Supplement Your Diet With These 3 Foods
Whether you’re interested in building muscle, preventing disease, or just making sure your nutritional needs are balanced, these three supplements can make a great addition to your diet.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the easiest ways to supplement with apple cider vinegar is to make salad dressing with it to liven up your greens. Used medicinally for thousands of years, apple cider vinegar has several science-backed benefits for the body, the most notable of which is helping to stabilize blood sugar. Apple cider vinegar has been used to help individuals with diabetes limit blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity. When used preventatively as a supplement, apple cider vinegar may help you avoid diseases related to insulin resistance. Improving insulin sensitivity also has a positive effect on digestion: You may feel fuller faster and for longer.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making it a powerful ally in helping your body stave off chronic disease. When you’re buying apple cider vinegar to use as a supplement, look for a brand that includes “the mother,” a cloud of proteins, enzymes, and probiotics found at the bottom of the bottle. You can add apple cider vinegar to foods or beverages for a flavorful kick. If you’re drinking apple cider vinegar as a supplement, be sure to dilute 1 tablespoon in at least 8 ounces of water to protect your teeth and throat from its acidity.
Casein protein can give your body a boost with amino acids that help repair muscles and build tissues. What is casein protein? Similar to protein powders made with whey, casein is a milk protein that’s easy for the body to digest, but it stays in the body longer. Casein’s ability to stimulate protein synthesis in the body makes it ideal as a supplement to build lean muscle tissue. It’s recommended to take a casein protein supplement before bed so that the amino acids help build and strengthen muscle tissues as your sleep turns your body into a powerhouse for recovery.
This protein supplement offers the benefits of helping to curb hunger and stabilize blood sugar between meals. Whey protein tends to cause a fast-acting spike in amino acids in the body whereas casein has a slower-releasing effect on the body. This slower digestion is part of what keeps you full longer.
When you’re buying casein protein powder to add to a post-workout smoothie or snack before bed, be on the lookout for A2 beta-casein. This naturally occurring protein is easier to digest and less likely to cause sensitivity issues. People who are lactose intolerant should be able to supplement with A2 beta-casein made from goat’s milk.
3. Chia Seeds
Recently touted as a superfood, chia seeds are a prime example of Mother Nature packing good things in small packages. These small seeds provide a wide range of nutrients, including omega-3, protein, antioxidants, fiber, iron, calcium, and other trace minerals. They are also incredibly versatile when it comes to adding them to your diet. You can eat them with fruit in a smoothie or as a crunch on top of yogurt or a salad. If you combine chia seeds with water, they will gel into a mixture that can be eaten as pudding or even used in baked goods as an egg replacement.
The combination of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein found in chia seeds delivers a powerful supplement to stave off health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Fiber and protein help you feel full and can even lower blood pressure while omega-3 has been shown to improve cholesterol levels in the blood. Fiber also helps with digestion, making sure you stay regular and comfortable.
These three supplements are useful to add to your diet not only to make sure you get the nutrition you need to stay healthy and active but also to prevent a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to stroke. Because you can add them to foods you already enjoy, it should be easy to reap the benefits.