Expert Advice on Dietary Supplements
The stores are flooded with all types of supplements, making it hard to differentiate the real from the counterfeit. Experts suggest that nutrients should be part of our diets; thus, it’s best to avoid using supplements, especially when you’re healthy. Taking supplements when you don’t need them can be harmful to your health. Nutrients taken from foods are in their natural form; hence they perform to their optimum capacity to ensure good health. Supplements should not supplement food regardless of the situation, especially if one is healthy.
Although supplements have been marketed to work the magic, they don’t come close to taking the nutrients in their natural form, which contain complementary nutrients that play an important role in our health. Food supplements are specifically meant to replace a deficiency that is diet-related.
People Who Need Supplements
Supplements become necessary when food alone is not enough to provide the required nutrients; hence they become integral to their wellbeing. Here is a list of people that might need supplements.
- Pregnant women or those trying to conceive
- Strict vegan or those who are exclusively on a vegetarian diet
- Those who are lactose intolerant and have allergic reactions
- Those following a course of antibiotics
- Those who don’t get exposure to direct sunlight
Every stage in life requires specific nutritional needs. Deciding on which supplements to take can be hectic; hence they should not be free to all.
What Supplements Do Experts Use?
It’s advisable not to purchase supplements over the counter without consulting with a doctor or a dietician to determine why you need them. Some dosages vary depending on one’s specific needs. Supplements like vitamin A, B and zinc have adverse side effects when taken over a long period and inhibit other nutrients’ absorption into the body.
Long-chain omega-3 is a nutrient that we can’t get enough of, naturally found in oily fish like salmon and sardine. Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for a healthy heart and brain by reducing inflammation in blood vessels. Omega-3 from fish oil contains EPA and DHA, which are long-chain fatty acids. Since the body does not produce this nutrient, it’s important to ensure they are part of the diet, and supplements should have a high concentration of EPA and DHA. Omega-3 strengthens your heart, preventing diseases like hypertension and stroke.
These are good bacteria lining the digestive tract that support our body to absorb nutrients and fight infections. A healthy gut affects the immune system; hence one should ensure one’s gut is in good health. How you decide to take is entirely up to you, whether a capsule, powder or drinks. Supplementing probiotics with antibiotics is beneficial to your gut health. Since there are different strains of probiotics, they function differently. Some support digestion, others immunity, help to regulate weight and balance.
Vitamin D is essential for the strengthening of bones, muscular and overall health. This is a fat-soluble nutrient, one of the micronutrients essential for survival. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium in bones. Since the body produces the nutrient by getting exposed to direct sunlight, supplements are not necessary. However, those who can’t get sunlight exposure or have vitamin D deficiency can have supplements to compensate for the deficiency. Since a large population suffers from vitamin D deficiency, then supplements are necessary.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that improves body reactions, including metabolizing food, synthesizing fatty acids, and protein transmitting nerve impulses. Magnesium contributes to sound sleeping and reduces depression thus; it’s advisable to take it in the evening for a sound sleep. Foods that contain magnesium include seeds and legumes.
Most people can get enough protein from their diet since it’s found in both plant and animal products. However, a selected group can benefit from taking protein supplement those in intense training. Athletes take proteins to supplement part of their diet plan regarding weight loss and muscle gain, making protein king of nutrients. Several benefits are associated with protein intake, such as repair of worn-out tissues, boost metabolism and reduce hunger and appetite. Since plants are also rich in protein, those who are lactose can opt for plant protein.