Getting enough minerals and vitamins is essential for ensuring optimal health. However, our modern lifestyle and dietary habits often get in the way of reaching that goal, despite our best efforts. This is where vitamins and supplements come in handy.
These nifty tools for bridging nutritional gaps in an individual’s diet ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs in order for it to run properly. If you are falling short of the required daily intake of particular nutrients, this practical guide will show you how you can incorporate vitamins and supplements into your existing diet and reap significant health benefits.
Who really needs supplements and vitamins?
We all have a pretty clear idea of what a balanced diet looks like – it’s colorful, it’s varied, and it provides us with all the necessary nutrients. Still, nutrient deficiencies can occur. Even though they aren’t that common, supplementing our diet may be necessary in certain cases.
For instance, vitamins and supplements can bring exceptional benefits to people whose diet may not meet their nutritional requirements either because their diet restricts the intake of such nutrients or because they generally require higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals. This includes everyone from vegetarians and vegans to people with certain food allergies to pregnant or menopausal women, but also people who have troubles absorbing nutrients post-operation.
How to incorporate supplements and vitamins into your diet
Not all supplements and vitamins are created equal, and incorporating them into your diet will vary greatly depending on the type of dietary supplement. For instance, some digestive and immune system-boosting supplements allow for a rather quick absorption by the intestines while others take longer. Also, certain ingredients such as aloe vera are only possible to take in supplement form. Even though it can be taken in the form of capsules, a supplement with Aloe Powder Formula is much easier for your body to absorb and the process is a lot quicker. The same goes for spirulina and collagen which often come in a powder form, making them rather easy to incorporate into your diet either through teas or smoothies which you can easily take with you wherever you go.
Certain minerals such as magnesium are best taken right before bed, and some vitamins are often combined with other vitamins for vitamin synergy (combining vitamin C with zinc or combining fat-soluble vitamins D, A, and K2). Some supplements such as probiotics and vitamin A will work best when fueled up by certain foods, so keep this in mind when incorporating supplements and vitamins into your wellness routine.
Take as directed and watch your dosage
Although they come with exceptional benefits and can help optimize our health, supplements and vitamins have to be taken as directed. Trying to get more of a certain vitamin or mineral than you need doesn’t bring any real health advantage. In fact, it can sometimes do more harm than good, resulting in various side effects, from vomiting to diarrhea. This is why it’s essential that you follow the recommended dosage printed on the product’s label, being particularly cautious when it comes to vitamins E, D, and A as well as iron.
Furthermore, some supplements and vitamins will need to be taken with food while others will need to be taken on an empty stomach, so pay attention to that as well. If you are already taking any medicines, inform yourself on any potential interactions by consulting with your doctor as some dietary supplements may reduce the medicine’s efficacy or inhibit their absorption.
Don’t substitute them for food
While we like to think that we’re meeting our daily nutritional requirements such as eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables (5-9 servings a day) through our diet, chances are, we are lacking certain nutrients that are essential for ensuring overall optimal health, and this is where turning to dietary supplements can be of great help.
That being said, food still needs to be our primary source of nutrition. Meeting our nutritional needs requires eating a well-balanced diet, and while supplementing your diet can help you reap certain health benefits, vitamins and supplements should not be substituted for real food.
Supplementing your diet can be an easy and practical way to get those missing nutrients. What’s more, taking vitamins and supplements can be especially beneficial for certain groups of people who don’t get enough essential nutrients through their diet.
Before taking dietary supplements, it’s important that you consider your individual situation. Talk to your doctor first to determine whether or not there’s a need for you to supplement your diet. Although they can be bought without a prescription, it’s best that you consult a nutrition expert before taking any type of dietary supplements.
It’s often said that food is the best medicine, but dietary supplements bring their own health benefits when incorporated into a diet properly.