“Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.”
Lately, my personal journey has really been focused on inner health and finding that state of bliss and inner peace. But as Siddhārtha Gautama taught, everything is connected. Your physical health is just as important as your spiritual health. “Otherwise,” he writes, “we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear!”
I am a total health food junkie. Name your malady or your goal, and I can quickly rattle off the herbs and minerals and supplements that can assist you on your journey. Of course, we should never become dependent on a magic cure-all or fix-me-up pill. First, they don’t really exist — especially if they’re the kind that gets marketed on late-night television. Second, the greatest benefits (and mental and spiritual growth) to you often come from progressing through your own strengths and weaknesses using yoga, running, weight-bearing exercises or any other physical movement you find fun and enjoyable.
But there’s also nothing wrong with giving your fitness and health a little boost with some of nature’s finest bounties. Here are a two of my favourite health supplements that I’ve been adding to my lifestyle over the past few months…
I don’t just mean your normal teas like peppermint or chamomile (though I love those, too). Weird personal habit: I drink green tea all day and rarely ever drink actual plain water. I love, love, love green tea. It tastes delicious and also may protect you from many kinds of cancer, increases your body’s ability to burn fat, and revs up your metabolism. Make sure you get organic teas, and watch out for the fancy ones that come in plastic tea bags — they may leach toxins into your tea.
I’ve also really been enjoying boricha. It’s a roasted barley tea popular in Korea, and since it’s naturally free of caffeine, I like to brew a pot in the afternoons and sip it in the evenings. It has various antioxidants and Koreans swear it improves circulation and detoxes your system. I don’t believe in detoxes, but boricha tastes delicious! Fashionistas also swear it makes you look younger and fights wrinkles, so why not drink a little anti-aging magic now and then?
Probiotics help fight bad bacteria in your gut, improve digestion, may boost your immune system’s strength and so much more. You can buy probiotic supplements in the health food store, but make sure the label guarantees their potency and that the pills or tablets deliver the probiotics past your stomach’s enzymes and to the actual areas of your digestive system where they can work their miracles.
You can also add probiotics to your actual diet. I think we should be getting most of our nutrition from real foods and not from supplements (although the dozens of supplement bottles in my kitchen may say otherwise). I enjoy kimchi, a type of fermented vegetable, as well as kombucha. If you can’t handle kombucha’s vinegary, acidic smell and flavor, there are many products on the market that blend kombucha with fruit juices. Just remember, fruit juice has sugar so don’t overdo it!
How ’bout you?
I’m always on the lookout for new health supplements that can add vigor, energy and vitality to my everyday life. What do you love? Tweet me and I’d love to hear your experiences!