Cooking with supplements

It may not be everyone’s initial response to name a vitamin deficiency as the reason they’re feeling less than optimal in their body or mind, however if you’ve been having symptoms of a vitamin deficiency (or illness, such as a cold or flu, that can be helped by vitamins), or if a blood test reveals this to be the case, it is probably time to look at supplements.

While taking a few capsules or tablets (and even sometimes a liquid form!) of supplements can seem boring and therefore easy to forget, we all need to eat. Cooking some supplements into daily meals may be the best way to ensure consistent intake of whatever you’re deficient in and therefore improve your overall health. It’s well worth looking for more from your supplements than constantly adding them to smoothies alone.

In recent years the trend of baking protein such as whey powder into sweet treats like cookies and buns – and while these are commonly available in shops, they come with a heap more additive and chemical flavourings than would even be possible for you to access at home.

 

Substitute one cup (128g) of flour for one cup of protein powder

Use for pancakes, cookies, muffins, or bread.

 

Both of the vitamins B12 and Iron, when deficient, cause anemia. Symptoms include tiredness, feeling weak, and being short of breath. A blood test will usually be used to diagnose anemia, but if you’ve been feeling tired or weak taking iron or B12 supplements can help anyone.

One of the most popular sources of B12 supplement, used commonly by vegetarians and vegans, is nutritional yeast. This is a yellow flaky almost powder-like substance, which is known for tasting slightly cheesy and savoury. Commonly used to replace parmesan on pasta or added into cheesy sauces, nutritional yeast is versatile and as delicious as it is nutritious.

Iron is present is dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and many beans and legumes (which also contain protein, an added bonus!)

 

Spinach can be added into lasagna, pasta, salads, curry, and soups. Spinach shrinks significantly in volume when cooked, so don’t worry if you don’t enjoy the flavour once you cook it with other dishes!

 

Mental health issues, especially those which spread to affect the body and cause pain and tension throughout (or causing disorders such as fibromyalgia), can benefit from the addition of CBD supplements. Recently the popularity of CBD is on the rise, as its benefits continue to be proven day-to-day and in scientific studies. Still, many people have never heard of CBD.

CBD is the counterpart to THC, the two main compounds in cannabis. While THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD (Cannabidiol) contains all the medicinal benefits – without the high. Research into CBD really kicked off in 2018, when rumours of its ability to help those with intense body pains and conditions, such as epilepsy or other seizure-inducing disorders, became popular. Preliminary clinical research showed the compound’s ability to help anxiety, cognition, pain, and movement disorders.  

Unlike THC, CBD is legal in the EU – including Ireland.

CBD can be bought in tinctures, balms, oils, e-liquids, almost anything. Because CBD oil is fat-soluble it can be infused into fat or oil-based ingredients such as butter or other cooking oils.

 

Mixing CBD into sweets like cookies, or savoury treats like avocado, are only two of many ways to work it’s goodness into your system.

 

Supplements can be expensive and may not always be what’s right for you, so going to a reputable shop with servers who can help you find the best option is advised.

Béibhinn Thorsch

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