Generally, we get nutrients from our daily diet, but there are some key areas where supplements are necessary to fulfill our body’s daily requirements.
Whenever you visit any pharmacy, you’ll notice that there are dozens of vitamins and other supplements that promise to improve brain function, metabolize carbohydrates, support cardiovascular health, fat, and protein. But supplements are as effective as they promise. Are they really necessary for us or are there any risks or consequences?
There is no doubt that vitamins and minerals are very important to keep the physiologic and biochemical functions of our bodies working at their best. Vitamins and Supplements also help in repairing and growing the cells and tissues, hormone synthesis, energy production and help to prevent many chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, and cancer. But it doesn’t mean that everyone should require supplements.
Should You Take Vitamins and Other Supplements?
We can get most or all of the required nutrients from a balanced diet alone and supplements can never beat a healthy, and balanced diet. There is not any proven data that shows supplements are as effective as the nutrients from food are.
However, we may not be able to meet our daily nutritional requirements through diet alone because of our busy schedule, bad food habits, and lack of knowledge about a balanced diet. So, these people can take benefit from a supplement. It will be best to purchase any vitamins and supplements, consult your doctor or dietitian.
How You Will Know Your Body Needs Supplements?
To determine, you need supplements or not, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit each day? Do you include varieties of leafy green vegetables and fruits? If not, you might be deficient in several vitamins or minerals.
- Do you eat whole grains each day? If not, you might be completing your needs of B vitamins.
- Are you a vegetarian or vegan? If yes, you might be deficient in iron and Vitamin B12.
- Do you include healthy fats sources in your daily diet like flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts, hemp hearts, canola, soybean oils, and oily fish like salmon and others per week? If not, you might consider taking an omega 3 supplement.
- Are you following a diet plan to lose weight? If yes, you might need a multivitamin daily.
- Do you consume dairy products or a fortified dairy alternative each day? If not, you should consider taking Vitamin D or Calcium Supplements.
From the above information, you will have understood whether you need or not a weight loss supplements. Here we will recommend the supplements for certain life stages.
- Adults over 50 should take vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Calcium
- Women who are considering conceive should take 400 mcg of folic acid before getting pregnant to prevent neural tube defects.
- Pregnant women should take a prenatal multivitamin containing 16-20 mg iron and 400 mcg folic acids.
- A breastfeeding mother should also take a multivitamin supplement daily
However, you have any confusion to take a supplement, consult with your doctor or dietician, they will suggest you best.