If only we lived in a perfect world, we could meet our daily nutrient requirements by diet alone. A balanced, nutrient-dense diet is the key to a healthy body and mind that can help you overcome the risk of terminal diseases. Dietary supplements can provide vitamins and minerals to help your body to function at your best by making up for any deficiencies in diet.
About Supplements and a Healthy Diet
When we maintain healthy eating habits, our body is able to receive the requisite amount of nutrients through the day in small doses that is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract (GI). However, the GI tract is unable to extract all the nutrients when food is consumed in large quantities.
This is why it is crucial to be conscious of what you eat and how much you eat. Your objective should be to make up your meals and snacks with a wide range of healthy foods. However, it is not always possible to get all the nutrients from your food alone. If your body is deficient in a certain nutrient that you are unable to meet through diet, then taking the right supplements can make up for the loss in your body.
According to experts at Microbe Formulas, choosing correct supplement can make a huge difference to your overall health. It will not only help your body gain strength but also fill the nutritional gaps in a natural way. In this article, we will share important information about choosing dietary supplements so that you can make an informed decision.
Taking Supplements – When?
If research is any indication, it shows that the dietary supplements can help prevent many serious ailments and chronic diseases. It is believed that a helpful combination of certain vitamins and minerals can help alleviate the oxidative stress which is the underlying cause of most illnesses. Even though the subject requires further study, there is enough proof to conclude that supplements can be very effective in providing the following health benefits:
- Meeting vitamin and mineral deficiencies: If your blood test reveals that your body lacks a certain mineral or vitamin, then you must take the supplements, as recommended by your physician.
- Dietary Restrictions: For people who follow a certain type of diet, such as vegans or diabetic patients, they may not get all the nutrients that their body needs to function optimally. This is when taking specific supplements will help recover the nutritional loss.
- Pregnancy: Some nutrients, when consumed, can prevent the risks of birth defects and encourage healthy baby growth inside the mother’s womb. Your doctor can recommend such pre-pregnancy supplements to ensure the healthy development of the baby.
- Aging: As you age, your body’s requirements for calories also changes. This change in eating habits can also impact the consumption of vitamins and minerals. As a result, you may need to take supplements to fill that gap. Your doctor can tell you exactly what supplements your body requires to function optimally.
- Medication: Sometimes regular medication can lead to deficiencies. Discuss with your doctor to find out if you need to take a supplement.
Based on your doctor’s recommendation, you can choose the supplements that can benefit your health the most. According to research, here are the five potent supplements with proven effectiveness.
5 Types of Dietary Supplements
Multivitamins and Minerals
This supplement is for daily consumption and is meant to fill the nutritional gap caused by an improper diet lacking fresh fruits and vegetables. When consumed as per the body’s requirements, multivitamins can help reduce the risk of cancer in men according to a research.
For people who eat a balanced diet every day, experts recommend that they can take multivitamins two to three times a week. The formulation you choose should be 100% of your Daily Reference Intake for each vitamin as per your age and gender.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are known to strengthen the heart. A fish-oil based diet can also improve your cardiovascular system as well as stimulate blood flow to all the organs. However, these supplements may thin your blood, so be sure to ask your doctor if you are already on blood-thinners.
Vitamin D is essential for strengthening the bones and it is also the most deficient nutrient amongst adults in the US. A simple blood test can reveal the deficient vitamins and minerals in your body and whether you require additional Vitamin D. While you can soak up the sun every morning to get your daily dose of this sunshine vitamin, sometimes it is not enough. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and to regulate the mineral phosphorus levels in the body. These together help in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D alone cannot help the body meet its calcium requirements. You would be required to take supplements to slow down the bone loss process. It not only helps in building bones but also promotes the secretion of helpful hormones and expansion/contraction of blood vessels.
This is the most common recommendation supplement-wise to older people. Vitamin B12 is in poultry animals and dairy products. However, your diet alone cannot meet the body’s requirement. B12 deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease and lead to memory loss, dementia etc. Take B12 as per doctor’s recommendation to prevent these conditions, along with other vitamins and minerals your GP suggests.
Supplement Intake – How Much Is Too Much?
When you are on dietary supplements, it is important to keep the following point in mind. Most foods these days are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Therefore, taking these along with supplements can exceed the body’s requirements and can become toxic if consumed in high quantities.
Doctors explain that excess of everything is bad, even if it is something as helpful as micronutrients that our body needs. For example, too much vitamin A in your body can lead to nausea or trigger a migraine.
It is very important to stay within your required limits and keep a close watch on the total intake of nutrients on a daily basis. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you are still uncertain about which dietary supplements are best for you.