Best Dietary Supplements
Do you want to live a long and meaningful life? Let us answer this for you; we think you do. In today's world, we're all constantly looking for the latest solution or trend to feel fitter and healthier so we can make the most of our life.
However, instead of searching for a solution to specific health problems, sometimes it's better if we're healthy from the get-go. This means living an active lifestyle and eating well. You may already do this, though and find something is not quite right.
Maybe you're feeling unwell, and there's a specific nutrient, vitamin, mineral or just a substance missing in your diet. You may not be able to get sufficient levels in your body, or even you might live a busy lifestyle, you don't have the time to feed yourself. Well, one great way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by taking dietary supplements each day.
What is a dietary supplement?
Dietary supplements are tablets or capsules you consume orally to aid your health or supplement certain foods. This is by no means a medicine prescribed by the doctor or a holistic one; it's simply an add on to your diet.
In addition to those stated above, they are also available in gels, liquids, extracts and powders. All dietary supplements have been manufactured with the purpose for people to consume and increase their intake.
Dietary supplements, in general, should contain at least one of the following: vitamins, amino acids, minerals, fibre or fatty acids. Sometimes dietary supplements are sold with the purpose to promote one ingredient or a few combined.
Why do we need them?
Reading this article, you may already think that you're fit and healthy. The truth is, you might be at present, but it's easy for levels to become depleted as circumstances in our lives may change. Therefore there are certain advantages of dietary supplements, which are:
We consume too much processed food
When was the last time you ate a completely fresh meal with zero additives or preservatives? In times like these, it's often hard for us to avoid these types of junk food. In fact, it can often become easier for us to choose this quick food supply and attend to the rest of our on the go lifestyle.
As a result, the more junk food you consume, the more difficult it becomes for your digestive system to break down any food. When it takes time for your digestive system to break down, it becomes difficult to absorb the nutrients your body needs. Therefore dietary supplements can help restore the balance and reduce the damage processed foods provide.
Age can affect our health
The older you get, the harder it is for your body to absorb the right nutrients. This condition is known as malabsorption. As you get older, the way your body produces digestive enzymes isn't efficient as it once was, and there is not enough to help your body break down food.
Because of this, no matter how much food you consume, you won't always get the right amount of nutrients. Likewise, you may find yourself taking a lot more medication than you did when you were younger due to the natural decline your body has. There are dietary supplements that work to help restore your body back to stability.
We consume a lot of herbicides and pesticides
How do you buy your groceries? Whether you choose to get them locally or from the supermarket, they can often be full of herbicides, chemicals and pesticides.
That means when we consume them, we're making our bodies exposed to a higher amount of free radicals. These are dangerous to have in our bodies because large amounts target your immune and digestive system and attack them. To limit our chances of our systems getting attacked, dietary supplements help provide our body with more antioxidants to fight free radicals.
Exercise can make us want to consume more
How regular do you exercise? If you're an athlete or a fitness lover, your body will burn out energy and absorb nutrients quicker than the sedentary person.
This means after you've finished a workout, your body will need to recover more quickly and have more nutrients to fuel it for the next session. This is why many athletes take dietary supplements in the form of protein to aid their recovery.
Lack of nutrients in the soil
Sometimes, it's hard to avoid these chemicals as we have no control over the growth of the food we buy. Similarly, the soil which grows the crops may lack nutrients and vitamins, preventing us from absorbing the vitamins we need.
To help you have a better idea, have a look at our top 10 dietary supplements to restore levels back to your body.
Types of dietary supplements
As mentioned earlier, dietary supplements can be consumed in different ways; they can come in powders, syrups, capsules, tablets, lozenges, nutrition bars and chewables. If you're to go out to a store and purchase a good dietary supplement, you will find it will come in one of the three categories: natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic.
- Natural dietary supplements: These supplements are completely natural, and the ingredients come straight from the source, i.e. a plant or animal. If you're looking for a natural supplement, usually on the label, they will claim they're 100% natural. Some examples of natural supplements are iron, creatine, Vitamin b12, Melatonin, ginseng and more.
- Semi-synthetic supplements: This type of supplement combines both natural and man-made ingredients. Companies who produce these often showcase the benefits of both. For example the natural side and having a synthetic part, making it easier for the consumer to taste and digest. Most of the time, the natural nutrients in this supplement do not change and still have their full effects. Types of synthetic supplements are vitamin C, lutein and vitamin B9.
- Synthetic supplements: You may have guessed already, but in case you weren't familiar synthetic supplements are man-made. This means they contain no natural ingredients, and all the chemicals you find in those supplements are produced in a laboratory.
Compared to the other two types, this type of supplement can be the most difficult for your body to digest. A few examples of synthetic supplements are vitamin D and vitamin E.
Now you have a bit of background knowledge; you might be wondering how effective dietary supplements are? Well, first and foremost, we want to let you know they're not a miracle or magic pill. We mean by this, if you're going to take a dietary supplement, it shouldn't be to cure a particular purpose.
You should already be living a healthy lifestyle, and it should be used to enhance it. This means you should be trying to get the sources of nutrients from a balanced diet before looking to top up your levels.
By no means should you cut out particular food and use supplements to replace that. But we do know it's inevitable to get all the right levels your body needs, and sometimes certain foods don't have the proper nutrients to get from one sit down meal. That way, they can help replenish certain levels back to normal and help our bodies get a natural supply.
However, before you take any, you should always speak to a physician or dietician to make sure you get the right advice. Similarly, this field requires a lot more research, as supplements don't work the same way for everyone. This means research in this field is still limited to specific dietary supplements, as certain countries like the USA only view supplements as a food and not as a drug.
Therefore they don't investigate the safety and effectiveness before going to market. Because of this, we suggest picking supplements with lots of reviews and reading the reviews from other consumers before buying them.
How to take dietary supplements?
Many factors can come into play when we take dietary supplements, and therefore not every supplement you'll take will be the same. Likewise, the dosage can vary depending on the supplement and the age you are.
When it comes to giving supplements to children and teenagers, we recommend seeking the guidance of a physician first. Sometimes there will be supplements their body won't break down, and there may be an alternative form such as a chewable tablet or syrup. Similarly, if you're over 40, you may want to speak to a physician about the reason for consumption and talk about the dosage.
Plus, before you consume any dietary supplement, you should read the packaging and label about taking it. Here you should find bits of important information about how to consume supplements and if you should do so with food or on an empty stomach.
You should always use supplements with caution, as there can be many risks associated with them. Typical risks of taking supplements are:
They can interact with medications
Do you currently take any existing medications? If the answer is yes, you should probably seek the guidance of a physician before doing so. If you choose to consume large doses of vitamins, nutrients, minerals or anything else, it may have the opposite effect. Some examples are:
- Vitamin K and Vitamin E: If you're on any blood-thinning treatment and taking medications like warfarin, supplements with Vitamin K can stop them from being effective. Likewise, Vitamin E can make blood-thinning medication more active, making you at risk of more nosebleeds and bruises.
- Iron and calcium supplements: Regular consumption of iron and calcium dietary supplements can reduce the effectiveness of certain antibiotics. In particular, it can decrease the effectiveness o fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines.
- Vitamin A: If you take medication for acne, Vitamin A supplements can cause vitamin A toxicity.
- Vitamin B6: This supplement can reduce the efficiency of medication taken for Parkinson's disease. In particular, it can stop anti-seizure drugs such as Dilantin and levodopa from being effective.
Quality of supplements
When it comes to supplements, you don't always know what you're getting. This is often the case with supplements formulated for bodybuilding and fitness.
As mentioned earlier, the USA has few regulations over the supplement industry. Sometimes some companies don't advertise the ingredients fully to the FDA and put fillers in them. Fillers are used to make up the bulk of a supplement with artificial chemicals and ingredients to make them look better, taste good, and deceive them.
To reduce the chances of taking a bad supplement, we suggest looking for quality assurance stickers on the label. Likewise, some companies abide by GMP (good manufacturing practices). GMP's review the strength, production, purity and identity of the supplements. So, look on the packaging to see if the supplements are approved at a GMP facility.
Some supplements can cause side effects such as:
- Fast breathing.
- Increased sweating.
- Liver damage.
These are just a few side effects found in supplements; there are many more out there, which can vary. We suggest looking at the supplement, reading the reviews and consulting a doctor before making any decision. If you feel slightly unwell when taking them, see a physician immediately.
Dietary supplements can help enhance your lifestyle, but they should not be used as a replacement or substitute. They're more like an add on to your balanced diet.
We need them because as we get older, our bodies can't absorb certain amounts as much as they used to. Likewise, if you're an athlete, you run out of them more quickly, and certain foods don't have them in at all.
There are natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic supplements out on the market to take. But before you take any, we suggest speaking to a physician and thoroughly reading the reviews first.
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