Walking into a pharmacy or health food store can sometimes be intimidating, especially when it comes to the vitamin and supplement aisle. There are countless bottles, types of supplements, and dosages to choose from. And a person cannot help but ask themselves countless questions about them all. But is it really necessary to take all of these? A person should be able to get what they need from their food right? Is it a gimmick or do they really help to keep you healthy?
Getting Nutrients from Food
Many people try to ensure they are getting all of their nutrition from the food they eat on a daily basis. While in theory this is ideal, it is usually way more difficult to accomplish and results in a person missing out on some vital nutrients they need in their diet. People’s busy schedules, and the heavy reliance on prepackaged and convenient food items has resulted in a large number of people missing out on these vital nutrients on a regular basis. Since the food that people consume usually falls short of their daily needs, it is necessary to supplement their diet in some form to stay healthy and allow the body to meet its potential.
The Modern Diet
The majority of people eat a “modern diet” which is often low in essential nutrients and hard on the body to digest completely. As a result, their body not only is not getting enough essential nutrients, but then is also having to work extra hard at getting the nutrients it does in fact get. Then because the modern diet is high in phytic acid, many nutrients when eaten are not even digested into the body and pass straight through the system creating a nutrient deficit. The result is a need to constantly play catch-up and never being able to get enough.
Depletion of Growing Conditions
Low Calorie Diet Fad
Many people have jumped on the low calorie diet bandwagon in hopes of reducing their overall body weight, improving their health, and their physical appearance. However, they do not take into consideration that lower calorie diets are often low in essential nutrients as well. While fruit and vegetables are lower in calories, the body still needs vitamins from non-plant sources, fat, and amino acids to function properly. Low calorie diets also often avoid seeds and nuts because they are high in fat. But these fats in small quantities are healthy for the body and assist it in the body’s functioning.
Add to that the fact that in order for processed foods to taste better they are often full of artificial sweeteners or salt, which in small amounts may be safe, but larger amounts are harmful to the body. As a result, low calorie and low fat diets do not equal to healthier bodies.
Improving Health with Supplementation
Because there are limited nutrients available in the modern diet, and most people have limited time to prepare food properly to optimize nutrient intake, supplementation is one of the best options to improve overall health. In some cases, a general multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is all that is needed. However, if a person is already depleted of a nutrient in their body, it may be necessary to supplement further for specific nutrients. Many times a doctor can take a simple blood test to check for some nutrient levels, like iron, vitamin D, or vitamin B12. If these are low, an additional supplement should be taken as well as adding foods with these nutrients to the body to improve the person’s overall health and wellbeing.
By ensuring a person has adequate nutrients, either through food or supplementation, they are able to help their body function as well as possible. As a result, they are able to help prevent illnesses from occurring, possibly reverse some illnesses or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses, and potentially live a longer, happier and healthier life. By speaking with a nutritionist or a physician it may be possible to determine which supplements are best for your body and lifestyle.