The 50 Best Supplements on the Planet
Everything you need to stock your cabinet with right now.
A year ago, people were Instagramming pictures of their beauty cabinets. Now, they're showcasing snaps of their supplement cupboards. Long gone are the days the world depended on doctors to fix all their health problems; now, it's not uncommon to take things into your own hands with a trip down the supplement aisle at your local grocery store. And although these health boosters are popular, it can sometimes be hard to tell the best supplements from the ones that will clutter your cabinets.
It might be hard to know what's worth using and what's not when it comes to your health, so if you're ready to amp up your collection to reap the ultimate benefits, look no further than these options. And for more smart ways to eat better, check out these 30 Foods to Get Rid of Allergies—For Good.
If you're not spending a lot of time out in the sun, you're probably low on vitamin D. But don't worry — you're in good company. According to Harvard Medical School, 70 percent of Americans don't have enough of the vitamin in their systems — and it doesn't help that it's also really hard to get through your diet. Luckily, popping a vitamin D supplement is a great option to up your levels. And if you're looking for some great fitness motivation, know that This Man Lost 70 Pounds and Now Looks Like a Disney Model—Photos.
You might already have turmeric hanging out on your spice rack. What you might not realize, though, is that the bright yellow spice is also incredibly powerful in supplement-form — particularly due to its anti-inflammatory response. In fact, one study even found it can help control allergies and asthma. And fun fact: Turmeric can actually help make your teeth whiter.
Funny name aside, butterbur — a shrub that's native to Europe as well as some parts of Asia and North America — has been used since the 17th century to treat everything from coughs and asthma to wounds, says the NIH. And although it's been around so long, it's still one of the best supplements out there. Today, you can reap the benefits by grabbing the supplement: Butterbur extract has been named a trustworthy way to have less migraines by the American Academy of Neurology, and a meta-analysis found it can also stop allergies from getting you down. And for more ways to look after your brain, know that these 15 Over-the-Counter Drugs Will Make You Smarter.
Niacin — also known as vitamin B3 — has plenty of benefits that can seriously up your health. It's been touted as a way to help everything from high cholesterol to Alzheimer's, and a 2010 review found taking it on the daily could reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke in those with heart disease.
Aloe vera — a succulent plant — has a gel that works wonders on burns. And when you get your fix in supplement form, you'll reap even more benefits. Especially when it comes to helping with digestive issues like constipation or gastritis, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Lion's mane mushrooms aren't your typical 'shrooms: They're white, fluffy, and look kind of like white cheerleader pom-poms. And as for its benefits, studies have shown getting your fix on the regular through supplements could both boost your memory and mood. And for even more ways to boost your mood, here are the 20 Best Foods for Your Libido.
Taurine — which you might recognize from being an ingredient in popular energy drinks — has been found to not only be able to give your mental performance a boost, but a 2017 review also discovered it can help improve your athletic performance, too. The combination of the two makes it one of our favorite best supplements. And if you're looking for some exercise motivation, here are some Body Positive Affirmations That Actually Work.
You might have only thought to use garlic to season your food, but the herb is also powerful as a supplement. One 2008 meta-analysis found it's great for reducing blood pressure and there's even a possibility that it could prevent certain cancers, from stomach and colon to breast.
Listen up, ladies: black cohosh is about to become your new best friend. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the plant has been used to treat numerous issues: hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and can even help with menstrual irregularities, premenstrual syndrome, and inducing labor.
Biotin is best supplements for beauty fans — heck, it's even in matcha now! — for a couple of different reasons. Studies have shown it keeps your hair and nails nice and strong, and it works especially well with brittle finger nails, says the Mayo Clinic.
Astragalus — a flowering plant — has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and today it's still a must-try supplement for diarrhea, heart disease, fatigue, hepatitis, and fibromyalgia, among other conditions, says the NIH.
Having trouble sleeping? Finally catch some zzzs — and also get some relief from anxiety, gas, diarrhea, and upset stomachs — with the help of chamomile supplements, says the Cleveland Clinic. The daisy-like plant has been used for thousands of years so you know it's good. And if getting back to sleep is a problem, know the 10 Genius Tricks for Falling Back Asleep in the Middle of the Night.
There are plenty of reasons to up your vitamin B12 intake. Vegans and vegetarians usually take a daily supplement to make sure they're getting enough of the vitamin since it's only found in animal products, but deficiencies aren't uncommon for everyone and can cause some serious problems, from memory loss and fatigue to difficulty walking, says Harvard Medical School. Take it regularly if you think you might be running low.
If "bilberry" just makes you think of blueberries, you're actually dead-on: it's a European blueberry that grows on a shrub and is incredibly good for your health. According to Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, as one of the best sources of body-protecting anthocyanins, the supplement is used for improving night vision and is also thought to help treat and prevent inflammation, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. Those mental boosts make it one of the best supplements on our list. And for more great healthy living advice, here are the 40 Ways to Get Your Best Body in Your 40s.
The next time you want to get rid of a cold, grab some zinc. A 2011 review showed the supplement could not only shorten the amount of time you're stuck with the sniffles, but can also help decrease the severity of your symptoms or help you avoid coming down with the cold in the first place.
Echinacea — a pretty pink flower — is more powerful than it looks. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it's been used for centuries to fight off colds and treat flu symptoms either in tea or supplement-form.
Want strong bones? Your diet is only going to do you so much good. According to the NIH, taking calcium in supplement-form is a simple way to make sure you keep your skeletal system in-check and reduce bone loss down the line.
There's a lot of benefits to taking a supplement of the trace mineral boron. According to one 2015 review, it's thought to improve wound healing, protect against oxidative stress, improve the brain's electrical activity and cognitive performance, and could prevent some cancers — and that's just the beginning.
Folate — or vitamin B9 — is crucial for healthy cell growth and function, as well as red blood cell formation, says the Mayo Clinic. You can find it in dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, oranges, and bananas, and taking folic acid supplements could do everything from reduce cancer risks to treat depression.
Ready for a healthy boost of omega-3s? Look to none other than flaxseed oil supplements. A great alternative to fish oil, it helps lower cholesterol and gives you a solid dose of fiber, says the Cleveland Clinic.
If you're not into probiotic-packed fermented foods like sauerkraut or kombucha, you can keep your gut healthy with probiotic supplements. They're full of body-boosting forms of bacteria that studies have shown can help keep your digestive system happy.
Bromelain — which is found in pineapples — has been used to treat digestive disorders for years. Now, you can grab it as a supplement, which is thought to help with nasal swelling, inflammation, poor digestion, muscle soreness, and osteoarthritis, says the Bromelain NIH.
Ginkgo — short for ginkgo biloba — has been around for a very long time. The tree is one of the oldest in the world with fossils dating back millions of years. People have been reaping the benefits for thousands of years, and grabbing the supplement can help you do everything from treat memory issues and ringing in the ears to increase your sex drive and sexual performance, says the Cleveland Clinic.
All those pretty orange and red fruits and veggies? Those colors are all thanks to beta carotene. According to Berkeley Wellness, getting your fix in supplement-form has been said to help prevent cancer and heart disease, boost immunity, and support your vision.
The chasteberry — which comes from the chaste tree that's native to Asia and the Mediterranean — used to be used to decrease sexual desire by monks (crazy, huh?), but today the NIH says it's used as a supplement for everything from infertility and menstrual issues to menopause symptoms.
Choline is typically found in animal products, but if you're not getting enough in your diet, that's where supplements come in. According to Berkeley Wellness, it's especially important for pregnant and nursing women as its key for brain development, function, and mental abilities later on in life.
Whenever you're feeling nauseous or dealing with stomach or bowel issues, pop some peppermint oil supplements. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it's known as an easy — and natural! — way to get your body feeling normal again.
Evening Primrose Oil
Want some extra help with eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, breast pain, or premenstrual syndrome? Evening primrose oil supplements — which come from the yellow flowering plant native to Europe — are thought to do the trick, says the NIH.
Surprise! Mistletoe isn't just something you kiss under. People have also used it for centuries for seizures, arthritis, headaches, and — most recently — a cancer treatment in Europe, says the NIH. This just isn't any mistletoe, though: It's the European variety, which grows on common trees.
Taking a soy supplement might sound weird, but they're commonly used to treat a variety of issues. It can help with menopausal symptoms, memory issues, and even high cholesterol levels, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Your love of palms could provide you with some health benefits. Saw palmetto — a small palm tree found in the United States — is commonly used as a one of the best supplements for everything from chronic pelvic pain and decreased sex drive to urinary symptoms, migraines, and hair loss, says the NIH.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort — which is a yellow flower — might be all that's needed to brighten your mood. Literally. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the supplement has been used to treat depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
You probably loved eating licorice as a kid. And as an adult, it's typically used to help with digestive issues, infections — both viral and bacterial — and coughs, says the NIH.
There are plenty of perks to having a bunch of fiber in your system. It keeps your digestion running strong, moving everything through your body. And, it also keeps you feeling full for longer, says the Mayo Clinic. If you don't think you're getting enough in your system, pop some supplements to make sure your body is on track.
Vitamin A is what keeps your vision, immune system, and reproductive system strong, and it could also offer some benefits as a supplement. In addition, it could play a role in reducing the risk of certain cancers, as well as age-related macular degeneration, but more research still needs to be done, says the Mayo Clinic.
Coenzyme Q10 — which is naturally produced in the body — is a pretty powerful antioxidant. According to the Mayo Clinic, it could treat everything from heart conditions and migraines to Parkinson's disease.
Green Tea Extract
Having trouble shedding the pounds? Try green tea extract. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found those who took the supplement had an increase in fat oxidation. It's worth a shot, right?
Want your softest skin yet? Try alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant that's been said to make your skin look younger, smoother, and more vibrant by increasing blood flow and protecting your skin from damage, says the University of Rochester.
Magnesium not only keeps your body working properly — from your heart to your immune system — but it's also been shown to help reduce migraine symptoms and combat depression and anxiety, muscle cramping, and insomnia, says the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Ginger does a little bit of everything. Studies have shown it could help fight off nausea, enhance brain function, reduce muscle pain, and reduce menstrual pain. Yeah, it's powerful stuff.
Anyone who's had trouble sleeping probably received the advice to pop some melatonin supplements. Because it naturally plays a role in sleep in the body, it's not uncommon to take it for sleep disorders, jet lag, insomnia, and to generally just fall asleep faster, says the NIH.
Your body needs iron to function properly; it does help the blood carry oxygen through the body, after all. If you don't have enough, you could experience anemia, which makes you feel super tired, have problems breathing, and feel dizzy and cold, says the University of Michigan.
Spirulina might look and smell a little weird, but the blue-green algae could give your body a boost of vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with everything from protein and iron to calcium, zinc, and potassium.
Dandelions have always been thought of as weeds, but according to the NIH, they've been used for years to help issues with the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. And here we all were picking them and tossing them aside as kids.
Milk thistle — a plant with pretty pink flowers — contains silymarin, which is believed to have body-boosting antioxidant properties that could help lower blood sugar in those with diabetes, as well as help with indigestion, says the Mayo Clinic.
Anyone who's looking for a natural way to combat erectile dysfunction might want to look to L-Arginine. In a 2010 study, researchers found the amino acid drastically increased sexual function when combined with Pycnogenol — so much so that 92.5 percent of the men involved had normal erections within three months.
This flower is more than just a (really) pretty face. While it used to be used as a mild sedative after first being discovered, it's now being used to help with anxiety and sleep issues, pain, and ADHD, says the NIH.
Some of the best supplements have multiple uses. Pyridoxine — or vitamin B6 — keeps your brain, nervous system, and immune system happy, and according to the Mayo Clinic, it might also play a role in reducing the severity of morning sickness during pregnancy and reducing symptoms of PMS. Score.
While there are a lot of ways to get beautiful, glowing skin, vitamin E might just be your best bet. According to Oregon State University, the antioxidant is exactly what your skin needs to maintain its health and keep looking better than ever.
Resveratrol — the chemical found in red wine, peanuts, and mulberries, to name a few — has been getting a lot of buzz. According to Harvard Medical School, there are plenty of potential benefits — from protecting against cancer to helping people live longer — but more research still needs to be done.
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