Now, ideally, we should gather all of the vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes and everything else that our bodies need to work at peak performance through our diets and lifestyles. However, this is much easier said than done. While it is possible to get everything that we could possibly need through the food we choose to eat and by getting sufficient amounts of natural sunlight, there are often several obstacles in our way. Price, availability, and time are just a few factors that we would need to overcome. So, it’s not surprising that the majority of adults will take at least one type of dietary supplement on a regular basis. But what actually are dietary supplements? How are they created? What do they contain? And do they live up to expectations? Surely we should know a whole lot more about what we’re voluntarily putting into our bodies! But not to worry. We’re here to help. Here’s a concise guide to dietary supplements, covering everything that you could possibly need to know on a basic level.
What are Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements come in a wide variety of forms: tablets, capsules, powders, soft gels, gelcaps, drinks, energy bars… the list goes on and on. So what do they all have in common? Well, a dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a key ingredient that people are often missing from their day to day diets. Any supplement that you come into contact with should be clearly labelled. Read the products’ contents, concentration, and the amount of the given active ingredient per serving. You should also keep an eye out for any other added ingredients that may be used for binding, flavouring, or filling.
Do Your Research
As with anything that you intend to consume, you should always do your research before purchasing a product and trying it out. Before taking anything, you should talk to your personal healthcare professional. Everyone is different and sometimes what works for someone else, or even the majority of others, may not be ideal for your individual needs. Certain supplements may also be problematic when taken with certain medications or may cause problems to arise with current treatments that you are undergoing. So, check up with your doctor, physician, or dietician before making any major changes to your lifestyle. As well as warning you away from anything that could be potentially dangerous or harmful to you, they will also be able to give advice regarding further supplements that may be particularly beneficial for you! If you are interested in the potential health benefits of particular supplements, you can also read reviews online to see what others have made of them. Ranking and Reviews of the Best Probiotics Supplements is a good example, giving a complete and thorough analysis of probiotics in particular.
Use Legitimate Suppliers
Sure, the internet is awash with dietary supplements. You may come across cheaper alternatives to the big branded names out there. But be cautious. You should only ever source your supplements from legitimate suppliers. This will ensure that the products you use successfully meet the rules and regulations placed down by the FDA in their Federal Regulation of Dietary Supplements.
Now, it is absolutely paramount that you bear in mind that a supplement cannot compare to the real deal. Try to get as many of your essential vitamins and minerals from raw food sources as possible. A wide and varied diet is a staple when it comes to overall health and wellbeing. Even if you eliminate certain items from your diet for personal health reasons or ethical reasons (for example, meat, eggs, or dairy), there are alternatives out there that can ensure that you get the same nutrition from other sources. However, if you find that you are regularly falling short when it comes to certain areas, supplements can help you to get the adequate amount of whatever it is that you’re currently missing out on.
Common Supplements to Consider
While the variety of supplements out there may seem never-ending, there are certain options that prove more popular in the consumer market. So, here are a few for you to consider.
Protein is a fairly central part of our diets. But many of us want to consume it without the animal cruelty and environmental damage that comes hand in hand with meat consumption. Luckily, there are alternatives on the market. Leafy greens, nuts, and tofu are all packed with protein! But sometimes we just need an extra boost. Protein supplements are widely available, but the most popular form is powder. Chances are, you’ve tried a protein shake at some point or another! Not only does protein help to satiate your appetite, but the whey and plant proteins (such as flaxseed and peas) used in protein powder also help to build muscle.
Now, spirulina is by no means a delicious and appealing supplement. While it can be taken in tablet form, many people laud its benefits as a powder. But when mixed with water (as recommended) it can resemble pond water. This makes sense, after all, it is a form of blue-green algae. So why would anyone put themselves through drinking this? Well, the short answer is that it’s extremely nutritionally dense. When one product contains copper, iron, protein, and B vitamins, it’s pretty hard to argue against its worth!
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium helps to build strong bones, while magnesium aids people to reduce their stress levels and deal with metabolic reactions. When both can be found in one tablet, it’s not surprising that so many of us stock up and take these supplements daily.
As you can see, dietary supplements are complex and navigating your way around them can be complex and a little confusing. However, once you’ve found the options that are best for you, you’ll start rolling in the benefits that they will give to you. Never be afraid to give new things a try. Just remember to always consult your personal health advisor first!