5 Simple Steps to a Vibrant New You in 2018
“Vitamin C and Carnitine could be the secret to your success!”
Resolutions are great, but let’s face it, the more extreme they are, the more likely you are to break them and feel guilty. Instead, this year try introducing a few simple changes that are easier to follow.
You can support these with energy-boosting nutrients like carnitine and vitamin C to ensure you fight off the winter season’s bugs and enjoy much longer lasting effects on your health, fitness and wellbeing.
Step 1: Re-evaluate your ‘five-a-day’
It’s fairly common knowledge these days that you should try and aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but do you? And is it really sufficient?
The general consensus amongst nutritionists is that this figure should be closer to ten portions a day. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who eat more fruit and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of a range of chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Sports enthusiasts will be glad to know that some of the nutrients in fruit and veg such as vitamin C also help to aid muscle recovery after an energetic work out. In fact, research evidence has identified that low levels of vitamin C significantly affect muscle function.
Fruit and vegetables are generally low in calories so they are unlikely to sabotage your healthy new-year diet plans plus they’re also packed with an enormous range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids and fibre.
Simple solutions for increasing your vitamin c uptake:
- Swop a couple of your usual breakfasts for a fruit smoothie with added yoghurt or milk to step up the protein content and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Half fill your plate with a mix of colourful vegetables
- Snack on dried fruit such as raisins, apricots and prunes. These are easy to carry and store well. Add a handful of nuts to help balance blood sugar levels and you have the perfect combo.
- Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and can be just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Try popping some into your favourite dishes.
- You can pack loads of veggies into soups and they make a tasty and filling comfort food.
If dietary restrictions mean you can’t always meet the recommended guidelines for fruit and vegetables you can optimize your vitamin C levels by taking a highly bioavailable vitamin C supplement like Altrient C.
Vitamin C not only has powerful antioxidant and immune supportive properties, but it also helps to regenerate other important antioxidants like vitamin E so you get two for the price of one!
Step 2: Add some essential fatty acids to your diet
The omega 3 and 6 essential fats found in foods like salmon, walnuts, mackerel, olive oil, flaxseeds and avocado are as their name suggests ‘essential’ as your body can’t produce them so they must be obtained from your diet.
These ‘healthy’ fats play an important role in many functions of the body including hormone balance, brain function, circulation and skin health.
As an added bonus they also help to reduce levels of less healthy fats – great news for weight watchers, muscle builders and athletes!
Step 3: Try cooking with coconut oil
Unlike most other fats in the diet that consist of long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is made up mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). This gives very different chemical properties to coconut oil compared to other fats and oils. Rather than storing MCFAs as fat, the body utilises them very quickly for energy, which helps to burn fat rather than increase weight – a win-win situation!
Step 4: Get the most from your exercise routine
If you’re a fitness enthusiast and can’t wait to shed a few pounds and get back in control of your health after a Christmas blow-out, don’t rule out a little helping hand. Supplementing with Carnitine could be a valuable ‘add-on’ to a well thought out diet and exercise plan because of its powerful energy burning properties. It seems it could play an important role in weight control as studies have found that obese individuals may have a carnitine deficiency.
Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production by transporting fat into the mitochondria (or energy factories) of the cells where it can be transformed into energy. Experts believe it enhances exercise and physical performance so could potentially make your 60-minute exercise regime go that little bit further.
Researchers have found that Acetyl L Carnitine is the most well-absorbed form of Carnitine, but even that can be hindered if taken in the form of standard supplements with low bioavailability. Nutrition experts agree that liposomal supplements such as Altrient are by far the best choice if you want to guarantee that almost 100% of the Acetyl L-Carnitine will reach the cells that need it most.
Step 5: Make time to chill out and de-stress
Don’t race into the New Year with a ‘to do list’ as long as your arm the more you give yourself to do the less achievable it seems and the easier it is to become stressed. Even though your body can cope pretty well with many tasks, you do need time to chill out and relax.
Raised stress levels can affect your blood pressure and may also deplete your body of essential nutrients that are vital for supporting the immune system and keeping your energy up. It’s no surprise that many people fall ill after a hectic Christmas or have absolutely zero energy. No point eating extra fruit and veggies if stress wipes out the benefits and you can’t make it to the gym!
Planning ahead and delegating jobs to friends or family can take the pressure off and create some ‘me’ time so you can listen to music, read a book, potter in the garden or do anything else that helps you to relax.
When it comes to stress the B vitamins are essential for supporting the nervous system and are vital for helping you cope with extra demands as well as boosting energy levels which are often low at this time of year.
Studies have identified that chronic stress depletes a number of B vitamins such as vitamin B6 and B12 so topping up with a B complex supplement makes sense. Choosing a highly bioavailable nutrient combination such as liposomal Altrient B will give maximum absorption helping to put a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
- Anitra C Carr et al. Human skeletal muscle ascorbate is highly responsive to changes in vitamin C intake and plasma concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013; 97, (4): 800-807.
- Evangeliou A & Vlassopoulos D. Carnitine Metabolism and Deficit –When Supplementation is Necessary? Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 2003: 211-219.
- Harris WS. Fish oils and plasma lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in humans: a critical review. The Journal of Lipid Research. 1989; 30: 785-807.
- Kostkiewicz M & Pauwels EK. Fatty acid facts, Part III: Cardiovascular disease, or, a fish diet is not fishy.Drug News Perspect., 2008; 21, (10) 552-6.
- Müller DM, Seim H, Kiess W, Löster, H & Richter T. (2002) Effects of Oral l-Carnitine Supplementation on In Vivo Long-Chain Fatty Acid Oxidation in Healthy Adults.Metabolism, 2002; 51, (11): 1389-1391.
- Odo S, Tanabe K & Yamauchi M. A Pilot Clinical Trial on L-Carnitine Supplementation in Combination with Motivation Training: Effects on Weight Management in Healthy Volunteers. Food and Nutrition, 2013; 4: 222-231.
- Reda E, D'Iddio S, Nicolai R, Benatti P & Calvani M.The Carnitine System and Body Composition. Acta Diabetol, 2003; 40: 106-113.
- Schwalfenberg G. Omega-3 fatty acids: Their beneficial role in cardiovascular health. Canadian Family Physician. 2006; 52(6):734-740.
- Stough C, Simpson T, Lomas J et al. Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 2014;13 (1):122.
- Simopoulos AP. The omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio: health implications. OCL 2010; 17(5) : 267–275.
- Wutzke KD & Lorenz H.The Effect of l-Carnitine on Fat Oxidation, Protein Turnover, and Body Composition in Slightly Overweight Subjects. Metabolism, 2004; 53, (8): 1002-1006.
- By Jackie Newson
- BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy
Jackie has been writing for a range of health publications since graduating as a nutritional therapist from Westminster University in 2008. In addition to producing health and nutrition workshops, Jackie is also an experienced assessor and enjoys the opportunity to help other students of nutrition to achieve their goals. In her role as an experienced nutritional therapist, Jackie offers individualised advice on a variety of health conditions. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of healthy nutritious food, supported with high quality supplementation to achieve optimal health. Jackie is a great believer in the power of positive thinking and attributes much of her enthusiasm and sense of well-being to the wonderful people in her life, a healthy diet and yoga which she practices regularly.