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certain aspects of our food, such as
how it is processed, how it is prepared,
and how it is cooked. “In fact, all of
the ways that food is handled affect
its nutritional value,” she says and
the ubiquitous convenience foods are
not surprisingly vitamin and nutrient
deficient as well as are chock full of
unhealthy additives and processing
agents. “For example, we all think
boiled vegetables are a healthy option,
and compared to fried chips they are,”
she says however boiling also causes
the greatest loss of vitamins and
nutrients which are lost during the
boiling process.
Supplements For Women
Dr. Afshar advises top key supplements
for women who are in reasonably
good health under age 40 include the
A high-quality multi-vitamin
This is essential because a multi-
vitamin fills in the spaces in your diet,
so you’re not running dangerously
low on the essential nutrients your
body needs for optimal functioning,
says Dr. Afshar. And when choosing
the right one, she advises to scan the
label to ensure that the multivitamin
contains one hundred percent of
the Recommended Daily Allowance
(RDA) of the 21 essential nutrients:
Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B
(including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin,
B6, B12, pantothenic acid, biotin,
folate, and choline) and minerals
calcium, chromium, copper, fluoride,
iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese,
phosphorous, selenium, zinc,
potassium, sodium, and chloride.
A high quality omega-3
Fish oil is today’s bestselling
supplement, tells Dr. Afshar and
with good reason. “The EPA
(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA
in omega-3 fish oil have profoundly
positive effects on human health,” she
explains as DHA slows your liver’s
production of undesirable triglycerides,
making it extremely protective
against heart disease and diabetes. “In
addition, fish oil is incredibly effective
at reducing inflammation and in fact,
the benefits of omega-3 are endless,”
she states. “Other highlights include
healing blood vessel walls, keeping the
blood thin, thus minimizing clotting,
lowering blood pressure, stabilizing
blood sugar as well as brightening your
Co-enzyme Q-10
CoQ-10 is another power packed
nutrient produced by the “energy
factories” in your cells called
mitochondria, tells Dr. Afshar. “Taking
a CoQ-10 supplement boosts the way
your cells produce and use energy,”
she says and it also helps your body
burn fat, improves cholesterol ratios,
boosts your physical energy levels as
well as improves thyroid and pancreas
Magnesium citrate
Essentially magnesium and calcium
are like conjoined twins and according
to Dr. Afshar, calcium can’t even be
absorbed unless magnesium is present.
“Without it, calcium is much less
effective in maintaining your bones
and regulating your nerves and muscle
tone,” she says. “It activates enzymes,
powers your energy, and helps your
body absorb vitamin D, potassium, and
zinc.” In addition, magnesium’s ability
to relax muscles and nerves makes
it one of your best allies in the battle
against anxiety, hypertension, restless
leg syndrome, sleep disorders, and
abnormal heart rhythm.
Vitamin D
Most UAE residents are badly
deficient in vitamin D as many of
us consider the sun our enemy and
excessive sun exposure does indeed
have some dangerous side effects.
“Numerous studies show that this
amazing vitamin is protective against
all cancers, strengthens bones,
prevents and even heals diabetes,
protects against heart disease, lowers
blood pressure and can even reverse
depression as well as elevate our
mood,” she says.
Found naturally in green, leafy
vegetables, like spinach as well as
in nuts, beans, peas, soybeans and
whole-grain cereals. According to
Safah, magnesium is a pivotal nutrient
in over 325 enzyme reactions in the
body ranging from energy production
to cholesterol control. Adults who
consume less than the recommended
amount of magnesium are more
likely to have elevated inflammation
markers which have been associated
with major health conditions.
Apr/May 2014