Food-grown supplements are far superior. This means that a formula is made from food sources rather than being produced in a lab, and ensures your body recognises it for optimal absorption. For this reason, my go-to supplement brand is Wild Nutrition, which offers a fantastic range of food-formed supplements, many of which have been designed to support female hormones and various life stages, such as PMS, pregnancy and menopause. Their Polycys Complex for PCOS, pregnancy formulas and Bespoke Woman formulas are some of the most recommended supplements in my clinic. I also take two capsules of their Daily Multi-Nutrient formula every morning.
Omega-3s are worth taking. Omega-3 is tricky to obtain from the diet and due to the metal toxicity that is unfortunately in the food chain, you should be mindful of how much oily fish you consume – three portions per week is a good amount. I advise my clients to take an omega-3 supplement regularly – Bare Biology’s Life & Soul, which contains 1460mg of omega-3, is my go-to. I take two capsules daily. Omega-3 is vital for optimal health as every cell in the body is surrounded by a fatty membrane, which we need to be fluid to allow substances to enter – omegas support this membrane and they have the bonus of being anti-inflammatory, too. Bare Biology omegas don’t have that fishy taste, either, which can actually be a sign of a poor-quality oil that may have gone rancid. Look out for the IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) logo, which guarantees a fish oil’s purity.
Collagen has been a recent discovery. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, yet as we age, our levels deplete. In the last couple of months, I’ve been adding two to three teaspoons of Bare Biology’s Skinful Pure Marine Collagen Powder to my morning coffee and have noticed my skin feels plumper and my wrinkles are less noticeable. A recent study of the effects of collagen supplementation found it can increase skin elasticity, hydration and dermal collagen density – it’s worth a try if these are your goals.
Vitamin D is a year-round staple. I take BetterYou’s vitamin D supplement throughout the year as we don’t get much sun here in the UK, even in the summer months. I test my vitamin D levels once a year, too, as taking it in excessive amounts can cause toxicity.
When it comes to probiotics, try not to take a blanket approach. Invivo Healthcare offers a great range of at-home tests to ascertain the state of your microbiome and then recommends certain strains of probiotics. I take a probiotic for four weeks every six months – I am currently taking Invivo’s Bio.Me Femme V which supports the vaginal microbiome for optimal reproductive health – and support the gut through my diet, too. I regularly eat probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, miso, fermented tofu and kombucha (I love Jarr’s kombucha) and make an effort to eat plenty of prebiotics too, which feed our gut bacteria – this includes foods like leeks, garlic, oats and bananas. On the flip side, it’s important not to feed your less beneficial bacteria, which thrive on processed
foods and sugar.
Gut health is so important as it supports your hormones. Gut disturbances and irregular bowel movements can increase your circulating hormones, meaning it’s vital to look after your gut to prevent unwanted substances entering the bloodstream. Research regarding the microbiome is ever evolving, and recent studies show the oral and vaginal microbiomes are just as important as the gut microbiome.
B vitamins will help boost your energy levels. If you are struggling with fatigue, Wild Nutrition’s Food-Grown B Complex Plus is one to try. Maca, a plant native to Peru, can also help improve energy and stamina. It’s easiest to take in powder form – I add a couple of teaspoons to a breakfast smoothie on the days I need an energy boost. You can also find maca in Supernova’s 01 Woman Protein Powder, which I’ve been taking for the last year. This contains 17g of protein per serving and, alongside maca, will help your body recover after a workout.
Adaptogens, like maca, can also help with stress. Anxiety and stress are topics that often come up in my clinic and when they do, I recommend adaptogens. Wild Nutrition’s ashwagandha can help modulate the stress response, while Higher Nature’s blend, which also features rhodiola, is also good for particularly stressful periods. For anxiety, I recommend Higher Nature’s MegaMag Calmeze – take one scoop in 200ml of water daily.
The type of magnesium you take matters. Magnesium plays an important role in the nervous system and can help relax and calm the body. However, it’s important to take the right form, especially if you are taking it for sleep. Magnesium glycinate has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain, making it a good choice if you struggle with sleep – I take 240mg magnesium glycinate one hour before bed. If I have a bout of insomnia, which happens from time to time, I take Form Nutrition’s ZZZZs supplement.
Always look for supplements in dark glass jars. This will protect your supplement from sunlight and oxidation, ensuring it retains its potency. You should ideally store supplements at room temperature, too, although some may need to be kept in the fridge – always check the label.
The jury’s still out on CBD. The evidence for the use of CBD is limited with most studies supporting its use for epilepsy syndromes only. A recent 2019 study on its use for anxiety and sleep quality found that anxiety was reduced in 79% and sleep quality improved in 66%, in the first month of taking CBD. However, this was a small study of only 72 adults and so further evidence is needed.
Don’t ignore the power of herbal teas. I love Pukka blends, which are packed with herbal benefits. Their Cleanse tea is fantastic for digestive and liver support with herbs such as nettle leaf and dandelion root. If you have a sweet tooth, try a tea with liquorice root, which can help curb cravings – my favourite is Teapigs Peppermint & Liquorice.
Chemical and cruelty-free skincare is my preference. I love Votary and Pai products – particular favourites include Votary’s Cleansing Oil and Pai’s Rosehip Oil, both of which are great for sensitive skin. I also recently discovered Medik8, which I also rate, especially their Crystal Retinal 6, which I use at night.
Make the switch to eco cleaning products if you can. Brands such as Ecover and Method offer toxin-free cleaning products, which can reduce your exposure to hormone disruptors. Waitrose also has its own eco range, another good option.
Mindfulness is a big part of my routine. I regularly practice mindful movement such as Pilates and yoga and use the Calm app. The Expectful app is one I like to recommend to my fertility and pregnancy clients – it supports each stage of pregnancy as well as those trying to conceive. Blue light can impact your sleep. For this reason, I turn all my digital devices off at 9pm every evening, including the TV. If I have time, I like to have a bath, using BetterYou Magnesium Flakes and Aromatherapy Associates bath oils.
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.