In an ideal world, nobody would ever need to take supplements, because we’d all be eating super healthy foods and getting plenty of the good stuff from daily meals. Unfortunately, life is a little more complex than this and it can be really hard to get the balance of vitamins and minerals just right…
What supplement do you need?
There are all kinds of variables (not just the quality of food) which can affect your diet.
For women particularly, things like iron and calcium tend to rise and fall along with hormonal cycles. So, even if you consume a lot, you can still end up with a deficiency at certain times of the month. This is just one reason why dietary supplements are highly recommended.
This guide to the most effective supplements will help you decide which vitamins and minerals in your diet could do with a boost.
Calcium deficiencies are becoming a lot more common because the popularity of dairy free diets has soared in recent years. As most of us get a huge proportion of the mineral from foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt, it can be tough to find adequate alternatives.
With an organic plant calcium supplement, however, you can guarantee a healthy intake of calcium without having to rely on animal products. It is an essential part of bone health, so an appropriate substitute is needed.
The problem with iron is that we’ve grown an aversion to the foods which are richest with it. Liver and other organ meats, for example, are the best way to consume large quantities of the mineral, but they have long been out of fashion with modern diners.
While you can top up your iron levels with nuts, seafood, and leafy vegetables, a supplement may be required if you are at risk of anemia. The condition causes intense weariness, but iron supplements help oxygen get to the cells faster and keep energy levels healthy.
Calcium and vitamin D are closely connected because calcium uses vitamin D for absorption into the body. Therefore, they are both essential for strong, healthy bones.
If you don’t consume enough of this substance, you put yourself at risk of developing osteoporosis. The condition leads to vulnerable, brittle bones and an increased danger of fractures. Supplements are most beneficial for those who are middle-aged (over fifty) or have dark skin.
It is a good idea to check with your GP before taking vitamin D supplements.
Folic acid is a type of B vitamin which is normally found in foods like beans, peas, lentils, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli. It plays a fundamental role in cell renewal and repair. Folic acid is also thought to prevent some of the DNA mutations which lead to cancer, though more research on this link is needed.
It is particularly vital for pregnant and lactating females, who often find it very difficult to consume enough of the substance. Supplements are a quick and easy way to ensure that the recommended daily intake is reached.
How to Take Dietary Supplements Safely
Ideally, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on any new supplement routine. Some supplements are only suitable for certain types of people, so it is important to get the right information.
Your GP can also give you advice on dosage, regularity, and what kind of benefits you are likely to see from boosting your diet in this way.
Take care when shopping for dietary supplements and always buy from a trusted provider, with a reputation for quality.
While it is rare for people to get seriously sick from taking too much of a vitamin or mineral, you should still follow the provided instructions to the letter.
Do not take more than the recommended daily dose.