7 Key Nutrients for Yoga Practitioners
If you are practicing yoga regularly, eating a whole food diet, and getting plenty of sunshine and fresh air, you’re well on your way to meeting your most important health and wellness needs. While these things are crucial for good health, we live in a world where our food has been depleted of key nutrients, our stress levels are through the roof, our air is full of pollution, and even spending too much time in the sun can be dangerous. All of these factors make it very difficult to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone.
Practicing yoga regularly provides an amazing array of benefits for our physical and mental health! It strengthens the connection between your mind and body and relieves some of that day to day stress and anxiety. But it can also be a physically demanding practice, whether you’re a novice or a pro. While your core strength, flexibility, and endurance will undoubtedly improve over time, yoga will always be a great workout.
Here are seven key nutrients that can help you take your yoga practice to the next level while boosting your overall health at the same time!
7 Key Nutrients to Take Your Yoga Practice to the Next Level
Vitamin B12 performs several vital functions in the body. It’s only found in animal protein, so if you’re a vegan, you could be deficient in this key nutrient. Not only is it essential for energy production, but it also improves neurological and nerve cell function. Deficiency symptoms include heart palpitations, headaches, depression, and fatigue. People who are deficient in B12 also experience balance issues, so maintaining proper levels of this key nutrient is important for yoga practitioners in several ways.
Turmeric is amazing for reducing inflammation and pain, which is something any yoga practitioner can appreciate. In Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, turmeric has been used for centuries as a natural medicine for chronic inflammation, skin infections, digestive issues, and liver conditions. It complements your yoga practice by relieving pain naturally, so you don’t have to take medication. This popular spice can be added to curries, rubs, homemade salad dressings, and marinades, or you can take it as a supplement.
Glucosamine is beneficial for yogis because it builds cartilage, which helps to cushion the joints and improve flexibility. It’s normal to lose some flexibility as we age, and that could slow down your yoga practice. This nutrient is super helpful for those who suffer from joint pain, including arthritis. While the human body is capable of producing its own glucosamine, production does slow down with age. To complement your yoga practice and boost your flexibility, increase your intake of glucosamine by drinking bone broth or taking it as a supplement.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish oil and they’re essential for good health. If you don’t eat fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, herring, anchovies, or mackerel, at least a couple of times a week, you might see some significant benefits by taking a fish oil supplement. This nutrient is important for keeping the eyes, bones, heart, and brain functioning at optimal levels. Yogis will also appreciate its anti-inflammatory effects that help to reduce stiffness and pain in the joints. Flaxseed oil is a viable alternative for those on a vegan diet.
CoQ10 is a vital antioxidant that your body uses to protect and regenerate your cells. Although we can produce it naturally, once again, production slows down with age. Heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and even cancer have all been linked to CoQ10 deficiencies. Supplementing with this key nutrient could prevent heart failure, reduce the symptoms of diabetes, improve fertility, keep your skin looking younger, and it may even prevent cancer.
For yoga practitioners, this nutrient can enhance your performance by reducing muscle fatigue and protecting your cells from oxidative stress. You can take CoQ10 as a supplement or increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables, fatty fish, and organ meats to boost your levels.
Vitamin E is a key nutrient for yogis because it improves joint flexibility and prevents inflammation. In general, it may also lower the risk of some cancers, boost the immune system, and prevent heart disease. It’s also a wonderful topical treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It’s available in supplement form or found in foods like leafy greens, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for brain health and much more. It’s found in every single cell of the human body, and it’s used to regulate the nervous system. Magnesium is also used to help convert food into energy and it fights stress and depression. This key nutrient essential for the contraction and release of your muscles, as well as reducing inflammation, which is important for yoga practice. Take it as a supplement, or increase your intake of fatty fish, dark chocolate, nuts, and leafy greens to boost your levels.
How to Ensure That You’re Getting Enough of These Key Nutrients
There’s no question that everyone should be eating a variety of whole foods each day for optimum health. However, even with the best of intentions, there will always be days when you don’t eat as well as you should. Not only that, but your nutritional needs can change dramatically from day to day depending on your stress levels, how strenuously you exercise, pollution, digestive health, and a variety of other lifestyle factors.
Many people turn to supplements in pill or capsule form to fill in the nutritional gaps in their diet. The problem with pills and capsules is that they have to go through the entire digestive system in order to be absorbed. Many times, the body can’t absorb them efficiently and nutrients are simply flushed out without being absorbed.
According to experts from Rahav Wellness, who offer an NYC-based vitamin IV drip, “IV therapy can help to improve athletic performance and stamina, re-energize your body, and encourage fat burning.” The beauty of supplementing with IV therapy, instead of pills, is that nutrients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream where they can do the most good. Even better, IV vitamin formulas can be totally personalized to meet your health and wellness needs.
Yogis can choose IV nutrients to boost stamina, destress and relax, detoxify, or even support immune health, so it’s a much more personalized approach than simply grabbing a bottle of pills off the shelf. A qualified practitioner can even run bloodwork to see which nutrients you’re lacking and adjust your IV treatment accordingly.
If you are looking to support your overall health and take your yoga practice to the next level, increasing your intake of these seven key nutrients is a great start. Any yogi can benefit from increased stamina and flexibility, whether you’re brand new or you’ve been practicing for years. As you age, yoga and proper nutrition can work together to support your balance, improve joint health, and reduce inflammation!
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