Have you wondered if using supplements really works? They can definitely help ensure your body gets all the trace nutrients it requires. Food isn’t providing all the nutrition due to farming practices.
But there is one important thing to remember.
Supplements Can’t Replace A Healthy Diet
Just like you can’t exercise away a bad diet, you also can’t supplement your way out of an unhealthy diet.
Multi-vitamins are often held up as the best way to take care of your body despite a lot of stress and an inconsistent diet. I’ll go into more detail later as to why they aren’t a good idea.
But for now, I’ll mention that they have incorrect levels of some vitamins and minerals, and not all of them were meant to be taken together.
It’s important that you eat a well-balanced and natural diet, and look into supplementing areas of concerns such as breast health and liver health.
There are three types of supplements:
Different bodies respond differently so you will want to test your body’s response and make adjustments. For example, when I’m coming down with a cold, I take zinc tablets. I know a lot of people use echinacea, but that makes me worse.
And some people can take pills and others can’t. So, if you’re not a pill taker, you may want to look into powdered or liquid supplements instead.
What to Look for In Supplements
When looking to purchase supplements, you want to look at the quality of the product and what dosage it comes in.
Before you take any supplement, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions.
- What are the health benefits for me?
- Are there any safety risks?
- What’s the proper dose for me to take?
- How long should I take this?
- When and how should the supplement be taken?
Most supplements are labeled with what’s in the supplement and the extras like binders, fillers, or flavourings.
It’s also important to remember that the term “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. After all, arsenic is perfectly natural but you wouldn’t want to ingest it. It’s important to look at how the supplement works in your body, how it’s prepared, and the dose used.
I talked about quality in my post about essential oils.
Supplements are similar in that it’s important to look for a reputable company who uses good quality ingredients.
Here in Australia, we have a two-tiered system for the regulation of medicines – high-risk and low-risk. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) relies upon manufacturers to self-report ingredients and quality. So look for the Aust-L number on the packaging.
You can overdose on some vitamins and minerals.
Antioxidants are another great way to keep your body in tip top shape. You do have to be careful with Vitamin E and A as they’re fat soluble. That means the extra can get stored in your body.
I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I feel it’s only fair to tell you that too much vitamin E over the long term can lead to an increased risk of bleeding in the brain and stroke. Too much vitamin A can lead to nausea, headaches, coma, and even death.
I know you won’t take that much!
But remember that some of your foods can be fortified. You will want to read the labels of your packaged foods and identify how much vitamins and minerals are already in your daily diet.
You need to be careful how you combine vitamins and minerals as some don’t play well with one another. Multivitamins that have everything in them aren’t going to be as good for you as some that are blended to work together.
InnerOrigin provides special blends to help with your heart, your gut, or your liver. They also have supplements to help with fertility, and others that are targeted to help you with overall fitness.
You should also talk with your medical advisers to see if there could be any negative interactions with your supplements. For example, vitamin K can reduce the ability of blood thinners.
St. John’s wort is often used for depression. However, it can speed up the breakdown of many drugs including antidepressants and birth control pills reducing their effectiveness.
Antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and beta carotene can reduce the effectiveness of some types of chemotherapy.
How Should You Take Supplements
When looking at using supplements that work for your body will depend upon your personal goals and how your body absorbs and utilizes the supplements.
One of the best ways to boost your general health and increase your immunity is by taking probiotics. The probiotics are good bacteria that live in your intestines. When you have strong gut health, you can fight off the bad stuff more easily.
You could also look into supplementing with antioxidants and superfoods.
Oxidation is when the air breaks down a substance. We see this all the time when we see something that’s rusting.
Antioxidants help fight the “free radicals” that get into our bodies allow us to stay younger and healthier for longer. The most common antioxidants are vitamins C and E and beta carotene.
Superfoods are very nutrient-dense foods that provide a powerful punch of nutrients to our bodies. Unfortunately there are only just so many salads we can eat and smoothies we can drink.
Taking a superfood supplement is a simple way of providing our bodies with a lot of the vitamins and minerals we need.
Liver health, breast health, prostate health
Taking fish oil with a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids will help keep your heart super healthy. You can get fish oil by eating fatty fish like tuna and salmon twice a week. However, some people prefer supplements.
Studies have shown that chromium may help people lose a small amount of weight and body fat.
Protein supplements can help your body recover after a focused heavy weight workout.
A recent study has discovered that people admitted to emergency departments suffering from hyperventilation attacks or panic attacks have a dramatically reduced serotonin level in their brains.
The good news for you is that vitamin B6 and iron play important roles in the body’s ability to create serotonin from tryptophan.
So, before you start having major anxiety, you can help your body help you manage stress by ensuring you have appropriate levels of B6 and iron when you eat foods that contain tryptophan including nuts, soybeans, salmon, eggs, and cheese.
As we get older, our joints get a little crankier. Yoga helps keep everything stretched out. And supplements like glucosamine can help keep your joints well lubricated easing any potential pain.
Calcium and Vitamin D are great for protecting your bones. Unfortunately, women are often at risk for osteoporosis after they reach menopause. Supplementing and doing weight bearing exercises will help keep your bone density strong.
Fighting A Cold
If you feel like you’re coming down with a bit of a cold, boost your immune system with vitamin C or Zinc. You can even take these supplements before you’re going to be in a crowd like if you’re going to a concert or a movie.
There are supplements both men and women can take to improve their fertility when trying to get pregnant. InnerOrigin has some options just for you.
Then once you’re pregnant, you will want to supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid to prevent spina bifida. Pregnant women can also suffer from anemia, so you’ll want to increase your intake of iron.
My Final Thoughts
A bad diet and stress will leave your body open to getting sick.
So, a good diet eating natural foods in season will keep you at your best. Meditation and mindfulness can help with reducing stress.
I do think supplements are a wonderful part of a good, healthy lifestyle.
You will want to journal a bit to identify areas where you need a little extra help and try different supplements. Make sure they’re high quality like what I offer through InnerOrigin.