Stress, travel, rich meals, excess sugar. The holidays are full of great things and also some not so great “side effects.” But life is about moderation, and you don’t need to be a saint this holiday season either. Dr. Frank Lipman, a world renowned functional medicine physician, suggests that you prepare for the holidays by stocking up on these supplements to help you move through the holidays not only in good spirits but also in great health.
Keep in mind that staying up too late, drinking too much and overindulging in general are going to leave you feeling worse for the wear. No matter how many supplements you’re taking they can’t replace good ol’fashioned self-care. So try to find some balance between the celebratory and the restorative. Alternate nights out, or integrate a yoga class into your routine. Try introducing some new holiday traditions, like a group snowshoe instead of happy hour, or a New Year’s Day yoga class.
Between making better choices and having these supplements on hand, you’re sure to move into 2018 feeling great. Here are our top picks for holiday supplements:
Are the sweets getting the best of you? Try to make the holiday a holiDAY instead of a entire holiday season of overeating sweets. Having sweets on one extra day will do no harm. But eating sweets from Halloween to New Years—that’s a different story. If you’re struggling to say no to the plethora of sweet options, try L-glutamine. According to Dr Lipman, L-glutamine can help reduce sugar cravings and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels, too.
Can’t sleep? Turn to your old friend melatonin to help get your body into a more natural sleep cycle. Other useful supplements include Magnesium, GABA – which can help your body relax – and 5-HTP a supplement that helps your body create more serotonin, which is needed for restful sleep.
Feeling depleted? Adaptogenic herbs and supplements can help. Adaptogens are a group of healing plants that can help soothe your nervous system, ease anxiety, increase energy, and boost your brain performance. Some favorites include reishi, which helps manage your immune system; pine pollen, which helps balance hormones; rhodiola, which helps your body and your heart deal with stress; and moringa, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and increase digestion and energy. We like to add adaptogens into our smoothies, or try one of Lee from America’s Adaptogen-Infused Matcha Latte’s. Yum!
Feeling stressed? Ayurvedic herbs including ashwagandha can help. Its designed to be body-specific and either will give you an energy boost or help you feel more mellow. According to the Chopra Center, Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. Not only can it help balance anxiety, it can also help:
- Protect the immune system
- Relieve stress
- Improve memory
- Reduce anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
- Help lower cholesterol
- Reduce inflammation
Drinking? Try skipping sugary drinks to start, they can create a pretty nasty hangover. Yes, that means putting down the Spiked Nog. If you did have too much to drink, glutathione can help your liver (and your body) bounce back.
Heavy meal? If you’re feeling bloated, turn to probiotics to help you digest. (And P.S. chewing more during your meals can help tremendously!) Probiotics help with heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating and overall immune system health.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.