Find Your Inner Zen with Zen+

For many of us, the past 3 years have been exceptionally stressful, having been dominated by fears about the pandemic. But even now after the pandemic fear has more or less subsided, chronic stress continues to be an unavoidable part of modern life, manifesting in many different ways – from constant headaches and sleepless nights, to inexplicable digestive issues and creeping anxiety – all hindering our productivity and undermining our sense of wellbeing in the process.

And so most of us are likely to benefit from some stress management strategies to carry us into the times ahead.

TACKLING STRESS THE NATURAL WAY

While medication and therapy are undoubtedly effective means to manage stress and anxiety, some of us may be interested in regaining inner balance naturally without resorting to pharmaceuticals. The good news is that nature offers several powerful ingredients that are renowned for their soothing effects and have been proven effective.

Valeo’s Zen+ Supplement combines 4 of nature’s most powerfully soothing ingredients that can help you keep calm and sail through daily stress with ease.

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WHAT IS INSIDE ZEN+

L-Theanine – if you have ever wondered why you were told to drink a cup of green tea before bed to help you relax, then you are about to find out why.
Both green tea and black tea are great sources of a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to exhibit calming effects and increase alertness – without causing drowsiness. L-theanine is thought to work by decreasing “excitatory” brain chemicals that contribute to stress and anxiety while increasing brain chemicals that promote the feeling of relaxation. Other research has even linked L-theanine supplement consumption to improvement in sleep quality, blood pressure, as well as focus and attention.

Saffron Extract – Saffron, often referred to as the ”golden spice”, has been used as a seasoning and coloring agent in food for centuries. But did you know that saffron may also support mood, hormone balance and gut health, amongst other emerging health benefits? Saffron’s mood-elevating and calming effects are due to multiple sites of action, including increasing the levels in the brain of important mood-elevating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, balancing the body’s stress response, and exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects in the brain.

Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium’s beneficial effects on mood and stress are so well-known that the mineral has nicknames like “the original chill pill” and “nature’s valium”. However, many people are often on low doses of magnesium or take forms of magnesium that are not well-absorbed by the body. It’s no surprise that they don’t notice any benefit in their anxiety, stress, mood, or sleep. Magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate – used to alleviate constipation – is however one of the most well-tolerated and well-absorbed forms of magnesium that are likely to help you ease into sleep after a long stressful day.

Vitamin B6 – the calming effects of vitamin B6 have been recently confirmed in a trial in which significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms was noted among participants who took vitamin B6 supplements for about one month. The effects of vitamin B6 supplements were thought to be related to improved functioning of a neurotransmitter in the brain (GABA) which is known to be responsible for inducing calm and relaxation.

Along with supplementation, there are plenty of other measures to take to enjoy a more balanced body and calmer mind – from regular and gentle exercise to get the endorphins flowing to meditation and limiting screen time in the evening as much as possible.

It is important to note though that supplements are unlikely to help in cases of severe depression or anxiety and that you should always consult with a trained professional.
We actually recommend that you consult a health care provider before starting any supplement, regardless of what it is meant to treat.


So You're Losing Your Hair. Now What?

More than 95% of men experience some degree of hair loss during their lives according to the American Hair Loss Association, and near 60% notice a receding hairline or thinning hair by age 35. 

A head full of hair is not just a matter of vanity. Losing hair without control over its regrowth can create serious psychological distress, especially when it starts at a fairly young age and has a noticeable impact on the way you look. But there are numerous steps that you can take to slow down or stop hair loss.

In the article below, we explain how and why hair loss happens and what you can do about it, from FDA-approved medications that prevent hair loss and stimulate regrowth, to dietary supplements that nourish your hair from within and more.

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Hair loss: The Basics

  • While a number of factors can contribute to this universal complaint, hair loss in men is primarily the result of a hereditary condition known as androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. So if you have a close relative who has lost their hair, then you’re probably at risk too.
  • This inherited trait means that a by-product of the male hormone testosterone called DHT (short for dihydro-testosterone) binds to receptors in your scalp causing your hair follicles to shrink through the years until they stop growing new hairs.
  • A range of other issues may also contribute to hair loss though such as illness, stress, infections, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and use of certain types of medication.

What can you do about it?

If you’ve just started experiencing hair loss, don’t panic as hair loss can be reversible!

Remember though that early action is the best action. If your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness, it’s important to treat it early to stop it from getting worse over time.

While there isn’t a cure for hair loss, multiple medications have been proven effective at slowing down hair loss and even reversing it. Currently, the most effective treatments for hair loss are the FDA-approved medications finasteride and minoxidil.

Valeo offers both of these medications to you online, along with the ability to connect with a licensed medical provider who will recommend the best course of action for your case. That is on top of numerous other curated natural products & supplements that – though they may not prevent hair loss – would help keep your hair strong, thick, and healthy.

Here is how Valeo can help you confront hair loss with confidence:
All you need to do is fill up Valeo’s hair loss questionnaire by clicking on {link}, after which you will receive our recommendations on the best available treatments based on your answers – these may include prescription drugs, dietary supplements, or even a blood test to rule out potential hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies.
Your answers will also be reviewed by a licensed medical doctor to make sure whether prescription drugs are appropriate whenever applicable.
You may also choose to meet with a Valeo health coach for personalized guidance on how to maintain healthy hair through diet, lifestyle habits, and supplementation.
You can choose to have your products delivered to you every 3 or 6 months for maximum convenience.
So what are you waiting for? Start TODAY and don’t DELAY!


Level-Up Your Vitamin D with Valeo

If you live in a hot climate, and you don’t get outside for at least 15 minutes each day, you may have low vitamin D. 

Why? Because your body actually makes most of its vitamin D from sunshine, and if you keep running away from the sun, you are likely to become deficient.

Why do you need Vitamin D?

  • Maintain bone health – Vitamin D is crucial for the body to be able to absorb calcium and phosphorus, both of which are critical for building healthy strong bones. Having weak bones puts us at greater risk of fractures and developing osteoporosis, and may result in back pain, hindered movement, lost height and a hunched posture.
  • Increase muscle mass & body strength – Vitamin D also acts directly on muscles to increase protein synthesis thus increasing muscle mass and general body strength.
  • Support a strong immune system – Research also suggests that vitamin D may a major role in the inhibition of viruses. If your vitamin D is low, your immune system may be less effective.

Learn More

How can you increase your vitamin D levels?

The three ways to increase vitamin D levels are through diet, sunshine, and supplements. Given the limited number of foods that are naturally-rich with vitamin D, and the dangers of excess sun exposure, most people end up resorting to supplements to meet their vitamin D needs – in which case making the right choice on the right supplement is crucial.

How to choose a vitamin D supplement?

Before you decide on a vitamin D supplement, it’s a good idea to get your levels tested. A blood test is the only way to know whether your levels are deficient, insufficient, sufficient, or optimal.

Factors to consider when shopping for vitamin D supplements include:

  • Form of vitamin D – Vitamin D supplements contain either ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). While both forms can increase levels of vitamin D, vitamin D3 can increase levels more significantly and for longer.
  • Quality – Look for supplements that are packaged in dark glass or opaque containers to protect vitamin D from getting oxidized by light and oxygen. Look also for evidence on testing for purity, quality, and accuracy, ideally from a third-party organization.
  • Dose – Choose a product containing an appropriate dose of vitamin D to meet your needs. Keep in mind that the recommended amount of vitamin D varies by age and whether you’re looking to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D or are deficient.

Why you may also need to supplement vitamin K with vitamin D?

While Vitamin D increases calcium absorption to ensure you have enough of it to meet your body’s demands, Vitamin K makes sure that you use that calcium efficiently; by increasing its deposition in bones & reducing its accumulation in soft tissues such as blood vessels.

Taking high doses of vitamin D without enough vitamin K may cause blood vessel calcification which increases the risk of certain conditions like heart & kidney disease.

How can you optimize your levels with Valeo?

1-Test – The only way to tell if you’re vitamin D deficient is to get your blood tested. Valeo allows you to conveniently & affordably measure your vitamin D levels – at only 99 AED (like seriously?!) – and provides you with recommendations on how to improve them if they are out of range through diet, sunshine, and supplements.
2-Supplement – Valeo provides the highest quality vitamin D supplement which includes vitamin D+K combos. Your Valeo Health Coach will recommend the right dosage for you based on your levels.
3-Reap the benefits! – Results with Valeo are guaranteed – but don’t take our word for it! You can ask 95% of our repeat customers who managed to improve their levels following Valeo recommendations.


11 Health Myths Everyone Believes - Busted with the Real Facts

11 Health Myths Everyone Believes – Busted with the Real Facts

Let’s first share the non-scientific definition of a health myth, as described by Dr. Shmerling from Harvard Health Publishing, which requires most of the following:

  • Many people believe it.
  • There is no compelling scientific evidence to support it.
  • There is at least some scientific evidence against it.
  • It may have a pseudo-scientific explanation to it that may also have an intuitive appeal.
  • The idea defies standard understanding of biology.

Two other features of many popular health myths include:

  • The possibility that it can actually harm you
  • A profit motive (by those promoting the myth)

Myth 1: The human body needs detoxing every once and a while

Detox diets, juices and treatments are hugely popular, but the very idea that we can take steps to detox our own bodies and simply wash away our calorific sins is a huge myth. First of all, if toxins did actually build up in a way that your body couldn’t excrete, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. Moreover, from a biological perspective, the human body is naturally capable of removing impurities from the blood, primarily through the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through its kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, skin, and immune system. So give your body a break and stop detoxing. 

Myth 2: You should be walking 10,000 steps every day

You might think that the number 10,000 is a golden number that was revealed after years of research. It is said that this magic number only became popular after the success of a marketing campaign in the 60s for a company that sold a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps, and “kei” meaning meter. With that being said, if aiming to complete those 10,000 steps makes you walk more, then it is a great strategy. However, to some of us, 10,000 steps can seem like a high goal to achieve every single day, which might make some people not want to even try. Failing to achieve your goal day after day might make you want to give up. To get people with sedentary lifestyles walking, a lower goal might be better psychologically.

Myth 3: Weight loss is all about will power

Everyone blames dieters after regaining the weight they lost for not being dedicated enough and lacking willpower to stick to the diet plan, and that’s just wrong – looking at everyone that has attempted to diet, it seems that nobody has willpower. In fact, willpower is a quick-fix solution that can occasionally get you past a hankering for brownies at 4 p.m., but diets that include restriction depend on a mythical idea that we have full control over our eating habits, ignoring basic human biology: The more we restrict, the more likely we are to fail. So many factors play a role in what we’re eating and why we’re eating. Moreover, years of research on the physiological mechanisms behind weight regulation revealed so many biological changes that happen in the body when we try to lose weight, such as rise in hunger and appetite hormones and a metabolic tendency to slow down fat burning, that it becomes practically impossible to keep the weight off.

Making more nutritious food choices does not mean having hard and fast rules about the types of foods you eat. Indulging sometimes is 100% a part of eating in a healthful way.

Myth 4: All fat is bad

Very often we hear that fat is bad and that eliminating it from our diet is healthy.

Dietary fats are deemed unhealthy due to the high energy quotient of calories they supply and their reputation in blocking arteries and obviously in “making us fat”. But make no mistake – our bodies absolutely require fat to provide essential fatty acids and absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K). Moreover, unlike what decades of preaching have told us on the harmful effects of cholesterol to the heart, recent research is showing that high quality fats such as unsaturated fats found in coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and nuts are protective for the heart.

Myth 5: Fruit juices are healthy

Most fruit juices available in the market are as high in calories as a sugary soft drink. A glass of orange juice contains the extracts of around six oranges. When you have a fruit you usually limit yourself to one or two and have it with all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Juicing it destroys some minerals, takes out the fiber and just gives you a sugar overdose. The recommended daily dose of fiber for women is 25 gm and men need 38 gm. By eliminating that fiber from a fruit, you could be depriving yourself of a dense source of nutrition.

Myth 6: Gluten is evil

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat and is common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and cereal. People with celiac disease (who form only 1% of the world’s population) have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten and develop inflammation and damage in their intestinal tracts and other parts of the body when they eat foods containing gluten, and should therefore follow a gluten-free diet to avoid sickness. Then there are people described as “gluten-sensitive.” Their tests for celiac disease are negative (normal) and yet they get symptoms such as bloating or abdominal cramps whenever they eat foods with gluten. Avoiding gluten makes sense if it makes you sick or feel unwell but for the rest of us, avoiding gluten won’t be doing you any good and is most likely just costing you more. In fact, while you think that gluten-free diets are more nutritious, many reports indicate that these foods are actually commonly less fortified with folic acid, iron, fiber, and other nutrients and tend to have more sugar and fat.

Myth 7: Eggs increase cholesterol levels

Eggs are often demonized for their cholesterol-heavy yolks. In reality, there is insufficient data to show that consumption of dietary cholesterol (such as that in eggs) affects our blood cholesterol levels. Our harmful cholesterol levels are more influenced by the consumption of saturated and trans fat. It is more important to keep your cholesterol in check by monitoring these fats in your diet. Moreover, the incredible egg (yolk included) is a high-quality protein source chock full of important nutrients including omega-3s, vitamins A, D, K, B6, iron, zinc and copper, so please don’t miss out on all of its nutritional value by following.

Myth 8: “Take this supplement. It helped me and so it must help you too”

Has anyone ever told you that you MUST try that one supplement. You have to, because…wait for it…It will change your life! Well, newsflash: it might not. Your body is unique and your supplementation plan should be too.

Following someone else’s advice on supplements can be tempting because it comes with a living proof that it works. However, anecdotal evidence from unqualified people can often lead to exaggerated and misinterpreted results and random supplementation. This can increase the risk of toxicity, medication interaction, and side effects, or can simply be ineffective. Instead, supplementation should be personalized and tailored to one’s bloodwork and medical history. Blood testing is one of the most powerful ways to understand what is going on inside of your body and identify your need for supplements.

Myth 9: You should drink at least 8 cups of water a day

Despite it being a belief widely held onto for its supposed multiple health benefits (including better skin and the prevention of gallstones), the age-old mantra of drinking 8 glasses of water a day is medically unfounded. While water is essential to keep you hydrated, there is actually no evidence that we need to be drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. This is because water is not the only source of hydration – we also get water from fruits, vegetables, and even juice and coffee that we consume.

Furthermore, there is also no scientific evidence that increasing water intake has any health benefits for an average healthy person. That being said, water is still the healthiest drink to consume – you may not need to tick the 8-cups-of-water box every day, but you do need to keep yourself hydrated. The best gauge of how much water to drink is simply to drink as and when you feel thirsty.

Myth 10: A calorie is a calorie

A calorie is a calorie in terms of energy, but the nutrients that come with those calories vary. So while it’s true that a 3-ounce skinless chicken breast has the same amount of calories as two slices of white bread (both have about 140 calories), those calories are not equal as the source of the calorie changes how you digest it and how you retrieve energy from it. And so, instead of counting calories which ignores the metabolic effects of each calorie, focus more on eating whole foods and healthy fats, and avoiding unhealthy processed foods like crackers and cookies.

Myth 11: You need to have 5 meals a day.

Have you heard that you’ll lose more weight if you eat small frequent meals?The 5-6 meals a day theory claims it increases your metabolism given that you burn more calories if you digest food more often. Remember, weight loss isn’t primarily about calories in and calories out. And so, if the basis of this theory is calorie counting then it is ineffective.

Another long-standing theory is that having big fewer meals causes spikes in blood sugar whereas having small frequent ones help regulate it. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more often does keep your blood sugar consistent throughout the day – consistently high, that is! Your blood sugar might surge after a big meal, but only for an hour or less, and on average, people who eat fewer meals have lower blood glucose levels throughout the day. The best way to prevent an upturn in your blood glucose after your meal is to eat fewer refined carbohydrates, and more protein and complex carbohydrates at each sitting. To add to that, the benefits of eating less often are well-highlighted in the literature and include increased metabolism, blood glucose control, and weight loss!


Probiotics: Defining Quality

Discoveries about how the gut microbiota affects human physiology are multiplying at an astounding rate, reshaping much of what we know about health and disease.

Thousands of probiotic supplement brands are now available on the market as millions of people now regularly consume these supplements. However, that does not mean that all probiotics are equal when it comes to quality!

So how do you choose a good quality probiotic supplement?

STRAIN SELECTION

Probiotics are not one-size-fits-all remedies, and certain probiotic strains are much more effective for certain medical conditions and symptoms than others. Look for supplements with specific strains based on your needs.

Among the known probiotic bacteria, species of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus) and Bifidobacterium have a long history of safe use, possess the ability to withstand digestion and the gut’s high acidity, and have been consistently shown to exert the biological functions.

WHAT ARE COLONIAL FORMING UNITS (CFU)?

Vitamins and other supplements typically indicate dosages in terms of weight or volume. For probiotics, weight and volume mean little. What’s important is the number of living microorganisms that survive and replicate after being consumed – and the standard indicator for that is the quantity of colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose. In short, CFUs estimate the expected number of viable organisms a probiotic capsule will deliver to the intestines.

For common commercially available probiotics, label claims run somewhere between 1 billion to 10 billion CFUs per day.
The product quality matters. It’s important to look for probiotics that contain at least 106 (1 million) CFUs per gram, as research suggests that this is the minimum amount needed to exert positive effects in the body.

VIABILITY & STORAGE

Because probiotics are quite vulnerable to factors like temperature change and storage time, many may no longer be viable by the time the product is purchased. We therefore recommend that you choose products that include CFUs at the end of a product’s shelf life, which indicates that a product contains a therapeutic number of CFUs after the product is purchased.

Some probiotics also require refrigeration. Check the product label for proper storage instructions. In general, probiotics are sensitive to heat. Thus, if they don’t require refrigeration, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dry area.


HOW TO READ A SUPPLEMENT LABEL LIKE A PRO

How To Read A Supplement Lable Like A Pro

When most people buy supplements, they’re concerned about the type of supplement they are getting. But the only way to really know what you’re buying is to thoroughly read the supplement facts label.

Here is how to read a supplement facts label like a pro and what to look for when considering any dietary supplement.

Serving Size & Amount per Serving

The “Serving Size” can be listed as the number of capsules, teaspoons, drops, scoops, etc. that equals a single serving and should be the quantity of the supplement that you take at a time unless otherwise recommended by a health professional. “Serving Per Container” is however the number of servings contained in a single container.

Ingredients & Other Ingredients

Examining the ingredients list is key to finding out about a product’s benefits. You can use this list to find out key things about an ingredient, such as its source or how it was processed. Ingredients are often listed in order of weight predominance.

Toward the bottom of the supplement fact label, other ingredients may also be listed, including herbs, extracts, additives, and other compounds. Check carefully for ingredients like fillers, sweeteners, preservatives, food coloring, and additives.
Fillers are often used by manufacturers to help cut costs or add substance to tablets and capsules. “Other ingredients” are also listed in descending order by weight.

% Nutrient Reference Value (%NRV) or % Daily Value (%DV)

NRV stands for Nutrient Reference Value – that is the intake level of a nutrient that is considered adequate to meet the nutritional requirements of an average healthy adult to prevent deficiency. NRVs are set for vitamins and minerals for the purpose of food labeling based on European legislation, while the US has its own version of the NRVs called the Daily Value (DV).
And because different criteria were used to define NRVs and DVs, you will see a difference between the NRVs and US DVs of a given nutrient. For example, the NRV for vitamin D is 5mcg, whereas in the US the DV is 20mcg.

%NRV and %DV on the label both show the percentage of the nutritional requirements that are provided by the supplement.
For example, if a product contains 50% of the DV for a specific nutrient, this means that it contains approximately 50% of the amount that most people need for the entire day.
Some supplements do contain more than the NRV, but there are good health reasons for this. It’s also not a problem as long as you abide by Safe Upper Limits (SUL) – these reflect the doses that most people can take every day without risk to health.

Asterisks

You may find some supplement ingredients such as Mushrooms with an asterisk or a bullet in the %NRV column. This is because only vitamins and minerals have established recommended intakes.

Cautions

Make sure to look for any warnings on your supplement label. These are often directed for consumers with specific medical conditions. It is important to abide by all warnings and keep your healthcare provider aware of any supplement that you are taking.

Quality Certification

One of the main certifications to look for on supplements is the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) certificate which is required by all supplements produced in the US and ensures that companies adhere to approved processes for the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and storage of supplements.

You may also want to look for third-party testing certifications which some manufacturers may opt for from organizations like NSF or United States Pharmacopeia.


7 Steps For Choosing a Quality Supplement

 7 Steps For Choosing a Quality Supplement

The average diet leaves a lot to be desired – Research finds that our plates lack a number of essential nutrients, namely calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. It’s therefore no wonder that more than half of us open a supplement bottle to get the nutrition we need. Many of us take supplements not just to fill this nutritional gap, but also because we hope to give our bodies an extra health boost – a preventive buffer to ward off disease.
While getting the missing nutrients straight from a pill sounds easy, choosing a good quality supplement can be tricky. From misleading claims to unnecessary additives, you really have to do your homework in order to choose a good quality supplement that is right for you.
So how can you judge the quality of a supplement before taking it?

1-Check the ingredients

Low-quality supplements can be full of additives that may be unnecessary or that may even block your body from absorbing the active ingredient (the nutrient you want). Always research any ingredient that you don’t recognize or understand. You may also want to check the “free from” information to make sure your supplement does not contain artificial preservatives, colorings, GMOs, or allergens.

2-Check the dosage

When it comes to supplementation, more is not always better. Taking too much of a food supplement can potentially cause health problems. You may want to consult with a health professional to know the dose that is right for you.

3-Check the bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the amount of nutrients that your body is able to absorb. Nutrients can come in many different forms that may be easier or harder to absorb. For example, magnesium can be available in supplements as magnesium chloride, sulfate, bisglycinate, taurate, or citrate. Not only do these forms have different bioavailabilities, but they also exert different benefits in the body. Always speak to a health professional and do your research to find the right form for you.

4-Look for manufacturing standards

One baseline indicator of quality is whether the manufacturer follows the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. These standards were put out by the FDA as a benchmark to help ensure the quality of dietary supplements. But you have to remember that the FDA doesn’t actually go back and test these supplements. Also, the GMPs for supplements are not as strict as the GMPs for drug manufacturing.

5-Look for third-party inspections

You may be shocked to learn that it’s not uncommon for supplements to contain contaminants. These can include mold, lead, mercury, pesticides, insecticides, and other toxic substances. A reputable manufacturer will send their products to independent labs to test them for purity and quality. Looking for inspection seals on your supplement pack may be a sign that you can trust the brand in question.

6-Watch out for wild claims

If claims on the supplement label sound too good to be true, they probably are. Be mindful of product claims such as “works better than [a prescription drug],” “totally safe,” or has “no side effects.”

7-Ask your healthcare provider

Just because you can buy something over the counter, does not mean it is safe. It’s always best to consult with a health professional to make sure that the supplement you’re considering is right for you.


SUPPLEMENTS 101💊

SUPPLEMENTS 101💊

Did you know that some supplements are better taken with meals while others should be taken on an empty stomach? And that some vitamins and minerals interact with each other and should be taken separately? Or how to find a reputable and safe supplement brand?

During the month of May, Valeo will answer all of those questions for you & provide you with everything you should know about taking supplements –  from which ones to take, to when and how to take them, pick them, and much more.

But before any of that, let’s cover the basics!

💊What is a dietary supplement and how different is it from a medication?

Supplements are products that can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders and that may include one or a combination of vitamins, minerals, botanicals such as herbs, or other biological substances such as amino acids, enzymes, and other metabolites. While medications are substances that are intended to treat, cure or prevent disease, supplements may be used to supply the body with nutrients that may be missing or deficient from the diet, enhance mental, fitness or sexual performance, or support general health & wellbeing.

💊What is a dietary supplement and how different is it from a medication?

Supplements are products that can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders and that may include one or a combination of vitamins, minerals, botanicals such as herbs, or other biological substances such as amino acids, enzymes, and other metabolites. While medications are substances that are intended to treat, cure or prevent disease, supplements may be used to supply the body with nutrients that may be missing or deficient from the diet, enhance mental, fitness or sexual performance, or support general health & wellbeing.

💊Who should take supplements and why?

Supplements may be taken to address a nutritional deficiency such as taking a supplement to correct a vitamin D or B12 deficiency, or to serve a specific health purpose such as helping your body regulate your blood sugar more effectively.

Supplementation can never replicate the benefits of having a healthy and balanced diet, however, if we take into account the combination of poor food choices that we often make, the over-processing of foods and poor farming practices, and high prevalence of diseases – all leading to compromised nutrient absorption and increased nutritional needs – it seems likely that we may all be in need of the extra health boost supplements provide.

If you belong to any of the below groups, you could also definitely benefit from taking nutritional supplements:

  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Age 50 or older
  • Have a poor appetite or have trouble getting nutritious foods
  • Follow a diet that excludes entire food groups
  • Have a medical condition that affects how your body digests nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas
  • Have had surgery on your digestive tract that affects how your body digests nutrients

💊Are there any risks in taking supplements?

Though you may think that most supplements are “natural” and thus safe, many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to dangerous consequences.

  • Combining supplements
  • Using supplements with medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter)
  • Substituting supplements for prescription medicines
  • Taking too much of some supplements

The best way to understand if taking a supplement is right for you is by speaking to a health professional and having your blood levels checked periodically.

Valeo provides you with various testing packages along with free online guidance sessions with our health coaches for you to kick-start your supplements journey the right way.


I Couldn't Give A Crap But Now I Can.

I COULDN’T GIVE A CRAP BUT NOW I CAN.

You’re not alone if you have been experiencing bouts of constipation during the month of Ramadan. Research shows that during Ramadan, those who fast may see significant increases in constipation, as well as bloating, heaviness or fullness.
WHY?
That’s because your bowel movement is directly influenced by what you put and don’t put in your mouth. And since you’re eating less now that your window eating is limited, it’s possible you aren’t getting enough of the water or nutrients essential to keep your bowel movements regular.

Here is what you can do to keep things flowing:

  1. Up your fiber intake – aim for at least 25 to 30 g a day. Dietary fiber helps the digestive system function properly by both adding bulk to your stool and by making sure food passes through your digestive tract with ease. From sweet potatoes and broccoli to dried fruits, there are a ton of foods high in fiber you can add to your diet.
  2. Hydrate, a lot! – hydration is essential for bowel movement since fiber is only effective if you’re getting enough fluids in your diet.
  3. Drink coffee – Coffee can often cause the urge to have bowel movement in as little as four minutes after consumption. While its mechanism of action is not completely understood, coffee is known to stimulate the receptors in the colon to contract.
  4. Get active – Physical activity increases blood flow to all body organs including the gut and stimulates bowel motility, which in turn decreases the amount of time stool is in the colon, as well as the amount of water absorbed from the stool, meaning the stool is less dry and hard and much easier to pass.


7 Powerful Reasons Blood Testing Works

7 Powerful Reasons Blood Testing Works

Gone are the days of having a set of routine blood tests taken once a year at your annual checkup. Regular tracking of your blood biomarkers is a far better way to understand and take control of your health.

Here are top reasons why we believe tracking blood biomarkers should be on everyone’s self-care checklist.

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1-Blood tracking will help you to get to know your body better

One of the best ways to understand how your body is functioning is to take a look at it from the inside – by analyzing your blood. Just like in business, the proof is always in the numbers. Your blood contains hundreds of biomarkers – or molecular signs of health – that can help set your health strategies to reach your goals and make more informed decisions about your diet, lifestyle, fitness, and supplement choices.

2-You have a lot more to compare your results to

Knowing your baseline results is only the first step to optimizing your health. Your body is always changing and each blood test offers a snapshot of your health at that time.

With regular blood tracking, you can compare your results over time, and understand what’s happening inside your body and the impact your lifestyle is having. 

Why compare your results to the general demographics when you can create your own personal health profile and history?!

3-Know your risk for certain diseases

Prevention is indeed the best medicine. More than 70% of chronic diseases are preventable if detected early. Regular blood tracking means being able to pick up any changes in your biomarker trends and work on reversing these changes very early on before they turn into full-blown health issues.

4-Pick up on underlying deficiencies

Find out how good your body is designed to feel. With regular blood testing, you can pick up on deficiencies and make the right changes to your diet and supplementation regime to feel your best.  

5-Set goals and track your progress

Why only track your steps? Blood testing provides a tool to tangibly track your progress with your fitness and health goals. Tracking your biomarkers can show you – in numbers –  how far you are from reaching your goals and help you adjust your diet, fitness, and supplementation plans whenever needed.

6-Know when something is working and when it isn’t

Collecting data after implementing health changes is essential to evaluate which changes are working for you and which are not, fine tune your plan accordingly, and create a personalized health plan that is unique to you. Blood data is especially important to assess the effectiveness of dietary supplements and should dictate the timing and dosage of the supplementation.  

7-Get a more accurate picture of your health

Valeo’s advanced blood tests allow you to get a pretty comprehensive picture of your overall health, by looking at your metabolic markers, cholesterol markers, kidney and liver markers, thyroid and sex hormones markers, vitamins and minerals levels, and blood cell panels. 

If you’re still asking yourself why you should get a blood test done if you’re healthy – the short answer is to STAY THAT WAY.