Are supplements good or bad for you?
Often we hear; eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need, However, some people don’t really get enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet.
When deciding whether you should supplement, it is best to understand what the word supplement means. It is defined as "something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. "
Supplements make it much easier to get the necessary nutrients to build muscle and can even give you an advantage and enhance your training when taken right and combined with a good diet.
Supplements come in a variety of forms: It can be in a form of traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars.
But before taking any supplement, you need to ask yourself these questions first:
- What are the potential health benefits of this supplement product?
- Does this product have any safety risks?
- What is the proper dose to take?
- And How, when, and for how long should I take it?
Here are 7 Reasons why you should consider taking Supplements:
1. Filling That Nutritional Gap
Most people fail to meet dietary recommendations due to strict dieting, poor appetite, or changing nutritional needs. Supplementation is intended to bridge the nutritional gap, so that we maintain the proper balance of nutrients from food and supplementation.
2. Poor Eating Habits
Poor eating habits include under- or over-eating, not having enough of the healthy foods we need each day, or consuming too many types of food and drink, which are low in fibre or high in fat, salt and/or sugar can lead to poor nutrition.
How does poor nutrition affect us?
Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduce our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.
Effects of poor nutrition:
- being overweight or obese
- tooth decay
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- heart disease and stroke
- some cancers
- eating disorders.
3. Soil Depletion
When plants are repeatedly grown on the same land, the soil loses vitamins, minerals, and microbes faster than they can be replaced. Over time, the plants have fewer nutrients to grow. Fertilizer contains just enough nutrition for the plant to survive until harvesting, but not enough to support human health. In addition, most plants are not harvested fresh. They sit on trucks, shelves, and counters for weeks before being eaten. Over time, the nutrient content of these plants decreases.
4. Nutrient Absorption Declines With Age
Several studies have shown kids need more nutrients to support growth, and older people need more nutrients due to malabsorption. The production of digestive enzymes, which breaks down and absorbs nutrients from your food, naturally begins to decline the older you get. You may also be taking more medications than you did when you were younger. Most modern medications actually deplete essential nutrients. Supplements can help restore this imbalance.
5. Prevent Expensive Health Issues
Supplements are a natural way of boosting your immune system and a cost effective way of keeping yourself healthy. Healthcare providers are encouraging people to look for disease prevention instead of disease treatment. Taking daily supplements, getting regular exercise, and making frequent trips to the doctors are important for preventing costly health issues from arising in the future.
6. Toxin Exposure
Your body needs nutrients to deal with toxins. When more toxins are present, you need more nutrients. Pesticides and herbicides used to farm our food, chemicals found in our water supply, and external environmental issues like pollution drastically increase our need for extra vitamins and minerals. These harmful chemicals create free radicals that attack our digestive and immune system. Supplements like antioxidants help fight those free radicals.
7. Exercise Increases Nutrient Needs
People often think tons of exercise is the key to a long and healthy life (it’s not!). often times your body will require a lot of energy and nutrients to stay in shape. As you exercise, your body uses up the energy and nutrients that have been stored in your body. It is vital to replenish these essential nutrients, fuel your energy levels, and promote recovery after an intense workout.
What are some of the red flags to look out for when buying supplements?
You can walk into a supplement store and buy any supplement you’d like. But that doesn’t mean taking it would be a good idea for you.
Just like prescription meds, a supplement that provides health benefits to one guy can prove ineffective or even dangerous for another.
And while most reputable supplements are “very safe” for consumption, those with chronic health problems or allergies should pay extra attention to what they are putting in their system.
Also be cautious about taking supplements if you are pregnant or nursing. Most dietary supplements have not been well tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or even children.
At the end of the day, the idea that you can get all your nutrients from food is fine in theory, but virtually impossible in practice. Handicapping yourself by “only getting nutrients from food” is not a good idea. Getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and eating all your fruits and vegetables together with the right combination of Supplements is by far the best way to achieve a healthy lifestyle.