Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I be taking supplements?”
If so, there are a lot of things to think about before you start your new regimen.
Do you need to take supplements to be healthy?
Supplementation is often misunderstood by people who are beginning a health and wellness journey. It should be used exactly as it sounds: to supplement or enhance a healthy diet and lifestyle.
There are many different types of supplements available, each with its own specific purpose. Some contain vitamins, minerals, or other essential nutrients that are necessary for overall health and wellbeing. Others may contain herbs, botanicals, or other natural substances that are believed to have specific health benefits. They are normally taken in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, powders, or liquids, and are designed to provide specific nutrients or other substances that may be lacking in a person’s diet or that are needed to support optimal health.
Supplements can be used to help fill nutrient gaps in the diet, support a healthy immune system, promote healthy aging, enhance athletic performance and recovery, aid in weight management, improve mental clarity and focus, and much more. However, it’s important to note that this should not be used as a replacement for healthy habits, diet, and lifestyle, and should be taken only as directed by a healthcare professional.
Symptoms for Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
With most vitamin and mineral deficiencies, symptoms that make it apparent that something is going on, like many illnesses, if you are having symptoms for something you should make an appointment to talk to your provider about your symptoms. Your provider will likely help you narrow down what may be causing the problem or refer you to someone who may be able to help.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are detectable via blood work such as a FBC test, vitamin deficiency test, or nutrients test as an example. A deficiency showing up in blood work is a great reason to start a supplement. If you are lacking something in your diet that is not causing major symptoms, but you have noticed you get little to none of it in your diet, like the macromolecule protein , you can likely start a once a day protein powder supplement without any negative consequences.
How do you know what supplements to get?
It is important to be aware that there are reliable and unreliable brands that sell supplements, and it can be hard to tell what brand will actually give you what they say they are selling. Supplements are not regulated by the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States in the same way that prescription drugs are. Choose from reputable manufacturers and be cautious of any potential side effects or interactions with other medications, vitamins or minerals. It’s always best practice to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new vitamin, mineral or wellness regimen.
Wellness Tip: There are third-party organizations like Consumer Lab that test supplements and do research with other organizations on the topic above.
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to your health, whether it be supplements, food, or beauty products is to read the ingredient label. If the list of ingredients are too long or you cannot pronounce something in the ingredient list, it is likely not an optimal choice.
As stated by NIH Office of Dietary Supplements “Products sold as dietary supplements come with a Supplement Facts label that lists the active ingredients, the amount per serving (dose), as well as other ingredients, such as fillers, binders, and flavorings. The manufacturer suggests the serving size, but your health care provider might decide a different amount is more appropriate for you.”
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* Any mention of a specific company, organization, or service does not represent an endorsement by ZeroDoubtClub.