When it comes to supplements, there’s no shortage of what you could be taking. Have you taken a trip to your local health food store lately? There are aisles and aisles of supplements in many, and some supermarkets even have entire walls dedicated solely to different vitamin and mineral supplements.
With so many to choose from we might begin to wonder what ones we really need. Are all of these supplements really that necessary? And if not, are there certain supplements that we should actually be taking on a regular basis?
All the supplements that are offered aren’t really all that necessary. Many of them are marketed to make you think they are, but not taking them isn’t going to make you any worse off. There are ingredients you need, and ingredients you don’t need, both of which can be found in supplemental form.
When and Why You Should Take a Supplement
While you don’t need to supplement for everything, the supplements you should be taking are for good reasons. Some of these reasons include:
You Eat the Standard American Diet (SAD)
Maybe you don’t eat quite this bad, you wouldn’t think of it, right? Our world however, is full of processed foods and quick solutions to our busy lifestyle. Unfortunately there is zero nutritional value in this food. We are simply not getting what we need as far as nutrition is concerned by eating the food that is regularly available to us. The more you eat this way, the more nutrients your body needs supplemented to function properly.
Our Nutrition Absorption Declines with Age
As we get older, how well we absorb nutrients begins to decline. Making sure to get a supplement is a sure-fire way to get the nutrition we need as our bodies processes begin to change. Also when people begin to age, they often take medications to help them with other conditions. Taking a supplement will help replace nutrients lost from taking some of these medicines.
There is Underexposure to Vital Nutrients in our Food Supply
Even if you’re eating the best you can, you still aren’t likely to be getting all the nutrients you really need. Conventional farming methods eventually deplete the soil of its nutrients by repeatedly growing crops in the same place. The soil loses nutrients faster than it can replace them, and we’re left with plants that contain 75 percent less phytonutrients than normal. Aside from this, most fruits and vegetables are not picked fresh and sit around for months sometimes before they are consumed.
You’re Exposed to Environmental Toxins
We are exposed to environmental toxins every single day. Even if you live out in the country, free from the hustle and bustle of urban areas you’re certainly not immune. Your body needs vital nutrients to deal with toxins, and the more toxins you’re exposed to the more nutrients you’ll need to keep them out of your body. If you know you’re surrounded by toxins every day, which you most likely are, taking a supplement is probably a good idea.
There are only a few essential supplements that everyone pretty much agrees are a great benefit to good health. The next time you ask yourself what supplements you should be taking, turn to the following and you’ll have everything your body needs.
5 Basic Supplements You Really Need
There are a handful of supplements that are actually beneficial for the body and can be taken on a regular basis to maintain optimal health. Forget about a cabinet full of supplements and opt for the following five essentials instead. Always make sure your vitamins are sourced from all natural ingredients so you’re getting what you really need and to ensure the best absorption in your body.
Almost everyone agrees on taking a multivitamin every day. You’re bound to be missing out on something in your diet. Taking a daily multivitamin will make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need just in case you’re lacking in certain vitamins.
By no means is taking a multivitamin an excuse to indulge in not-so-healthy eating habits. You should always try and maintain a well-balanced diet, allowing the supplement to fill in the gaps.
1000-3000 IU is the daily recommended dosage of this “feel good” vitamin, yet many of us don’t even come close to that especially in climates that face longer, colder winters. It’s mainly sourced from the sun, and long, dark days can leave us deficient in vitamin D.
Not only is vitamin D responsible for making us feel good, but it also reduces the risk of diabetes and certain cancers. It is also necessary for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.
It is vital to only take the recommended dosage of vitamin D, as large amounts can be toxic. This can happen if you take 40,000 IU per day for a couple of months or longer, or may be toxic if you take a very large one-time dose.
Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The name pretty much says it all. Your essential omega-3 fatty acids are just that. Essential. Your omega-3s can be found in fish oils, flax oils, and some nut oils. They are necessary for good brain function, they protect your heart, and help to lubricate your joints.
Not everyone always gets these essential fatty acids from their food, which is what makes taking it in supplemental form so vital. DHA is what you should be looking for and it’s recommended to take 600 mg daily.
While not everyone would consider probiotics to show up on every list of essential supplements, there are those that swear they should be taken in supplemental form if you know you’re not getting enough through food sources.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are necessary to aid digestion. They’re known to be “good” because they are essential to keeping your gut healthy.
These good bacteria are normally present in our bodies, but we sometimes lose them for a number of different reasons like taking antibiotics or being exposed to environmental stresses. If not regularly replaced through sources such as yogurt, keifer, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, miso soup, and dark chocolate, it is highly recommended you take some sort of probiotic supplement form.
While you don’t hear too much about magnesium, it happens to be super important for your body. Almost 80 percent of Americans are deficient in it. Supplements of magnesium come highly recommended.
Every single cell in the body depends on magnesium to function. Just like calcium, it is needed for strong bones and healthy teeth, and it is essential for a healthy nervous system. That vitamin D you’re taking every day? That won’t work without the proper levels of magnesium. Magnesium is key. Don’t overlook how essential this vitamin truly is.