"The first Wealth is Health" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I tell my friends I'm allergic to vegetables. When they go out with me, they know that any portion of vegetables on my plate goes straight to them. I tell myself I'm young, (sort of) healthy, and always up for a new challenge. There's no reason to worry about health - that's an old people issue.
The failing health of some people close to me has taught me how wrong I am. I suffered alongside my grandfather as he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, learning over time the importance of a proper diet and the need to supplement our diets. But what types of supplements do I need?
Considering everyone's wildly varying lifestyles, following a one-size-fits-all checklist of which nutrients every human being should have is inadequate. Given Ocean Health's recent categorization as a Top Brand by Influential Brands in their 2014 study, we sat down with Ocean Health's President and CEO Christina Lim to find out how Singaporeans can best address their nutritional needs according to their lifestyles.
Types of Singaporeans
1. The Carnivore
I know I'm not the only one who leaves all his greens on his plate. Fussy eaters like me fall into this category - we have an inclination towards one side of the dietary requirement while neglecting the rest.Source: llly
This unbalances your diet, causing biological deficiencies in your body. You might not notice this if you're young enough and your body can still compensate for it, but it has serious long term effects such as a higher chance of getting cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.
Recommended Supplements: Multivitamin & Minerals. Read more here.
2. The Beleaguered Student
All of us know the feeling of burning the midnight oil to complete an assignment for school or work, needing to keep our mental energies up to complete the task well. What most of us don't realise is that there are natural ingredients that can massage our brain cells into being more efficient.Source: Lesley Scott
More rest is recommended to keep your minds at its peak operating condition. Although caffeine is a go-to option for most students, be warned: too much of it is not good for your long-term health. Instead, opt for guarana (a plant seed) and ginseng, both of which are non-addictive while providing the mental boost that students need most. The traditional herb ginkgo biloba also helps by promoting blood circulation to the brain, as well as relieving migraines due to sleep deprivation.
3. The Eye-Drop Users
Some of us have chronically dry eyes or eyes that are easily irritated. Perhaps it's a condition you have learnt to live with, but it's not something you have to - it can be resolved if your eyes get the right nutrition.Source: Marcoeyes
Lutein, usually from marigold flowers, has been proven to filter out damaging UV light which damages our vision. Herbs like Chinese wolfberries and chrysanthemum are traditionally used to treat such conditions and have been quite successful. They work synergistically to keep these irritations at bay.
Recommended Supplements: Lutein, Chinese wolfberries, Chrysanthemum and Bilberry. Read more here.
4. The Stressed and Tired Workaholic
With the lack of sleep most of us get due to our busy schedules, our bodies get stressed and tired easily. This can be lessened significantly through prioritising your work and reducing your intake of caffeine and sugar. Exercise helps, releasing hormones like endorphins that make you happy.Source: Svein Halvor Halvorsen
The effects of stress can also be countered by a balanced diet, especially with a regular intake of Vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex converts food into energy, keeping us alert throughout the day. It also protects the immune system, working in tandem with other energy-boosting ingredients like Vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10.
Recommended Supplements: B-Complex vitamins. Read more here.
5. The Sports Fanatic
Knee, elbow and shoulder joints wear out fast for people who engage in sports often. It happens to everyone - basketballers, footballers, runners, and other athletes know this. Your joints will wear out, no matter how healthy you are now.Source: Francois Peeters
Start protecting your joints with joint-friendly supplements before they start to wear out. For instance, glucosamine is important for the production of joint cartilage components, while calcium and collagen strengthen the bones in the body.
Apart from that, regular stretching keeps muscles and ligaments strong, and can be done at various times of the day. Don't limit your stretching to warm-ups and cool-downs!
Recommended Supplements: Glucosamine, Calcium and Collagen. Read more here.
6. The Frequent Traveller
This might not apply to most Singaporeans, but it's still an important thing to note for the increasingly globe-trotting Singaporean businessmen. With pollution being increasingly rampant in major business cities such as Doha, New Delhi, and Beijing, we need to know how to best protect our loved ones who travel often.Source: Metro Library and Archive
N95 masks are a must for people travelling to these cities, as much as we all know that they aren't fashion statements. We should avoid the heat as well, as air quality is lowest when the heat is highest. Foods like cherries and tomatoes that are high in antioxidants are helpful, as they limit the damage pollution does to our bodies.
If convenience is a concern, supplementation with antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E can do the trick as well.
Recommended Supplements: Antioxidants. Read more here.
7. The Gout Sufferer
Gout has no known cure - gout sufferers know first-hand how terrible that is. A form of arthritis, gout is a result of a build-up of uric acid in our bodies. This can be managed one of two ways: reducing your intake of foods that produce uric acid (e.g. red meats and seafood) or increasing your intake of foods that lower uric acid levels (e.g. tart cherries).Source: Victor Bezrukov
Losing weight is a good way to avoid extra strain on your joints, so exercise is recommended. You should also keep hydrated as fluids help to flush our bodies of toxins, keeping uric acid at a healthy level.
Recommended Supplements: Tart Cherries and Amalaki Indian Gooseberry. Read more here.
In our fast-paced society, Singaporeans are often shuttling about with no time for proper meals. That plate of chicken rice you're having for lunch isn't rich in nutrients, even if you eat that side of cucumbers. Supplements exist to fill the nutritional gaps that our diets cause - that plate of oily chicken rice isn't as bad if taken with a diet modifier and paired with some complementary vitamins.
If you've had an unhealthy diet and know that it's time to make a life change, you could start with enhancing your diet with supplements. And having just picked up Top Brand by Influential Brands recently, Ocean Health’s product line will be a good place for you to start.
About Ocean Health
Founder Christina Lim started the Ocean Health brand with the specific vision of developing affordable high quality products to improve the quality of life and self-esteem of their end users: “only if it’s good enough for my family and me is it good enough for my customers” has been the motto Christina has set for the company from the outset.
Christina still personally formulates and tests all Ocean Health products for quality, efficacy, consumer appeal and even taste. The personal touch does not end there as Christina’s parents and relatives also use and testify to the efficacy of many of the products themselves; as they have since the brand’s inception.
About Influential Brands™
Influential Brands is a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today. The study conducted by Influential Brands is purely consumer driven and the Top Brands are selected by consumers through their perception and preference, demonstrating the level of impact and influence of the brands in each consumer’s life.
Influential Brands seeks to identify consumer preferences, their behaviours, values and to understand how the ever-changing environment affects consumer experience in the purchase journey. The programme is tailored to enrich the brands’ relationship with their consumers through ongoing meaningful conversations and engagement.
Read More Influential Brand Stories by TSL
This post is part of Influential Brands 2014, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore.