07 Aug Your Quick Guide to Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are an ideal solution to ensuring your body receives the adequate nutrients to perform at its best. Although they’re not meant to take the place of a healthy well-balanced diet, when your diet lacks the proper vitamins and minerals or when certain health conditions cause you to develop a deficiency in these areas, dietary supplements are incredibly beneficial for helping to maintain your health.
There are a plethora of dietary supplements that come in many forms including shakes, energy bars, capsules, and powders. The key to choosing the right dietary supplement depends on your unique needs and health goals. Using them correctly is also important to prevent adverse effects.
In this guide, we’ll provide a quick overview of the benefits of taking dietary supplements, how to choose one that aligns with your personal goals, and what to avoid to achieve optimal results.
The Benefits of Dietary Supplements
Primarily, people take dietary supplements to make sure they’re getting enough essential nutrients to maintain or improve their health. Here are a few ways they can be beneficial for your wellness:
- Vitamin D and calcium keep your bones strong and reduces bone loss, which are helpful in diminishing the risk of osteoporosis
- Folic acid are helpful for pregnant mothers in decreasing the risk of certain birth defects
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils may help certain people with heart disease
- According to Colorado State University, B vitamins can help prevent ailments such as skin disorders, joint pain, nerve damage and anemia
- Multivitamins may also aid in tissue maintenance and repair
How to Choose the Best Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements range from vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to herbals and botanicals, enzymes, and more. In many cases, a multivitamin provides all the basic micronutrients your body needs to complement your daily diet. Yet, if you have more specific goals such as weight loss or you are at risk of certain health conditions, here are three steps to choosing the best dietary supplement for your personal journey:
Step 1 – Discover what it is you need
Understanding your goal will serve as a guide in picking the right supplement for your needs. Consider factors such as your age, the types of food you currently eat, the medical conditions you have, and what problems you’re at risk for.
Step 2 – Choose wisely
Do research on supplements, what they do (the benefits), and their risks. Know if it’s a product you take for a short period or every day. Do the benefits align with your health goal of losing weight, gaining muscle mass or boosting energy? If you’re in doubt on certain claims, ask your healthcare provider. Also, make sure you purchase products formulated by nutrition scientists.
Step 3 – Inform your doctor
Let your doctor or healthcare provider know what you’re taking especially if you’re on medications. They will ensure that its’ okay for your health and won’t counteract your medicines.
What to Avoid with Dietary Supplements
As mentioned, make sure to read the labels of your supplement to reap the full benefits. Is it better to take it with food or in between meals? Are there any warnings against taking it with other supplements or medications? Having this clarity in the beginning will help avoid any negative side effects.
Also, avoid mixing too many vitamin supplements, which can become harmful to your body. Know the exact quantities of each vitamin you are consuming by reviewing the ingredients. A vitamin overdose can cause serious ailments such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and fatigue.
When selecting the right supplement that best fits your needs and using them correctly to create optimal results, dietary supplements can be a great addition to your health regimen and overall wellness.
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