'Are supplements necessary for YOU?'
Lets look at the facts so you can make an informed decision to this question.
Vitamins and minerals are required for most processes in the body. Without them your body will struggle to be healthy.
But do you get enough of them?
You may think that you eat a healthy balanced diet so ask 'are supplements necessary' but have you stopped and thought about the food you eat.
We won't even touch on convenience foods here because I don't class them as healthy, but concentrate on what is considered to be healthy foods.
This takes a lot of consideration because most people don't consider these factors.
You might want to consider these questions
Fresh fruit and vegetables are produced in soil that is so depleted of minerals even if its organic. Where soils are over used and over farmed by farmers and growers the natural minerals are no longer there.
Artificial fertilisers are then added to the soil but this is only to make the crops grow quicker.
Because of this, produce grown in the soil contains less minerals and therefore less nutrients.
Artificial fertilisers in soil for the use of growing our fruit and vegetables is another issue for another page on organic food.
So the fruit and vegetables you thought contained vitamins and minerals don't contain as much as you thought.
Do you know how fresh the food is when you buy it. It may give you a 'use by date' but that doesn't tell you when the food was harvested.
So you don't actually know how fresh the food is!
Many foods are not grown in the same country that you live so they have traveled thousands of miles before they even get to your kitchen.
How were the foods transported, by air or by sea. If they were transported by sea, that can take weeks.
When you cook food most of the nutrients are destroyed in the cooking process.
You may think that your veggies are full of vitamins and minerals but by the time you serve them on a plate most of the nutrients are left in the water you boiled them in.
Free radicals are caused by frying food in some oils. Free radicals are unstable atoms that come from body functions, breathing and digestion but also many external forces.
Fry is one of them.
Free radicals can cause oxidative damage to DNA and cause illness. Free radicals are also caused by smoking, alcohol and other pollutants. Environmental pollutants also cause free radical damage.
Free radicals also cause aging.
On a positive note free radicals also have some functions that are essential for good health and a correct balance of free radicals and antioxidants is required by the body.
Antioxidants can keep free radicals in check.
Antioxidants are found in vitamin A, C, E, betacarotene, zinc and selenium.
Highly refined foods such as white flour and white rice have the nutrients destroyed during processing and the manufacturer adds it back in a synthetic form.
You may have seen this on the boxes, 'enriched' or 'added' vitamins and minerals.
Avoid refined foods they have no nutrients.
Many people eat a diet that is so poor that they get hardly any nutrients their body needs for growth and health maintenance.
Many of the calories they consume are empty, devoid of any nutrients that are essential for good health.
These foods are usually full of fat, sugar and refined flour. Are supplements necessary in cases like this - absolutely.
Your body makes vitamin D from the sunlight on your skin. You need to be outdoors in the sunlight.
If you live in a country where you don’t get much sunlight in the autumn and winter months it is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 10mcg a day.
The sunlight in the autumn and winter months doesn’t have enough UVB radiation for your skin to make vitamin D. This applies to me as I live in the UK and we don’t get much sun October to late March.
The vitamin and mineral recommended daily allowance (RDA) replaced by the dietary reference intake (DRI) are only an indicator as a guideline to prevent any kind of vitamin and mineral deficiency.
These guidelines do not apply for achieving optimum health, you need higher does for this. The RDA is the absolute bare minimum requirement.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
17g of GLA
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
Choose an omega-3 supplement rather than a combined omega-3 and 6 supplement. If you're buying a combined supplement, choose one with a high concentration of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA have more health benefits than ALA, so choose a supplement that contains fish oil or algal oil, rather than flaxseed oil.
When buying supplements, you need to be able to read and understand the labels. Some have a chemical name which I have listed below.
retinol, retinyl palmitate, betacarotene
thiamine, thiamine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate
pantothenic acid, calcium pantothenate
pyridoxine, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, pyridoxine hydrochloride
ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate
alpha tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate, tocopheryl succinate
I try to eat as well as possible but even I have days when I don't eat as well as I could or I can't be bothered to prepare dinner. This begs the question are supplements necessary in some situations?
As much as I try to eat healthily I don't believe I get all the nutrients my body needs just from the foods I eat. For that reason I always take supplements.
To me supplements are an insurance, just in case I don't get the vitamins and minerals I need from food.
I hope I have given you enough information so you can think about the foods you eat and the nutrients they may or may not contain. So you can decide whether or not you might want to take supplements for your health and well-being.
I take supplements every day!
This is what I take:
I take a probiotic because I have taken many courses of antibiotics over my lifetime because I'm an asthmatic and get many chest infections. Antibiotics destroy the good gut bacteria and probiotics replace the good gut bacteria.
Are supplements necessary for you is completely your decision.
I buy all my supplements from Healthspan because they are endorsed by a reputable doctor and nutritionist.
I order when I'm getting low and they always arrive in two or three days.
Part of achieving optimum health is giving
yourself the best possible intake of nutrients for your body to be as healthy
as it can be.
If you can do that through food, that is wonderful news.
If you feel that you don’t eat enough of the right foods to give your body the nutrients it needs then you may want to consider ‘are supplements necessary for me?’.
You should never take a single vitamin
supplement in isolation without taking a multi vitamin as a single supplement
of a vitamin can cause a depletion of other nutrients.
For example, if you take a vitamin A supplement you must
also take a multi vitamin supplement with it.
Wishing you vibrant health!
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