In a perfect world we would all get the proper nutrition and vitamins from the food that we eat. Whole foods have the best nutrients that we need and have many wonderful benefits over processed foods or supplements.
- Greater Nutrition- Whole foods provide a variety of vitamins and nutrients. For example, an orange contains vitamin C, calcium, beta carotene, and many other nutrients. If you just took a Vitamin C supplement you would lose these other nutrients.
- Essential Fiber – Many whole foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide dietary fiber. Fiber can help prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Along with this, these fibrous foods contain many other nutrients.
- Protective Substances – Whole foods also contain many other beneficial substances. For example, fruits and vegetables contain substances called phytochemicals. These can help protect you from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
However, even if you eat a well-balanced diet every day, you still may not be getting all the nutrients you need. Everyone needs all vitamins and nutrients to keep their bodies going but sometimes we can fall short. Here are some reasons you may need a supplement to help your nutrition.
- Vegans and vegetarians – If you eat a limited variety of foods then you may be missing some key vitamins and nutrients.
- Women- If a woman is pregnant, may become, or has heavy bleeding during her menstrual period then she may need some added nutrients.
- Medical – If you have a medical condition that affects how your body uses or absorbs nutrients, you may need to take supplements. If you have chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas you should consult your doctor to make sure you’re get the right nutrition. Also, if you have had surgery on your digestive tract and are not able to digest and absorb nutrients properly, you may need to use supplements.
If you are included in this list, talk to your doctor to make sure you are giving your body enough nutrients. If you do decide to use a supplement make sure you consider these important factors.
- Read the label – Make sure you check the ingredients, which nutrients are included, how much of each nutrient are included, and the serving size of a product.
- Avoid high doses – In general, stay away from products that give you higher than 100% (daily value) of vitamins and minerals. Also, if you’re using a multivitamin try to get one that has a good balance of vitamins instead of one that is heavy in one and lacking in another.
- Check the expiration dates – If there isn’t an expiration date or it is past the expiration date, don’t buy it. Supplements can lose potency over time, so it’s important to use them before they expire.
- Watch what you eat – When adding supplements to your diet, make sure you watch what you eat to ensure you’re not getting too much of a nutrient. Ingesting more than you need can have unhealthy side effects and can even be toxic.
Supplements can be very beneficial if you use them correctly. Make sure you’re careful and that they help you rather then harm you. Hopefully they can help you become healthy and happy throughout your life.
Nutrition is very important to children as well. Many kids don’t eat an optimal diet and need vitamins and minerals to fill in the gaps. The benefits they get back can be noticed quickly – better concentration, more energy, get sick less often and of course nutritional support during growth periods.