What Supplements Mean To Your Health
Whether it’s due to dietary restrictions, poor eating habits, or just a dislike of certain foods, many of us have a diet that’s lacking in nutrients. Many are turning to supplements to fill in the gaps. Below, we’ll look at who can benefit from supplements and how they can work to improve overall health.
Benefits of Using Supplements
Because supplements are created to give individuals the vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their diet, the benefits of taking supplements are very similar to the benefits of having a healthy daily diet. When you’re getting the nutrients you need each day, you’ll notice many changes in your every day life. You’ll most likely be less tired throughout the day, have more energy for simple tasks and physical activity, and see improvements in your mood. The physical benefits of supplements extend to include improving the immune system and working with the body to prevent health issues like heart disease, stroke, and more.
Nutrients found in supplements can greatly improve mental health as well. While all mental health concerns should be addressed by a professional, many struggling with mild depression and anxiety notice a difference in how they feel when they take supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D are those most commonly suggested for those dealing with mental health issues.
When to Use Supplements
Getting nutrients from the foods you consume is the easiest and most healthy way to be sure you’re getting the best possible benefits. It should be noted that supplements can’t offer all of the nutritional benefits that you would get if you were filling your diet with a variety of healthy foods. The Mayo Clinic explains that healthy whole foods provide nutrient compounds that work together uniquely, offer essential fiber, and have some properties that can’t be replicated with supplements. However, there are absolutely situations when taking supplements can be the next best thing. The following are some of those situations, and how supplements can help:
- Those who have restrictions on their diet, whether by choice or because of medical issues, can use supplements to get the vitamins and minerals that are found in the foods that can’t be consumed.
- Vegetarians and vegans might consider supplements to get more protein and iron in their diet, which can be found in foods other than animal products, but it can be more difficult.
- Pregnant women should take prenatal vitamins that contain very specific nutrient combinations to help both mom and baby stay healthy throughout pregnancy.
- Older adults may choose to take supplements containing vitamins D and B12 to keep bones and muscles strong and the immune system working hard.
- Those who eat a calorie restricted diet may be lacking in nutrients and can get some of those back by taking supplements.
Which Supplements to Choose
One major benefit to using supplements is the ability to pick and choose which nutrients you need or don’t need and tailoring your daily dosage to meet your needs. The average person will most likely benefit most from choosing a regular daily multivitamin. These supplements are a good option for most people because they have many different nutrients in one dose, but the amount of each nutrient is small enough to prevent taking too much of any one vitamin.
There are many guides available to help you choose the best supplement to fit your needs. If you’re looking for a specific supplement, rather than a multivitamin, you might look into the following:
- Vitamin B12 is essential for keeping blood cells healthy, decreasing the risk of heart disease, improving mental function, and keeping liver and kidneys healthy, among a long list of other benefits. While younger people often get plenty of B12 from their diet, it’s more difficult for older individuals to absorb, so a supplement can be helpful.
- Calcium is most commonly linked with bone health. It’s extremely important for women and older individuals to have a diet rich in calcium. There are many supplements available which provide a daily dose of the nutrient.
- Vitamin C may not completely prevent the common cold, but it can help to keep your immune system strong. Adding vitamin C to your daily diet will also help to fight against heart disease, improve eye health, and lessen your chance of having a stroke.
- Probiotics are a bit different than the typical vitamin supplements, but can do wonders for improving health, especially for those over the age of 40. Probiotics improve gut health and can help to keep weight in check.
The best way to stay healthy is to incorporate a healthy diet and regular exercise into your daily routine. However, if you find that you have a deficiency, a supplement can provide a reasonable solution to solving some of your health problems.