These are some of my favorite natural supplements that I recommend on a regular basis. (Photo: Ed Jones, Nutrition World)

“Healthy” is a word that’s tossed around a lot, and it can be used in lots of applications and refer to many aspects of our lives. When someone says they want to be or get healthy, to me that means they want to achieve a sense of overall wellness—meaning they don’t just want to be free of diseases or conditions, but that they want to be able to function all day, every day, without any complications arising (no lack of energy, no anxiety, no loss of sleep, etc.).

Someone who is in optimal health functions with zero or very small levels of discomfort; adequate energy levels; a steady, optimistic mental state; balanced hormones; quality sleep; healthy skin and physical appearance; and excellent muscular and fitness levels.

Inflammation is the greatest threat to all the above. Both our diet and our habits create issues of inflammation, and all diseases related to aging are created by chronic inflammation. So, regardless of your age or health level, the time to start treating inflammation is now, and the best way to do so is with natural nutrient supplementation.

Nutrient supplementation is insurance against what we all fear, which is disease and poor health. Whether you are already in good health or looking to get there, once you have achieved it, of course you want to preserve it for many more years by following wise guidelines.

Here are a few supplements I recommend for optimal health and wellness:

—Vitamin D (actually a hormone) is a crucial component of good health, which can act on the genetic structure of the body to preserve health and wellness.

—Curcumin is one of the most incredible plants on earth. It reduces inflammation and maintains mental functions as we age.

—Omega 3s from fish oils are crucial for brain function and also reduce inflammation.

—Vitamin K allows calcium to enter the bones to prevent bone loss.

—Methylfolate is a natural version of folic acid that can be amazing at protecting our health. (Research over the past five years has actually shown that folic acid can be harmful to consume.)

Brain chemistry (mental health) is intimately tied to gut function (physical health). In my experience, treating one without treating the other is not good medicine. About half of all brain chemicals are produced in the gut. Hippocrates—the “father of medicine”—said thousands of years ago that all disease begins in the gut, and research continues to verify this.

The body carries its own medicine and strives every minute to create optimal health. Our job is to give the body the healthy foods, exercise and natural supplements it needs and then get out of its way. The biggest argument I hear against doing this is cost—insurance companies are not going to pay for your preventive supplements, after all—but the cost is paltry compared to the costs we incur when we are constantly sick and functioning below par.

For more information, check out my e-book Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.

Ed Jones is a Chattanooga holistic health expert who is passionate about natural health, holistic health, natural healing and physical fitness. He is a graduate of American Health Science University and received his associate in arts degree in 1978 from MTSU. He is also a professional member of the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit organization that helps people live healthier lives through responsible use of herbs and medicinal plants. He is constantly training in new areas, attends seminars across the country and has had personal interactions with many of today’s experts on natural health. He seeks to inspire and empower people to take control of their health through the use of holistic approaches to accomplish peak vitality and complete wellness.

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