Eat more oats, spend less time sitting, drink more water… You may have encountered some of these more common recommendations at InsideTracker, but today we’re spotlighting our most bizarre recommendations to explain what they are and why we recommend them.
Supplement with Garlic
We may be out for your blood, but we don't scare easily by garlic. At InsideTracker, we recommend garlic supplements to individuals with elevated levels of cholesterol and glucose. Studies indicate garlic supplements may increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower both LDL (bad) and total cholesterol.1 How? Garlic’s properties decrease the synthesis of cholesterol. Furthermore, supplementing with garlic can also lead to a decrease in fasting blood glucose.1 Before you head to GNC though, know that there is a small chance of developing a slight skin or breath odor of garlic – may the odds be in your favor. Taking large amounts of garlic may also result in heartburn. We recommend splitting the doses into two 500mg tablets; take one after breakfast and one after dinner.
Drink Tart Cherry Juice
Have a major competition or endurance event coming up? Drinking tart cherry juice can help. Tart cherry juice helps reduce muscle damage and recovery by increasing vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels) and blood flow.2 To take advantage of its potent effects, drink 10 ounces (a little over one cup) two times per day for five days leading up to the event, the day of, and two to four days after the event. Prefer not to drink all that juice? You can supplement with tart cherry capsules (480mg) instead.
Vegans: Use B12 Fortified Toothpaste
Yes, you read that right - fortified B12 toothpaste. Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animals making it almost impossible for vegans to reach their recommended daily intake. However, switching to a B12-fortified toothpaste can increase vitamin B12 levels especially in those who do not supplement at all. The vitamin enters circulation via the oral cavity and improves B12 markers.3
Consume More Cinnamon
If you struggle with high glucose levels increasing your cinnamon consumption might be beneficial for you. Research shows daily intake of cinnamon can reduce fasting blood glucose by 10% by improving insulin sensitivity.4 To curtail elevated fasting blood glucose, consume 1g of cinnamon per day, equaling 1/3 of a teaspoon. You can easily reach this goal by adding cinnamon to oatmeal, smoothies, or even to your coffee. Avoid eating cinnamon in large quantities (>1 tbsp) in one sitting without food or water as it may lead to hypoglycemia.
You may also want to rethink your typical store-bought cinnamon, known as Cassia, and choose Ceylon cinnamon instead. Ceylon has lower levels of coumarin, a naturally occurring compound that can cause liver damage if consumed excessively. Cinnamon also comes in supplemental form, however, it does contain a small amount of alcohol. If you choose to supplement, stick to 250mg only.
Practice Tai Chi
Looking to improve your cognition? Practice Tai Chi. Tai Chi, a form of Chinese martial arts, uses different arm movements and body rotations in a series of stances and gentle postures. The practice encompasses the mind-body connection emphasizing physical and mental recovery and relaxation, in addition to, physical exercise. The mental aspect of this exercise has been shown to improve cognition in healthy adults.5 InsideTracker recommends the 10-form routine, commonly known as the Yang 10. Try practicing at least three times per week for 50 minutes per session to reap the cognitive benefits.
A cautionary note: if you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition, or are currently taking any medications, please talk to your doctor before acting on any of our recommendations. Certain medications may also interact with supplements making it imperative to consult your physician before beginning new supplements.
Some other blog posts we think you'll love:
- Why a Lower BMI Isn't Always Better
- Natural Ways to Stay Healthy All Winter Long
- Here's How Inflammation Affects Your Iron Levels
- It's Cold Out There! Tips for Keeping Warm During Winter Workouts