Monday, July 2, 2012

The 10 Best Supplements

Dear Neem and Turmeric Readers,

     Here is an informative article by Christopher Mohr from  Check out how even the top nutrition and weight loss experts are advising their clients, including pro athletes, to consider turmeric as a part of their daily diet.   It's #6 on their top 10 list.  

Disclosure:  Neem and Turmeric does not recommend the supplements posted in this article (except turmeric).  Before consuming any supplements contact your doctor.  If consuming turmeric supplements we recommend purchasing high quality capsules from

By Christopher Mohr, June 25, 2012

Walking through the supplement aisle can make you feel pretty confident. Promises like “fat loss,” “muscle gain,” and “reduced aging” plaster nearly every bottle and container. And with more than 29,000 dietary supplements to choose from, there’s no wonder you feel uncertain about which ones are more show than substance. That’s why we asked Dr. Chris Mohr of MohrResults, a nutrition and weight loss expert who advises the Cincinnati Bengals and other major clients, to separate the proven performers from the over-packaged junk. Here are his top 10 supplements—sensational marketing claims sold separately.

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil is known for delivering omega-3’s, essential fats that our bodies can’t make on our own so must get them from our diet. Even if you eat fish one to two times per week, you won’t be taking in enough omega-3’s to meet your body’s needs. By taking a high quality fish oil, you can reduce triglycerides, lower your risk of heart disease, improve recovery from exercise, protect your brain health, and potentially lower your risk of diabetes. Omega-3’s may even help with losing body fat. When choosing a supplement, pay seek brands that deliver a minimum of 2 g EPA and DHA (two of the three acids in omega-3s) daily.

2. Vitamin D

Plenty of data has suggested that the majority of Americans have less than optimal levels of Vitamin D. That’s not surprising – the nutrient is tough to get from food (though canned salmon, milk, and sardines are all good sources), and the only other method is sunlight. If you live north of Atlanta, the sun isn’t strong enough from November to March for you to make sufficient amounts. And even when you are outside, most people are covered with clothing and/or suntan lotion. Most experts agree that supplementing with at least 1000 IU’s daily is a good start.

3. Whey Protein

Whey protein is not an essential supplement, but it is a good one to have on hand. Because whey is high in branched-chain amino acids, it can aid recovery from exercise. More importantly, whey protein is a quick, convenient source of quality calories. Add some to fruit or a scoop of nut butter and you’ve got a perfect on-the-go meal that takes 60 seconds to make.

4. Greens Products

While not a replacement for fruits and vegetables, Greens products (fruit and vegetable concentrates) are a good “insurance” policy if your produce consumption is lower than idea. Less than 6% of men and 9% of women aged 5 to 34 consume the recommended minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Greens can help fill this void. They’re especially handy when real produce is hard to come by, like during times of heavy travel.

5. Probiotics

Here’s the deal -- there are millions of different strains of bacteria in our guts. Some are good. Others, not so much. The bacteria in your gut can influence your overall health, digestion and immune system. Probiotics can help replenish and nourish your internal supply of good bacteria, sometimes leading to less gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Aim for a product from a trusted brand that lists at least 3 billion organisms per serving. Keep it refrigerated after opening to protect those organisms.

6. Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian dishes, and a key component in the spice is curcumin. Hundreds have studies have suggested that curcumin possesses a wide range of beneficial health properties, including a 2010 study that suggested curcumin has anti cancer, anti viral, anti arthritic and anti inflammatory properties. The nutrient’s very strong anti inflammatory actions are seen as one of the primary drivers of these benefits. You could just add turmeric to your foods if you enjoy that flavor, or seek a curcumin supplement that delivers around 500 mg daily.

7. Cinnamon

Another powerful spice, cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any of the spices. Several studies have shown that cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity, which improves utilization of carbohydrates and leads to better blood sugar control. Sprinkle it in shakes, on oats, yogurt, cottage cheese or wherever you’d enjoy the added flavor. Or if you want the assurance of getting a specific dose, you can choose a supplement. Studies have shown that 1g daily (about 1/2 teaspoon) is sufficient. Note: Cinnamon comes in two varieties -- Ceylon and cassia cinnamon – and most benefits have been linked to the cassia variety. Another note: If you have blood sugar issues, exercise caution if combining cinnamon with other diabetes drugs or supplements for blood sugar control.

8. Psyillium

Psyillium is a soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar in people who have diabetes, and help “move things along” if you’re a bit backed up. If you choose to supplement, start with small doses and build over time. Adding too much fiber too soon can cause some, ahem, odorous side effects.

9. Creatine

This one has stood the test of time. Creatine is one of the most extensively studied nutritional supplements, both in clinical research and by real-life athletes, and to date most findings indicate one thing: Creatine works. The supplement may enhance muscle function during high-intensity exercise, and cause muscle hypertrophy, likely due to increased water retention by muscle cells, although some data suggest there may be gains in muscle fiber diameter as well. Vegetarians may have a greater response to supplementation because of their limited intake of dietary creatine. While some advocate creatine loading, it isn’t necessary. Adding 3-5g per day can help improve strength or speed, or help you add on weight.

10. Beta Alanine

β-Alanine supplements have garnered interest over the last several years as several research investigations have linked its use to performance improvements. β- Alanine is the ‘beta’ form of the amino acid alanine, which muscle cells use to form carnosine. Carnosine is one of the more effective buffering agents in skeletal muscle, meaning that during high-intensity activity it helps stave off some of the things that slow you down.

Thank you for reading Neem and Turmeric!  If you found this article interesting give us some feedback or follow our blog!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dear Neem and Turmeric Readers,

   Well, it's been a few weeks since our last post.  We've been touring the country from Houston's BeBreatheBlossom weekend yoga program with Sadhguru to Bonnaroo in Tennessee (I'm a volunteer with Isha Foundation).  So now I have finally gotten back to finding new and interesting articles for all the Neem and Turmeric Readers out there.
   I'd like to share a simple yet interesting article from on what exactly Neem is capable of possibly curing- from Arthritis and Stress, to Diabetes and Heart Disease.  It's definitely a powerful herb and we take it every morning here at the Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences before our morning yoga practices.

Remember you can find Neem at most Indian Grocery stores.  Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like to give any feedback and don't hesitate to follow my blog if you find it interesting!


AIDS PDF Print E-mail
Some of the best news is that neem may help in the search for a prevention or a cure for AIDS.
Arthritis PDF Print E-mail
Neem has a long history of relieving inflamed joints, supported by recent scientific studies. Most anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, irritate the stomach and may be the major cause for upper GI bellding.
Birth Control PDF Print E-mail
Neem has been shown to be a powerful, relatively inexpensive birth control agent for both men and women. In the first century B.C., Charaka, the Indian physician, gave a detailed method for using neem for contraception. Cotton soaked in neem oil was kept in the vagina for fifteen minutes before intercourse. This killed the sperm.
Cancer PDF Print E-mail
Throughout Southeast Asia neem has been used successfully by herbalists for hundreds of years to reduce tumors. Researchers are now supporting these uses.
Dental Care PDF Print E-mail
People in both India and Africa have used neem twigs as tooth brushes for centuries. Neem twigs contain antiseptic ingredients necessary for dental hygiene. Neem powder is also used to brush teeth and massage gums.
Diabetes PDF Print E-mail
Because neem is a tonic and a revitalizer, it works effectively in the treatment of diabetes, as well.  More than a disease that requires change of diet, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people ages twenty-five and seventy-four; it also damages nerves, kidneys, hear and blood vessels; it may even result in the loss of limbs.
Heart Disease PDF Print E-mail
Major causes of a heart attack include blood clots, high cholesterol, arrhythmic heart action and high blood pressure.  Neem has been helpful in these conditions too.
Malaria PDF Print E-mail
According to the Neem Association, an international nonprofit organisation, malaria affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and kills more than two million every year. Malaria is quite common in India and throughout the tropics.
Rheumatism PDF Print E-mail
Neem leaves have anti-inflammatory activity, similar to that in drugs such as phenyl butazone and cortisone.  They can relieve pain and reduce acute pain edema.  For rheumatism, tropical applications of a warmed neem cream that contains neem oil and perhaps a mild neem tea will help lessen pain.
Stress PDF Print E-mail
Relatively new scientific findings indicate that neem may even be useful for reducing anxiety and stress. An experiment was done on test animals to see what, if any effect neem leaf extract had on these conditions. 
Ulcers PDF Print E-mail
n the Ayurvedic medical tradition, neem is considered a useful therapy for ulcers and gastric discomfort.  Compounds in neem have been proven to have antiulcerative effects.  Throughout India, people take neem leaves for all sorts of stomach problems.
Vitiligo PDF Print E-mail
Vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of skin to lose their color.  It occurs in about five percent of the human population regardless of race, but most commonly in dark-skinned people.  The two most common treatments are exposure to sunlight (or PUVA) or corticoster old drugs, but these are not always effective.
Skin Diseases PDF Print E-mail
Neem has been highly successfully against harmful fungi, parasites, and viruses.  Although it can destroy these, it does not kill off beneficial intestinal flora nor produce adverse side effects.
Viral Diseases PDF Print E-mail
In India, neem is also used to treat viral diseases such as small-pox, chicken-pox even many medical practitioners use a paste of neem leaves, rubbed directly on the infected skin, for these conditions.
Other Health Benefits PDF Print E-mail
Ripe neem fruits
Neem truly seems like miraculous natural drug. Neem has been shown to provide an antiviral treatment option for small-pox, chicken-pox, and warts. It is particularly useful for these conditions when applied directly to the skin. This is due in part to its ability to inhibit viruses from multiplying and spreading.