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Supplements – The Right Choice

Supplements – The Right Choice
Razia Sanwari

A healthy diet is essential for healthy living but it is also important to ensure that your so-called healthy diet is all-around and complete! By complete we mean that it has all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates required by the body to stay fit.
Despite eating ‘right’, you discover that you are not eating ‘all that is right because your diet is lacking in variety. Even the best diet routine may miss out on all of the 40-plus nutrients you are required to take in each day. A nutritious food plan typically includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and milk products. And including all of these in your daily diet is the best way to get all your vitamins, minerals and nutrients. But, most people fail to meet the needed nutrition target for various reasons. And so have to take dietary supplements which will fulfill their vitamin and mineral requirements. As per studies, more than half of US adults take dietary supplements with 40% of them taking a multivitamin daily.

What are nutritional supplements?

Supplements are the nutritional backup for those people whose diets are less than ideal and do not include whole food groups that are needed for wellness. Consumers, however, should be aware that supplements are not a substitute for healthy food but are beneficial and it would do well for a person to take a multivitamin daily.

Types of vitamins and minerals

A standard multivitamin comprises of water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Water-soluble vitamins, which include Vitamin C and B, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, B12 and more, easily pass in and out of the body while fat-soluble vitamins build up in the body’s cells. They include vitamins A, D, E and K. Minerals include calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and potassium.

Supplements for overall wellbeing

There are plenty of good reasons why one must take a supplement daily. Supplements are said to not only support general wellness but also help keep chronic conditions at bay. Though reports suggest that taking multivitamins daily staves off certain ailments like heart disease and breast cancer, these are not confirmed and so the purpose of taking a supplement daily should be to provide a boost to overall health.

Benefits of taking a multivitamin

Most people do not have an adequate intake of minerals and vitamins because of various reasons. People who are dieting and eat calorie-restricted diets tend to miss out on essential ingredients while pregnant or breastfeeding women, ailing patients, babies and those with food allergies also tend to eat an insufficient diet.

Best mineral supplement

Choosing a supplement will depend on the individual’s requirements. One cannot just go and pick a bottle of multivitamins off the shelf but will need to check what vitamin and mineral make up that particular product. All brands will not have the same ingredients and will vary in composition. It is recommended that the bottle you pick should contain three or more vitamins and minerals at a dose below the tolerable higher limit. But, it would be a better idea to consult your healthcare provider about which supplement you should be taking.

Daily intake of vitamins and minerals

Special supplement types are available for specific groups of people based on age, gender and more. There are multivitamins for older adults, like those who are over the age of 50. These contain less iron and Vitamin K and more of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Women over the age of 50 can take multivitamins with very little or no iron.
For women who are adults but below 50, there are supplements with extra iron and sometimes extra calcium. Men need less iron than women and so there are special formulas for men with less iron and higher doses of several vitamins and minerals.
And then there are prenatal formulas for women in the child-bearing age group. These contain extra folic acid and iron to help prevent birth defects and are meant for those who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant or those who are breastfeeding.

When is the best time to eat supplement?

Supplements are available in tablet and capsule forms which are more popular Such as Blackstone Labs PCT. But those who cannot swallow pills can opt for gel-coated capsules or liquids. Additionally, multivitamins are available in other forms too like chewable, gummies and powders.

You may take a supplement at any time of the day but, having it after a meal ensures less stomach discomfort and a boost in the body’s uptake of nutrients.


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HPFY Razia Sanwari

Razia Sanwari

Razia Sanwari is a journalist by profession with more than 20 years of experience in the print media. With a Masters's in English Language and Literature, Razia began her career as a junior editor in a Kolkata English language daily ...

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