by Jolie Root, LPN, LNC
There’s nothing fishy about it – omega-3s are important to our health, which is why we should all take a fish oil supplement daily. The benefits are enormous and the downside non-existent. One thing to remember though: we want to make absolutely sure that our omega-3 supplements are of the very best quality. To me, that means the brand should be Carlson. Here’s why:
Quality Assurance on Every Label
When you purchase an omega-3 supplement from Carlson, you know exactly what you’re getting. Freshness, potency, and purity are guaranteed, as confirmed on every label. Carlson assures consistency from batch to batch. The reason this is possible is because Carlson fish oils are purified using a state-of-the-art process. All Carlson liquid fish oils are bottled at a highly regulated Norwegian facility and are nitrogen flushed to remove any air and to prevent oxidation inside the sealed bottle.
To further ensure Carlson omega-3s are fresh, potent, and pure, Carlson fish oils are tested by an independent FDA-registered laboratory. Carlson omega-3s are also approved by the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) program, the only third-party testing and certification program exclusively for fish oil supplements. IFOS has a five-star rating system, and Carlson fish oils are consistently awarded the maximum amount of stars. To verify the IFOS rating of a product, visit www.nutrasource.ca/ifos.
Another distinction of Carlson omega-3s are their delicious flavors, which have won Superior Taste Awards by the International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi). iTQi is the leading independent chef and sommelier organization dedicated to testing and promoting superior tasting food and drinks from around the world. A panel of renowned chefs and sommeliers judge products in a blind taste test. The judges assign each product a numeric score based on a sensory analysis that incorporates the product’s appearance, smell, texture, flavor, and mouth feel.
The consensus: Carlson fish oils are always fresh and never fishy. Once you give them a try, you’ll know what we mean.
Another advantage to Carlson products is clear labeling. When you look at the front and back of a Carlson label, you know exactly what you’re getting. Carlson is transparent about which fish are used in the formula and what form the fish oils is. Carlson fish oils are available in TG, EE, and rTG forms, and several long-term studies have found very little difference in bioavailability between these forms. On the front of the label, Carlson provides the total amount of omega-3s per serving, and on the back further breaks this down by EPA and DHA amounts.
Kudos to Carlson for offering the widest selection of omega-3 supplements, making it easier than ever to get high-quality, professional-strength levels of EPA and DHA at a very competitive price. And if you prefer to receive a higher level of EPA or DHA, they offer that too.
Elite DHA Gems provide 1,000 mg of DHA in a single soft gel. Elite EPA Gems provide 1,000 mg of EPA in a single soft gel. High potency soft gels of combined EPA and DHA are also available, with Elite Omega-3 Gems and Maximum Omega 2000. Carlson also offers highly concentrated liquid fish oils that provide more than 2,000 mg of omega-3s per teaspoon. View their full line up of omega-3s here.
A final point that sets Carlson apart is the Carlson family’s commitment to our planet and the environment. Carlson manages all of their fish oils from sea to store, ensuring that every product made uses sustainable fishing practices and high-quality, nutrient-rich fish. Carlson partners with low-impact fisheries that employ ethical practices. Sustainability ensures the fish used to make Carlson products are easily and quickly replenished due to the natural fish lifecycle.
You may think that a well-balanced diet full of fruit, veggies, and lean protein will provide sufficient fuel for an active lifestyle. But if you’re hitting the gym regularly, it may not be enough. Certain vitamins and minerals are critical for your muscles to work efficiently and for energy production and recovery. However, moderate to vigorous exercise increases nutrient requirements, and some minerals are lost through sweat.
A multivitamin is key for athletes – it provides B vitamins for energy support, calcium and magnesium for bone health, vitamin D3 and iron for endurance, potassium for exercise recovery, and more. But a few additional supplements can help take your workout to the next level.
RIBOSE: THE ENERGY NUTRIENT
If you’re an athlete and you’re not taking ribose, you’re missing out. D-ribose is a simple, natural sugar made by the cells. It’s critical for producing the energy molecules that power the heart, muscles, brain, and every other tissue in the body. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, it can dramatically increase energy production throughout the body, which is wonderful for athletes.
GLUTAMINE: MUSCLE FOOD
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body, and most of it is stored within the skeletal muscles. Glutamine is particularly important for athletes, as it helps speed up recovery time following vigorous exercise and can help increase strength during workouts. Glutamine is also necessary for energy production in the muscles.
OMEGA-3S: A RECOVERY MUST-HAVE
Omega-3s get a lot of attention for their role in heart, brain, and eye health, but they can also benefit athletes by supporting post-workout recovery. Omega-3s help increase protein synthesis, helping to increase strength and build muscle. As an additional benefit, omega-3s are critical for supporting optimal joint health.
TART CHERRIES: AN ATHLETE SUPERFOOD
Elite athletes are taking notice of tart cherries for their powerful antioxidant properties and recovery support following an intense workout. Look for tart cherry juice and tart cherries in supplement form, which may be a more convenient way to consume a hefty dose of powerful antioxidants.
by Karen Roth, MSNC
Making healthy food and lifestyle choices on a daily basis can help boost our immune system and keep it functioning optimally. Here are some quick tips to enhance immunity:
by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
This is the time of year where our immune systems are more taxed than ever. This can be due to a variety of reasons which may include: colder weather and fluxing temps; food choices; and increased stress from all the holiday shopping, bills, entertaining, and travel. Not sleeping our regular hours due to all the above also adds stress to our body. Help keep your immune system in optimal shape with some of the tips below.
During these longer, colder winter months, we need some extra protection. One nutrient that has been making it into the headlines as of late is vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is an immune system modulator. D3 (cholecalciferol) is the natural human form of vitamin D3 made in the skin. Cholecalciferol coverts to calcidiol in the liver. Calcidiol converts to the hormone calcitriol in the kidneys. Calcitriol is also formed by immune cells and other cells and tissues throughout the body. The amount of D3 required depends on the person. The best way to know how much you need is to have your vitamin D3 levels tested by your physician.
Zinc is another important nutrient that affects multiple aspects of the immune system. It is crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating immunity. If you are not eating enough zinc-rich foods regularly (fish, meat, poultry, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, kale, etc.) your stores may be depleted.
Fish oil provides EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), beneficial omega-3s that support a balanced immune response. Cod liver oil is a great choice, since it also contains vitamins A and D3, which aid the immune system.
Antioxidants are another good nutrient to add to your regime. They protect your cells from the effects of free radicals, and can help reduce an overabundance of harmful oxidative stress in your body. Vitamin C is one of the best known supplements for supporting healthy immune system function.
Aside from nutritional supplements, there are lifestyle changes that can be beneficial to our immune health. Try to avoid sugar when possible, as it can throw off the balance in our gastrointestinal tract. If you’ve been consuming sugary foods, try a probiotic, which provides healthy microflora that builds natural immunity. A well-rounded, multi-strain probiotic formula with lactobacillus and bifidobacterium is a good choice.
Constantly being on the go can also be taxing on our immune system, since our body doesn't know the difference between “good” stress and “bad” stress. Magnesium is a very important mineral that oversees over 350 enzymatic processes in our body. Adding in a powerful supplement like Chelated Magnesium can be helpful. Start with a small amount like 250 mg in the evening before bed.
Maintain your daily supplement regime of a multivitamin and mineral formula, omega-3, vitamin D3, antioxidants, and probiotics to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and add in magnesium for those more stressful times.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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