This has been the year of magnesium oil foot rubs and luxurious Epsom salt baths, which can both provide a nice dose of this "relaxation mineral."
2. Vitamin K.
Vitamin K isn't as famous as vitamin D or C, but as we learned this year, it plays a major role in the body. It's often referred to as the "coagulation" vitamin because of the role it plays in blood clotting in the body. It also helps activate at least 17 different proteins in the body. Research has shown that supplementing with vitamin K may be helpful for conditions ranging from osteoporosis to diabetes to cancer, and functional medicine experts are often recommending it to their patients for healthier bones and arteries. It's about time we gave this underappreciated nutrient a little more attention.
3. Evening primrose oil.
As we learn about the downside of hormonal birth control and estrogen-mimicking chemicals, we're starting to think more about hormone balance. Hormones have a big influence on our weight and mood, so it behooves us to live a lifestyle that keeps them in balance as best we can. Evening primrose oil (EPO) is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose flower, which is high in omega-6s. EPO is famous for supporting female hormone balance and works by supporting levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has major anti-inflammatory properties and does wonders for hormone regulation. Women thank evening primrose oil supplements for their ability to help with PMS and cystic acne, in particular. It's also a great oil to put directly on the face, especially helpful for extra-dry or inflamed skin from conditions like acne and eczema.
If you aren't familiar with glutathione, it's about time you learned about its many powers. It's known as the "master antioxidant" because when you increase levels of glutathione in the body, you increase levels of all other antioxidants as well. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, "Our body can make its own glutathione; unfortunately, numerous things—including a poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation—can quickly deplete this crucial antioxidant." It plays a major role in the body's detoxification system, which is especially important these days as we are encountering more toxins than ever before. Glutathione-rich foods include asparagus, avocado, and spinach, and you'll get more glutathione for your buck if you eat them raw.
5. CBD oil.
CBD is all the rage in the wellness world; you'll find it on the drink menu at trendy Brooklyn cafes, in artisanal chocolates, and infused in a whole line of topical products from CW Hemp. CBD is the sister molecular to TCH—the main psychoactive compound in marijuana—but unlike its counterpart, it doesn't get you high. It does, however, still contain a plethora of neuroprotective, adaptogenic, and antioxidant healing properties. It's shown promise for conditions like chronic pain, seizure disorders, anxiety, and insomnia and is legal in all 50 states. We can all expect to see more about CBD in 2018.
Ready to try some CBD oil? Here's a CBD-infused lavender hot chocolate to get you started.