Today, I wanted to share a bit about another part of my paleo routine: supplements. Like many a paleo-ite, I have certain things that I struggled with, and these have improved since going paleo (my particular bugbears were/are acid reflux, allergies and lack of energy).
While I haven’t eaten a standard American diet for years, and while doing Paleo has mostly alleviated these problems, I am testing out certain supplements to try to fine-tune them. A big part of the Paleo ethos is experimenting to find what works for you. This is generally referred to as “n=1”, meaning the number of people (n) being experimented upon is one.
Today, I am sharing with you today the supplements I’m trying out and why. Of course, the standard disclaimer applies: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, and I am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk to your doctor/health care professional and/or make your own careful decisions before trying any of these.
Rhodiola: I first heard about this from Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, “The Hormone Cure.”* Rhodiola is considered an “adaptogen,” which means it’s something of a general tonic. I am taking it in particular because it is supposed to help with mood and with low energy.
Oil of Oregano: At the moment, four of the six people in my house have the most disgusting cruddy cold. I started having symptoms, last week, but have managed to fight the worst of it off thus far by pushing citrus and bell peppers (both of which are full of vitamin C), drinking more water, my favorite cough drops,* and upping my sleep. Since it seems to be the sort of cold that lingers, and because my youngest spends most of the night coughing directly in my face, I’m adding oil of oregano to my routine.
Oil of oregano is an immune system booster as well as an anti-fungal, so is considered good for folks who have long-standing infections (see below).
Enzymes: I have had chronic allergies ever since I can remember. While they are much better since I’ve been eating a paleo-type diet, they still bother me. I recently learned that some scientists believe the chronic rhosinusitis (i.e.,year-round allergies) are caused by bacteria, viruses and yeast that live in communities called biofilms, and that these structures protect the germs, making it very difficult to get rid of these infections once and for all. I’m currently trying these enzymes* which are supposed to break up the biofilms and make it easier for your body to flush them out. In conjunction, I’m also using a nasal spray that has xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, another anti-microbial.
Probiotics: I have been taking probiotics for several months. After giving birth to my son, it turned out I needed a prescription for antibiotics, which I needed to use multiple times. Because antibiotics knock out all of your intestina bacteria, not just the bad ones, my doctor advised that I take a probiotic to counter the effect. Having heard that soil-based probiotics were especially good for you, I am using a variety of them; I especially liked this one*, as it is pretty gentle. I have noticed that some probiotics can cause stomach upset.
It’s too soon to tell whether or not these supplements will all do what I am hoping they’ll do, though I am seeing increased focus and stamina from the rhodiola. I’m really hoping for a breakthrough with the allergies, as they are a big frustration at the moment.
As always, I’m curious: what about you? What supplements, if any, are you using to perfect your paleo routine? Drop a line in the comments.