10 Popular Supplements And How They Might Help You
Love to pop a vitamin C pill when you feel a cold coming on or turn to bee pollen if your hay fever is flaring up? If you do, has anyone ever told you that it’s all a pile of rubbish and your body doesn’t need supplements because you should get all your nutrition from your diet? Thought so.
It turns out, it’s not only those who are unschooled in nutrition who are divided on the subject of supplements, but also nutritionists. They debate the topic quite regularly and, as a result, leave everyone feeling a bit confused.
While a lot of nutritionists agree that supplements sometimes deserve a place in your diet, their approaches are different. The one thing they do agree on is this: what you put in your mouth has a huge effect on how you feel. They also agree that without certain nutrients, you’ll definitely feel more tired and be more prone to everything from colds to premature ageing.
So rather than toss up whether or not you should be taking supplements, here are a few rules to get the most out of them and which ones you might want to speak with your doctor about.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be educational and is not meant to be used to diagnosis or treat any condition. Please speak to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
General Supplement Rules
- Take supplements with a meal.
- Taking your supplements with a meal will really help with digestion. Take vitamin D for example – this absorbs up to 50% better when taken with food.
- Think seasonally.
- During the summer months, you can get enough vitamin D from the sun, while it’s likely that you’ll eat more zinc-rich leafy greens in autumn. Whatever you can’t get from your diet or lifestyle, supplement it in.
- If you’re in doubt, have a blood test.
- Deficiencies aren’t hugely common, but if you suspect you might be lacking in something, book in for a blood test to find out what you need to be taking.
- Know your supplement brands.
- Food that’s organic is higher quality and contains more nutrients, and it’s the same with supplements. Those that come from brands that source high-quality ingredients will do the job better than those with low levels of vitamins and lots of filler ingredients.
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The 10 Ten Supplements To Take For Your Health
Always start with a good multivitamin. Rather than targeting just one thing like medication, you’re likely to end up solving a lot of problems just by taking one daily.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the ultimate supplement powerhouse. It helps the immune system to remain robust, plays a part in the production of collagen, and reduces thread veins and rosacea. The sachets are likely to contain flavour so try and avoid them.
3, Vitamin D
While we can make and store vitamin D, it’s unlikely that you’ll be exposed to enough sunlight to produce enough vitamin D depending on what country you live in (e.g. The UK). Try taking them from September through to April to help with everything from cardiovascular health to strengthening bones to aiding fertility. Look for D3 as it’s the most easily-used form in the human body, while if you’re vegan or vegetarian, find D2 or D3 that’s made from mushrooms.
You’ll need to look for omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 in a pill. But because you can get omega 9 from your diet, you really only need to supplement with omega 3. The likelihood is that you’ll need to take these long-term so find some that you can afford to buy regularly.
The key to finding a good supplement here is to look for lots of strains of bacteria. Make sure it also contains bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups.
Not all of us will need zinc. The recommended dose is 45mg daily and this may well come from your food or multivitamin. But if you’re low on it, you may find you have white dots on your fingernails, as zinc plays a key role in replicating cells healthily.
7. Vitamin A
95% of women don’t get enough vitamin A in their diets. And even if you do, you need zinc and iron to convert it. Your safest bet is to take a multivitamin and then some vitamin A alongside it to help thicken skin, build elastin, and balance melanin.
8. B vitamins
B vitamins have been shown to have an effect on serotonin and help energy neurotransmitters. All the B vitamins work together, so look for a B Vitamin Complex.
If you work out and exercise a lot, start taking this as soon as you can. Magnesium reduces inflammation and helps the muscles to relax. It’s also been proven to absorb well through the skin, thereby bypassing organs, so you can apply this directly to yours in oil form.
This is definitely one to supplement only if your doctor recommends it. But it’s well worth checking if you’re deficient if you have heavy periods as iron can help reduce pain and lighten them.
If you don’t know where to start on your journey to good health, consider speaking to your doctor about dietary supplements.