Other than Gwyneth "Goop" Paltrow, actress Jennifer Aniston has always been a great example of how to live well in Hollywood. From her impressive fitness dedication to her diligent skin care routine (courtesy of Aveeno, of course), there's little wonder why she continues to be our favorite Friend when it comes to dishing out advice on how to live our best life.
So when Aniston recently revealed to Harper's Bazaar details about her wellness routine, we were all ears.
"Vitamins. Vitamins. Vitamins," the Emmy-winning actress told the magazine. "I take a lot of vitamins, I’m not going to lie. It changes all the time because someone will say, 'Oh, my God, you don’t take activated charcoal?' Then you go down a Googling hole to understand the benefits of that, or turmeric or dandelion for water retention."
Aniston's love for vitamins has been well-documented. After being crowned People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person in 2016, she credited a "healthy bag of vitamins" for her age-defying looks.
The star also disclosed to Bazaar her newest morning obsession: ingesting apple cider vinegar. She joins a fairly lengthy list of celebs that includes Katy Perry and Miranda Kerr who credit ACV for basically everything, from improving digestion to helping their hair shine.
So, what gives? Are taking tons of vitamins and slinging back ACV really key for beauty and good health, or just Hollywood lore?
The ABCs of ACV
"As a nutritionist, I will often recommend Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to help support the digestive process," says Brooke Scheller, MS, CNS, a New Jersey-based nutritionist. "Some evidence supports that ACV can help to enhance digestive acid and enzymes within the stomach, helping to break down food and reduce bloating, reflux, and other negative symptoms. I will often recommend ACV when someone is exhibiting the signs of low stomach acid, which is actually quite common."
In addition to aiding digestion, medical research has also shown that ACV helps with regulating blood sugar and keeping weight off (when combining it with regular exercise and a healthy diet).
However, there are some drawbacks to this seemingly magical elixir.
"Due to the fermentation of the vinegar itself, some people do not tolerate it well," says Scheller. "Vinegars are considered high-histamine foods, meaning that they can contribute to symptoms like dizziness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, sweating, or sinus-related symptoms after eating them. Many folks with imbalances within the gut can react negatively to these foods and therefore intake should monitored."
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Interested in exploring ACV? Scheller recommends starting off with one tablespoon of vinegar, mixed with about eight tablespoons of water, on an empty stomach.
Vitamins Are Good... in Moderation
Vitamins and minerals are undoubtedly healthy for you, but do we really need to take more than what's already being offered in our diet? Yes, and no.
"There can be amazing benefits of supplemental vitamins," says Scheller. "The over-processing of the food industry has depleted out many of the nutrients in our soil and our foods have a much lower vitamin and mineral content as they did 20 years ago. As a nutritionist, I run nutrient testing on many of my patients and each person is void of certain nutrients. It is much more common today to have a deficiency in some of the key nutrients that support a healthy body."
However, as Scheller points out, each body is different and has different needs. What might help one person feel more energy, might make another person feel more sluggish. Which is why it's important to always consult with a licensed nutritionist or holistic practitioner to learn about which vitamins you might be missing out on your diet.
As for vitamins helping to achieve beauty worthy of a People magazine cover?
"There are supplements that are marketed for enhancing beauty, however, many of these products don't actually work," says Scheller. "The aging process is usually the result of increased inflammation or oxidative stress within the body. This is due to toxins we get exposed to, a high refined sugar/carbohydrate diet, and a diet high in processed foods. By improving the diet, reducing inflammation in the body, and increasing antioxidants (which can be found in certain supplements) we can enhance beauty and slow the aging process."
There are some obvious benefits to taking some supplements and ACV, so consulting with a nutritionist or doctor first can't hurt. If you want to emulate Aniston even more, you can always wait for the actress' dream to open up her own wellness center to become a reality.
"I have a fantasy where you have this beautiful space with facialists, rotating workouts, meditation classes, and a café with recipes that are healthier versions of delicious foods so you’re not deprived," Aniston told Bazaar. "I’m working on it in my brain. Not to sound all woo-woo, but if you go out into the world with inner peace, you’re more joyful."
Gwyneth, you better watch yourself.
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