Supplements: What they will and won’t do for you

Overwhelmed by the wide variety of minerals and vitamin supplements in stores, we’re often wondering if they’re good or bad for our general health. Are supplements that efficient? Are they worth the investment? One thing’s for sure. We all want to live longer, healthier lives and to do that we must keep our bodies in good shape. A famous Latin quote says that a healthy mind comes with a healthy body. Prior to running to the closest store to buy vitamin supplements, it’s important for you to understand what supplements can and can’t do for you.

Food comes first

While some supplements might have positive effects on your body, not all of them should be included on your daily diet. The golden rule of taking supplements is to mix them with healthy foods. Never replace food with pills because the effect can be devastating. Nutritionists advise us to get our vitamins and minerals from food first. Some diet plans don’t have enough of those vitamins, and in that case supplementation will be required. For example, healthy fatty acids have numerous effects for our system, yet not many people can eat fish on a daily basis. Some people can’t eat oily foods at all. Hence, omega-3 supplements are advised because they can reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure, slow down the development of damaging plaque in people’s arteries, diminish the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and more.

Supplements might help you stay healthy

Although a healthy diet is the key to a strong body, sometimes filling the gaps with vitamins and minerals might improve general health. In some cases, even if you include healthy foods in your regime you can still suffer from deficiencies. Supplements are meant to add some vitamins to your daily eating plan and not replace food completely, so it’s vital to have that in mind prior to including them in your diet.

Most supplements available in the marketplace have roughly 10 minerals and 10 vitamins. Their purpose is to regulate your diet and make you feel energized the whole day. Multivitamins claim that their role is to help build one’s immune system, diminish the risk of certain chronic diseases, and help you lose weight. To some extent, they can do that; however, there have been numerous studies performed on the matter, and some of them claim that certain supplements must not be included in your diet.

Supplements are good if you want to include some added vitamins to your diet. If you won’t have time to shop for vegetables (or you don’t like to eat them at all) you can always opt for multivitamins. That doesn’t mean you should only rely on pills to get through the day. It’s equally important to have a balanced diet and try your best to eat healthy foods. You may not like some veggies, but it’s impossible to hate them all.

Supplements that work, supplements that don’t

The main trick to taking supplements is to find the ones your body actually needs. The market is filled with all sorts of pills and capsules. We have vitamins for kids, for weight loss, for men, for women who are pregnant, for women who are planning on having a baby, and so on. There are so many of them that sometimes you can’t decide what to buy. It’s extremely important to ask for advice. You can ask a pharmacist to help you out, or you can ask your physician for some recommendations. Vitamin D for example, might help women deal with menopause while folic acid is highly recommended for pregnant women. The supplement might prevent neural tube defects so your doctor will most likely prescribe it to you.

As far as supplements you should take out of your diet, experts’ opinions vary. Most of them are weight loss pills. They’re considered the most dangerous because they claim to contain natural ingredients, when in fact they don’t. In some cases, those all-natural ingredients used are useless and they can do more harm than good. The Acai berry for example, has been marketed and advertised for years, and it was even labelled the ‘super food’ of the 21st century. Can it help you lose weight? Maybe; no study has ever proven that fact. Although the Acai berry is packed with antioxidants, you can always get them in the same amounts from grapes or strawberries.