Nutritional Supplements – Should I Take Them?
Lots of people take nutritional supplements to bridge nutritional gaps in their diet or as proactive health measures against certain health conditions. Are you sure you are taking the right nutritional supplement specific to your health needs? Taking some time to assess your health needs can help you choose the best supplement for optimal health.But your question may be more basic: Do I really need to take nutritional supplements? We live in unique times. Stress, pollution, conveniently accessible processed foods, unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles overtime can take their heavy toll on our health. This may manifest itself in bouts of tiredness, unhealthy weight gain, digestive problems, insomnia, or a weak immune system. In addition to these common symptoms of poor health, each of us has uniquely individual health needs.Taking care of your body today is like investing in your health for tomorrow. Let’s address some common reasons why many people do not take nutritional supplements. And those who do take nutritional supplements may also discover that you can benefit by changing or adding nutritional supplements to your diet as you assess your individual health needs.
Let’s begin with:
- I don’t need nutritional supplements. I eat healthy and get enough nutrition through my diet. I would suggest you do a simple exercise to confirm whether your diet is meeting your nutritional needs. Note down everything that you eat for two weeks, including the quantity. Check a nutrition table and track the nutrient value of everything you eat. After two weeks, work out your daily average and check your daily rating against your RDAs. You may be in for a slight shock! Statistics show that most Americans don’t meet their nutritional needs.
Lack of protein, too many carbohydrates. You might find that your diet lacks protein but is too high in carbohydrates. This is very common in the American diet. Cutting down on the carbs and supplementing your diet with spirulina or chlorella (high-protein content) will help fill this nutritional gap.
Lack of fiber. Another common feature is lack of adequate fiber. Fiber supplements are available as an individual product or may be included as an ingredient in a whole food nutritional supplement. Fiber is known to bind toxins in your GI tract and help speed its transit through your digestive system, thus minimizing their absorption in the body. Fiber is also known to promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If your diet falls short on many RDA counts, consider taking a superfood supplement which includes multi-vitamins, minerals, protein, dietary fiber, probiotics and enzymes for good digestion.
- I have a busy life. I’ve tried taking them, but my schedule doesn’t allow me to be consistent. I travel a lot. If you lead a busy lifestyle, taking a nutritional supplement regularly will help you have the energy and concentration power you need to perform at your maximum best. You may be on the go all the time and miss out on meals. Nutritional supplements are available in convenient-to-carry individual packets. This is usually in powdered form to be mixed with water. You can carry packets with you any where you go, and use it any time you feel the need for an energy pick-up.It is important to attend to your health needs as a priority, in addition to the many other important demands in your life. A busy schedule can add stress to your life. Stress can increase the toxin levels in your body. Not only would your body need to be armed with B-complex, but nutrients like resveratol and omega 3s can help to increase your concentration and cognitive abilities. Green tea is also known to have soothing benefits for a tired mind.
- I don’t know which nutritional supplement to take. Take some time to assess your health needs. The simple exercise mentioned above will help you find your nutritional needs. You can either adjust your diet to meet your needs or introduce supplements to bridge the nutritional gaps. If you are still unsure, seek the advice of your doctor before you take any supplement.However, everyone can benefit from taking a multi-vitamin supplement. An effervescent multi-vitamin formula is the best since it allows 99% bioavailability. Look for one from a reputed company.
- I take a multi-vitamin. I don’t think I need to take anything else. As research on nutrition advances, there are more nutritional supplements available to strategically help you with specific health needs. Some might be formulated for health conditions you are facing or you may likely face because you are in a higher risk category for such diseases. These include:
High cholesterol levels. If your cholesterol levels test high, or you have a family history of coronary disease, then you should look for herbal supplements that can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Omega 3 supplementation is advisable for improved heart health. Look for a pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Other nutrients for heart health include resveratrol, cocoa and green tea. Some products contain a combination of all 3 for powerful antioxidant power that promotes cardiovascular health.
Diabetes. Green tea is also known to help support healthy blood sugar levels. Green tea supplements are available in various forms.Arthritis: Omega 3 fatty acids, along with other nutrients such as glucosamine sulfate, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), hyal joint have been well researched for their role in supporting joint health.
Stress Induced Conditions. Stress is known to cause poor immune health and a host of health issues such as premature aging due to free radical damage. Antioxidants also help to reduce free radical activity. Free radical activity is the unstable activity of cells which can lead to their malfunction and malformation. Antioxidants help maintain normal cellular growth and repair of cells.
- I’m scared I may overdose. It is very unlikely that you will overdose from nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements do not provide you your complete RDAs-just a portion of them. The rest you must get from eating a balanced diet.
Many health problems can be linked to nutritional deficiencies. For some this may mean that the road to better health may lie in improving nutritional habits. This is where nutritional supplements can play an effective role in supporting your health.Nutrition experts recommend that you get your nutrition from your diet as often as possible. Nutritional supplements are to be taken in addition to a well-balanced diet. A regular exercise routine can benefit your health as well. Discuss with your doctor about taking supplements that could strategically meet your individual health needs.