Dietary Supplements– Are They Good?
When it comes to supplements I am always doubtful. Basically the question is whether it makes sense to get your system used to an artificial source of nutrition? In some cases supplements are essential if the body cannot absorb nutrients naturally. In other cases supplements are taken to enhance one’s energy levels, achieve better skin and hair and general well being. On the flip side if the body gets dependent on these artificial sources it will lose the ability to work for itself.
What are supplements?
Dietary supplements come in the tablet or liquid forms. You get vitamin supplements, mineral supplements, vitamin and protein supplements. The important thing to note is that they can be used to supplement your diet but cannot replace actual food.
Why do we take supplements ?
- Vitamins and minerals are used to supplement your diet to treat and fight disease. For a boost of vitamin C helps you fight the symptoms of the common cold.
- Ayurveda as we know it is an ancient practice of using herbs and natural ingredients to fight illnesses. This makes for a natural version of antibiotic treatment.
Are dietary supplements safe?
When you enter a pharmacy it is common to see rows and rows of dietary supplements. Although they are quite expensive one is tempted to pick up something that may miraculously give you to have better hair , skin or even nails. However, in reality one must never pop any kind of pills without your doctor’s advice and consent.
Why you must be careful?
Firstly, make sure that your diet is well balanced and you are getting the most out of it.
Secondly, you must remember that supplements are an accessory to and NOT a replacement for food! If you forget this thumb rule and consider ruling out some food groups from your diet you are wrong and your health will suffer because of it.
Thirdly, do not pop any pills if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant without the approval of your doctor.
Now let us discuss vitamins and minerals that are essential.
Although Vitamin D is sourced from the early morning sun, today due to various environmental factors direct sunlight is a scarcity. What you can do is first get your Vitamin D levels checked and if you need supplements your doctor will prescribe calcium and Vitamin D tablets.
Natural source: If you need to increase Vitamin D levels make sure you have a good calcium intake because you need calcium to absorb Vitamin D optimally. Natural sources of Calcium are milk and dairy products. If you want to avoid the fat, try skimmed milk products with high calcium in it.
Omega 3 capsules are available very easily.
Natural source: Fish.
If fish is not a part of your diet try to use Omega 3 capsules to supplement.
If your iron levels are low this can lead to low hemoglobin and energy levels. Iron supplements can be taken with doctor’s approval.
Natural source: Boost your iron intake through red meat, salmon, fruits such as peaches that are iron rich and leafy vegetables.
Probiotics are essential for the digestive process. If you are consuming foods that have artificial hormones or antibiotics it can affect with your natural immune system.
Natural sources: Try and consume organic milk, meats and veggies that are untouched by hormones or anti-biotics.
What do you think about dietary supplements- are they good?
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