People keep all sorts of products in their medicine cabinet, from prescriptions they really need for an existing health condition and exercise supplements, to multivitamins and other medicine that shouldn’t be there. Here’s how to determine what to keep and what to throw away.
If you’re dealing with a certain health condition that requires serious prescriptions and a more rigid approach, you need to ensure you’re up to date with the quantity you need as well as the expiration date. This includes everything from diabetes medicine and hormone replacement therapy to antibiotics that need to be taken within a certain timeframe and for a specific amount of time.
Sometimes people like to stock up for the foreseeable future, especially if the condition they’re dealing with is an ongoing thing or they’re afraid the brand they’re using will not be available when they start running low on stock. While this is a smart and sometimes even a cheaper option, make sure you’re only stocking up on those prescriptions you absolutely need. Otherwise, you may end up with a bunch of antibiotics or similar pills that might pass their expiration date the next time you need them.
Pre-workouts, protein powders, branch-chained amino acids, electrolytes, and recovery supplements are usually popular amongst people who are active and want to preserve their hard-earned muscles while losing fat. And although they are great tools to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, they aren’t necessarily crucial.
They can quite quickly become expensive and stay in your medicine cabinet for a while as you try to drag them out over the course of a few months, potentially ruining them and having to go and buy new ones.
That being said, if you really like using exercise supplements, make sure you’re using high-quality brands that don’t use unnecessary ingredients, artificial fillers and colorings, excess sugars, and other inflammatory compounds that can only be detrimental to your health and wellness.
Under dietary supplements, there is usually a pretty wide range of various products. From multivitamins and omega-3 fatty acids to probiotics and digestive enzymes. The question is, do you really need all of them?
The best way to check would be to do a micronutrient panel blood test that can help you determine the actual levels of specific minerals and vitamins in your blood, as well as a stool sample to get a better insight into your microbiome and the bacteria living in your gut. After performing these tests, you’ll have a better understanding of which supplements you need to be taking on the regular and in which doses.
Generally speaking, almost everyone will benefit from taking certain supplements, and it’s worth keeping them in your medicine cabinet, even if you don’t go ahead and take these tests. These include:
- Vitamin D3 – the majority of people is vitamin D3 deficient, and they would almost certainly feel better if they were taking the recommended dose on a regular basis. The reasons behind vitamin D3 deficiency usually include lack of sun exposure, spending an increasing amount of hours indoors as opposed to outdoors, as well as stress that can easily prevent our bodies from converting the right amounts from the sun’s rays. Since vitamin D3 deficiency can have a negative impact on your mental health as well as your immune system, it’s probably one of the most important supplements to keep in your medicine cabinet.
- Omega – 3 fatty acids – rarely anyone eats enough fatty fish to keep their omega-3 fatty acid levels in healthy levels. They are essential for balancing out your hormones, supporting a healthy immune system, promoting cardiovascular health, and so much more. Fish is not always readily available, and it’s generally considered much more expensive than meat, so taking the recommended doses in supplement form can be quite beneficial to your overall health.
- Magnesium – this powerful trace mineral is involved in over 300 processes in the human body, showcasing its importance way past “being good for sore muscles.” It plays an essential role in building proteins and strengthening your bones as well as promoting a healthy heart and blood sugar levels. It also helps improve your sleep quality and consistency, balancing out necessary hormones and promoting a healthier transition from fight and flight to rest and digest.
- Probiotics – even though they’re not absolutely necessary, probiotics are a great tool to help improve your digestion and help your body increase nutrient intake from the foods you eat. They help balance out the microbial flora in your gut, decreasing overall inflammation in your body, and helping boost your immune system.
- Digestive enzymes – if you’re dealing with indigestion, bloating, or often stool infrequency, you should look into investing in digestive enzymes. They help your body break down food more efficiently so that you can intake what you need and discard the rest.
And last, but not least, there is a group of products that are beneficial to keep in your medicine cabinet, and they include herbs and other plant-based superfoods that work in unison to support and optimize all areas of your health. From decreasing stress and inflammation to promoting healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, some of these superfoods are extremely powerful in supporting your well-being. Here are some worth keeping in your medicine cabinet:
- Ashwagandha – one of the greatest adaptogens in the world, ashwagandha helps your body adapt better to stress, lowering inflammation, and helping optimize all of your body functions.
- Maca – multiple studies show the powerful benefits of maca powder, especially in sexual health, pre-menopausal and menopausal women, as well as depression and anxiety.
- Spirulina – this micro-green alga has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping you fight free radicals and their negative impact on your cells, and protecting you against diseases, fungi, and infections.
- Camu camu powder – if you’re looking for something that’s more efficient than your usual multivitamin, go for camu camu powder. This fruit extract has 60 times more vitamin C than oranges, and it’s extremely beneficial in lowering inflammation and promoting a stronger immune system.
What you keep in your medicine cabinet should be something you use on a daily or weekly basis, and it’s supposed to improve your health and help optimize your body’s system and not work against you. Most prescription medicine is made to keep you asking for it, even when you truly don’t need it. Stick to the natural, plant-based micronutrients, and notice how your body reacts when it’s not running low on important minerals, vitamins, and other plant compounds.