There is no supplement that will mimic a healthy diet but in a modern diet there can be a need for a bit of extra help. On the whole, I am very choosy about what supplements I take - high quality supplements are expensive (for good reason) and I can't really justify spending lots of money on something just incase. What I find more cost effective is having a blood test with Thriva annually and checking where my levels are with nutrients. I keep a check in on magnesium (the most important mental health mineral) and iron levels then often supplement a few months on and a few months off but if I was to be asked what supplement is the one I wouldn't be every day without (with the odd day of when I forget!) it's the Bare Biology fish oil, Lion Heart.
I know there are eagle eyed among you - so just wanted to make clear that while Bare Biology are (very lovely) photography clients of mine (they kindly let me use the commissioned images for this post), I was taking their wonderful oil before that initial meeting and am writing this post purely out of love for it. I've been taking it now for a good few years on and off but the beginning of this year really got into a routine of taking it every morning for a good 4 months and I felt amazing. It's often the way though that you kinda note you're feeling good and you're grateful for it but haven't consciously merited any one thing to it. But recently I went a few months without Bare Biology and I noticed a few things - weight was sticking on me (despite sticking to the 5:2 and not overeating on food days), my anxiety was rearing it's head, my fused ankle was swelling a fair bit and my mood wasn't as balanced as I've got used to it being. I wondered if this was coincidence so when I started taking again I made a conscious effort to note down improvements. I found within my notes:
- My skin felt clearer and brighter
- My periods were unannounced (very little cramping) and I felt less emotional
- My ankle feels more stable and doesn't inflame as much
- the pounds started shifting again
- I felt brighter and more positive
- I was able to control what I was eating by making good food choices
All of the above are backed by science and research into Omega 3 which is what Bare Biology provides in abundance. And I just want to break it down a little for you.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3's are three type of fatty acids - ALA, EPA and DHA that are essential for healthy bodies. One of the main things Omega 3's deal with is ensuring inflammation pathways are working correctly - considering inflammation is the start of all disease it is important to ensure we are getting enough Omega 3.
What do we need Omega 3 for?
Omega 3 is vital for the proper function of every cell in our body. And cells make up every bit of our body - heart, skin, hair, brain, joints, the whole shebang. In particular DHA is the major structural fat in the body. Put simply - without a good supply of Omega 3 our bodies will struggle to be healthy.
Can I get Omega 3 from diet?
Yes and no! You would have to be very diligent to get enough in a modern day diet. An important thing to note is DHA and EPA are the forms in which we need Omega 3 - most foods promoted as high in Omega 3 provide fatty acids in the form of ALA which our bodies will then need to convert to DHA and EPA except we aren't the best at this conversion, especially with the presence of increased Omega 6 in our diets (vegetable oils, processed foods etc) that disrupt the conversion of Omega 3. However, oily cold water fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines are high in EPA and DHA as fish are highly skilled at converting ALA.
So can't I just eat more fish?
The problem is, a lot of fish is farmed now and not as good quality as wild fish. Unless you are eating optimum quality oily fish 2-3 times per week you are unlikely to get a good amount of the essential Omega 3 into your diet.
How does Omega 3 help my anxiety / mental health?
This is a subject close to my heart considering I live with anxiety. Approximately 60% of the dry weight of your brain (when water is taken away) is made of fats making it the fattiest organ in your body. The fatty acids EPA & DHA are critical for normal brain function throughout all stages of life. Studies have found that people who consume Omega 3 regularly are less likely to be depressed and other studies found that an intake of Omega 3 improved symptoms of anxiety. One study even found EPA to be as effective as Prozac with depression.
So why Bare Biology?
Bare Biology is highly concentrated - the Lion Heart oil packs a massive 3000mg EPA & DHA in one 5ml teaspoon - and it's made from fish meticulously sourced from a small fishing town in Norway. I tried various fish oils and have found Bare Biology to not only be high quality but also the most pleasant to take - it doesn't taste overly fishy or leaves you with an aftertaste and is very clean.
How do I take Bare Biology?
I take the Lion Heart oil as prefer it to capsules - simply just one teaspoon in a shot glass of water - it sits on the top and the water washes it down afterwards. Other people choose to add it to salad dressings, pop into smoothies or stirred into juice. It isn't at all fishy or lemony, just very clean and I even managed to get a friend who hasn't eaten fish for 25 years to take it without much protest!
What am I waiting for?
You tell me! It might seem like a fair bit of money to spend (you might have to trade that scented candle for it) but health is a priority above all other things (while I do realise paying the rent might rank pretty highly too!) and it's a real investment into your mood and well being which benefits everything in your life - your work, your relationships and your outlook. I challenge you to try Bare Biology for a minimum of two months and after this two months write down what benefits you have felt from it. I have no doubt you'll be recommending it to everyone as I do!
You can buy Lion Heart directly from Bare Biology here
Formally Emma Gutteridge