Dietary or Health supplements are also known as an additional substitute for food. The types of health supplements or vitamin supplements or dietary supplements can be of any form such as pills, syrups, powders, injections, and so on.
These days the kind of lifestyle we are living and the routines which we follow taking any form of supplement is a MUST. It helps improve the body’s ability to fight off chronic and common infections.
Dietary supplements give the nutrients that are missing from your daily normal diet hence called substitutes to food.
We, humans, are exposed to terrific levels of stress and pollution which impact the body’s capacity to fight the harmful free radicals.
As the saying goes:
“Prevention is always better than cure”
Why taking chances with your health, when you have good sources of food in the form of supplements.
Main reasons for taking dietary supplements
There are many reasons why you may have to consider using the dietary supplements and the main among them are listed here:
- Gaps in the nutrition
- Improper eating habits
- Poor absorption of food due to age or other health-related issues
- Avoiding harmful toxin
Gaps in Nutrition
Adding supplements is required to bridge the gaps in nutrition which are caused due to any in-balance of your food. For example, a vegan diet does not get a good probiotic effect from the food, so adding a probiotic pill can fill the gaps and be beneficial.
Improper eating habits
Poor eating habits or eating junk food, and stress contribute to poor digestion, making it difficult for our bodies to extract all the nutrients it needs from food.
Poor absorption of food
If the food is not absorbed properly then it becomes a problem because your body doesn’t have the same capability to break down and absorb nutrients as it used to. This problem can happen if the proper lifestyle is not followed and also due to aging.
Avoid harmful toxins
The use of pesticides and herbicides to farm our food and the chemicals found in our water supply can also harm the quality of food and hence leading to washing out of the nutrients.
Your body uses up the energy and nutrients when you exercise daily that is stored in your body. To compensate for the loss intake of extra protein is required to maintain weight loss and protein loss.
Including exercise like running or yoga in your daily routine can have many benefits along with proper intake of nutritious food. This way the required nutritious value can be attained directly from natural sources.
The dietary substitute or intake of health supplements required for our body varies on different factors. For example, the requirement for male and women are different. Also, the requirement depends on the age of the person and the health condition of the person.
Now let’s categorize the health supplements as the general basic supplements that are required for our body and the supplements which are required for a specific concern.
List of daily dietary supplements
You must be confused here seeing that there are so many vitamins and mineral combos, so what exactly to look for when shopping for a multivitamin?
Don’t worry in this article we will look into eight ingredients your multivitamin MUST have, no matter what brand you choose.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C and E
- Vitamin B-12
- Muscle supporting protein
Our bodies make enough vitamin D if we are exposed to the sun for 15 to 30 minutes at least twice a week. It is necessary for immune and hormone support. Ideally, most would benefit from taking 1000 to 2000 IU daily of vitamin D3.
It is an essential nutrient, which means that we must get it from food or supplements. Magnesium is very important to our bone health and energy production. The proper levels of magnesium in our body can calm the nervous system and reduce stress, balance our blood sugar levels, and helps in sleep-related issues. You must look for a supplement with 300-320 mg of magnesium.
Zinc levels are usually low in older people and for people under a lot of stress. It supports our immune system and helps our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy. It also aids in wound healing.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the intake of Zinc supplements has increased as people have realized that it helps to improve the immune system.
A multivitamin that has 5-10 mg of zinc.is require. The NIH suggests you get approximately 8-11 mg of zinc daily, along with your intake of food rich in zinc.
Vitamin C and E
It supports the immune system and keeps the skin youthful. Vitamin C promotes the creation of collagen and helps absorb iron. Vitamin C & E are very rich in antioxidant properties and prevents scars or fasten up the healing process of injuries.
Calcium helps in strong bones and teeth. Women in particular start losing bone density earlier, and getting enough calcium from the start is the best nutritional defense against this loss. The NIH says the recommended amount of calcium per day is 1,000 mg for most adults, and while you probably don’t need to get all of your calcium needs from a multivitamin.
Iron should be in your multivitamin, but not everyone needs the same amount of iron. It can help you with increased energy, better brain function, and also provide healthy red blood cells. Vegetarians and vegans must include a multivitamin that has iron, especially if they’re not supplementing meat with other iron-rich foods.
The B-vitamin complex helps to create and sustain our body’s energy supply by breaking down the micronutrients we consume (fats, proteins, carbs). Vegan or vegetarians are prone to vitamin B-12 deficiency because most food sources are animal-based like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. The recommended amount of B-12 is less than 3 mcg, so look for a vitamin with 1 to 2 mcg per serving.
Muscle supporting protein
Protein can help keep you from losing muscle as you age, make you feel full longer than carbs, give you more energy, and fuel your body with nutrition for repairing muscles and other tissues.
Your body doesn’t store protein from day to day as it does with many other nutrients, so it’s up to you to get the protein you need each and every day.
List of additional dietary supplements for specific concerns
Along with your general health supplements, there are additional supplements that you can take for any specific concerns.
Let’s now, look at some of the common concerns these dietary supplements can improve.
- Green tea
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Vitamin C & E are great antioxidants and help in maintaining healthy skin from inside out. It also supports the immune system and keeps the skin youthful as it promotes the creation of collagen and also helps to absorb iron. Vitamin C & E contain vital antioxidant properties; thus, helps prevent scars or fasten up the healing process.
This is most important if you want to look and maintain your skin youthful for a long time. If you want to know more about how to achieve that along with taking Vit c and Vit E supplements then read this article: 4 STEPS TO AN EFFECTIVE SKINCARE FOR BEGINNERS
Collagen is the most abundant and important protein in your body. The most important benefits of collagen include providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. The other benefits of collagen; improves skin health, can relieve joint pain, can boost muscle mass, and can prevent bone loss.
Recently the intake of collagen in the form of supplements has increased a lot as it improves skin elasticity which helps you to look young. And who would not want to look young ?.
Retinols or Vitamin A
Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth. There are two types of vitamin A. This entry is primarily about the active form of vitamin A — retinoids — that comes from animal products. Beta-carotene is among the second type of vitamin A, which comes from plants.
Topical and oral retinoids are common prescription treatments for acne and other skin conditions, including wrinkles. Vitamin A is also used for a specific type of leukemia.
Green tea extract is its concentrated form, with just one capsule containing the same amount of active ingredients as an average cup of green tea. Like green tea, green tea extract is a great source of antioxidants. These have a range of health benefits, from promoting heart, liver, and brain health to improving your skin and even reducing the risk of cancer.
I know, you must be thinking that “I have heard about green tea so much, but can’t decide which one to buy?” Don’t worry read this article to know more: Top 10 best green tea in India- November 2020.
Omega 3 fatty acids
The omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health and mood support as well as keeping inflammation away. Often low in the diet, one should consider fish oil as a way of getting a daily dose of this liquid gold. Aim for a product that will provide at least 1000 milligrams of EPA plus DHA total daily. For vegetarians and vegans, a high-quality veggie omega supplement is a must.
Biotin is present in a number of foods, but not everyone can consume enough of them on a regular basis. Taking a biotin supplement is a smart way to take advantage of the impressive benefits of biotin. The benefits of biotin mainly include: thick hair, improves skin and strengthens nails, helps with cell growth, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and so on.
The adequate intakes (AI) for biotin are 30 mcg for adults over 18 years and pregnant women, and 35 mcg for breast-feeding women.
As the saying
“No one size fits all”
Similarly, when you choose to start a specific dietary supplement there are many factors you need to consider before making a final call.
Women have different nutritional needs than men and it also depends on which age group you fall under. Usually, the best way for a person to meet their dietary needs is to consume a balanced diet. Whole foods are packed with more nutrition than a pill. However, if you do not include enough of the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits, it is advisable to take vitamin supplements. But you need to be careful while consuming them and must consult a doctor or a nutritionist to avoid the side effects.
“We have to know how to eat right, train right, and take the right over-the-counter supplements to stay healthy, fit, and beautiful”.