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Best For: Anxiety and low mood.
Why They Rate It: Saffron, obtained from the stigma of the crocus lily, has been used as a remedy for thousands of years. One of the compounds in saffron – kaempferol – is a powerful antioxidant that studies suggest can aid anxiety and ward off disease. As Alice Mackintosh, registered nutritional therapist and co-founder of Equi, explains, “Recently, research has shown active compounds in saffron could help support mental health – specifically low mood and anxiety. In one study, it was even found to have similar effects to common drugs used in the treatment of anxiety.” Registered nutritionist Katie Ward also told us kaempferol can inhibit cancer cell growth and improve libido in men and women, particularly for those taking anti-depressants.
Best For: A robust immune system.
Why They Rate It: A key component of mother’s milk that builds a baby’s immunity, lactoferrin is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. A vital part of your body’s immune response, it stands guard in your eyes, nose and mouth, ready to attack invading germs. However, your levels can quickly become depleted if you’re stressed, not sleeping or run-down. “Increasing studies show lactoferrin is a great way to support the immune system,” says Alice. “It can also help improve iron levels in the body. Lozenges are a great way to take it – I love Leapfrog Immune.”
Best For: Flagging energy levels.
Why They Rate It: CoQ10 is an antioxidant found in almost every cell of your body and is involved in dozens of bodily processes. One of its major roles is helping convert the food you eat into energy to power your body and brain. “Specifically, it’s required for energy production in your mitochondria, which are your cell’s energy powerhouses, meaning it’s a great one to take if you struggle with low energy,” says Katie. “Due to this effect on mitochondria, it’s a nutrient I often use for supporting both male and female fertility, as so much energy is required both for optimal sperm health and in the development of an embryo.” Shabir Daya, pharmacist and co-founder of Victoria Health, says research also suggests CoQ10 may be beneficial for allergies, ulcers, heart disease and diabetes. When buying a supplement, look for a formula that contains ubiquinol – the most readily absorbed form of CoQ10.
Best For: Antioxidant support.
Why They Rate It: “An antioxidant with a range of impressive benefits, glutathione is often referred to as the master antioxidant,” says Alice. “It helps get rid of unwanted toxins, balance immunity, keep the gut membrane healthy and support brain health.” How do you know if your levels could do with a boost? “Various factors can deplete this crucial antioxidant – including a less nutrient-dense diet, pollution, ageing and the overall stress of modern life,” says Alice. When it comes to supplements, a liposomal (i.e. liquid) formula is best.
Best For: Deep and restorative sleep.
Why They Rate It: 5-HTP is a form of the essential amino acid tryptophan. We need tryptophan in our diet as it helps our bodies make serotonin, our ‘happy hormone’. Serotonin has a number of roles around the body, including regulating mood, sleep and digestion. “Because we need tryptophan to make serotonin, it’s believed taking 5-HTP can be an effective treatment for conditions related to mood and sleep,” says Katie. In a 2012 study, researchers found taking 5-HTP reduced symptoms of panic and anxiety, and therefore helped relax the mind and prepared the body for sleep. Intrigued? “Chat to a nutritional therapist before supplementing with 5-HTP,” Katie advises. “They may want to understand the root cause of why serotonin may be low in the first place. It also shouldn’t be taken if you are on antidepressants or take St John’s wort.”
Best For: Brain power and stress levels.
Why They Rate It: “Mushrooms are truly exceptional in their potential to improve our health,” says Federica Amati, head nutritional scientist for Indi Supplements. Known as the ‘king of mushrooms’, chaga is great for boosting immunity; lion’s mane can improve alertness, focus and overall cognitive ability; while cordyceps can provide a boost of energy without the crash of caffeine. Reishi, meanwhile, has a unique ability to reduce stress levels – invest in a powder formula and stir through a cup of tea or warm milk before bed for a restful night’s sleep.
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.