We are used to seeing food packagings such as cereals, vegetables and fruit juices bragging about how their products are packed full of vitamins and minerals, but what’s so important about these things, and where else can we source them from? From helping the body turn the food you digest into fuel, improving eyesight, strengthening bones, improving the look of the skin and, overall, keeping you healthy, having plenty of vitamins and minerals in your diet is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
There are so many sources of vitamins and minerals in the form of fruits, vegetables and even supplements, so it’s not difficult to get the right amount of the right type of nutrients in your diet. Whilst it is true that the average adult diet will include plenty of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need, it never hurts to be more aware of what you are consuming and adding supplements into your diet for extra benefits. After all, it is vitamins and minerals which keep us alive, healthy and kicking—you can’t put a price on good health.
There has been a massive “trend” over the last few years in terms of supplements and it seems that, now, you can buy supplements for almost anything. Whether you are looking for supplements that will boost the vitamins in your diet or others which will help you perform better at sport, burn fat quicker, or eliminate sugary cravings for your diet, there are plenty on the market.
Are they all hot air, though, or do they actually work? Although the average consumer doesn’t need to know very much about vitamins, it never hurts to be more aware of some of the basics.
#1: What Types of Supplement are Best?
This is a very broad question! There are so many different types of supplement on the market, from plain old Omega-3 fish oils and Vitamin Cs to detox nutrients, B-Complex capsules and immunity boosters such as B Subtilis, and it can be very easy to get lost amongst all the lingo and impressive-sounding products. Before you go ahead and start buying lots of different bottles of vitamin and mineral supplements, it is always a good idea to think about your lifestyle and perform a little research. When you do this, you can figure out exactly where your current diet is lacking (i.e. are you not getting much fresh fruit and vegetables? Then plain old vitamin supplements will do the job.)
It’s always a good idea to choose a reputable manufacturer of vitamins and supplements too, who follow approved processes in a controlled environment. Whilst there are many on the market, Thorne Research is a reputable doctor-trusted manufacturer. They are very popular amongst people who regularly use supplements and you can find Thorne Research via Blue Sky Vitamin. Thorne Research by far offers the widest range of supplements that you can find on the internet. As a research-intensive manufacturer of supplements, they have supplemental products to cover virtually everything your body could ever need.
Most people don’t need to take vitamin and supplements and are able to get everything they need from a regular balanced diet. For some, though, especially young professionals working awful hours, it can be hard to follow a balanced diet, and this is where supplements come in. Lots of people choose to take supplements and, whilst there’s nothing wrong with taking them when you don’t need them, you get the maximum benefit from supplements when they are taken to provide a balance of nutrients when you don’t follow an optimum diet.
#2: Which are the Most Popular Types of Vitamin Supplement?
This is where most people fall down and that is when they are not taking the right vitamin supplements! After all, there’s very little point taking something which you don’t need. It’s always a good idea to start with your dinner plate. Take note of what you are eating and find out which vitamins, minerals and nutrients you are getting from your typical diet. From there, you can find out which vitamins you aren’t getting from your food intake and buy the right supplements.
Three of the most common vitamins and minerals which people miss out of their diets tend to be –
- Vitamin D– Out of all the vitamins, Vitamin D is by far one of the most important for humans. It is obtained naturally through sun exposure and is very difficult to get out of food alone. If you live in an area with low amounts of natural light, then it is more likely you will have a Vitamin D deficiency. If you are a person with darker toned skin, then taking a Vitamin D supplement is something which should be done year-round.
- Iron – Research has shown that almost 30% of women have a low amount of iron. It can typically be found in meats, especially red meat, but if you are a vegetarian then you can keep your iron levels topped up by taking a daily iron supplement.
- Vitamin B12 –If you are a vegan then this is one vitamin which you are virtually guaranteed to be lacking in! It is mostly found in animal products such as red meats, much like iron, and it is very important for a healthy immune system and functional nervous system. It is used to make red blood cells.
Other important vitamins and minerals which can be missed out on with an unsuitable diet include the likes of calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.
#3: How Much Should I Take?
Again, this depends on you – your age, gender, general health and whether or not you are pregnant should all be taken into account. Don’t worry, though, because there are several signs you can look out for which will be an indicator that you are getting too much of something. Each supplement has its own warning signs, so it is important that you do your own research into the supplements you are taking and find out what the signs of taking too much are.
The supplements industry is heavily regulated, and manufacturers must, by law, state lots of information on their bottles and packaging. This information includes dosage and everything else you could ever need to know; these companies very much do their homework for you so that you don’t have to. Whenever you add a new supplemental product to your diet, it is important to read the label properly and head for the internet in search of a fact sheet so that you can see what you should be taking and what the signs of “overdosing” are. There is plenty of literature on virtually all supplements available on the market from several trusted sources, so doing your research is very, very easy.
When it comes to supplements, using them in the right way can be amazing tools which highly benefit your body and help you feel in great shape. At the end of the day, it all comes down to who you are as an individual, your age, health and what your body is lacking. Being mindful about what enters your body is not just important in terms of food, but in terms of vitamins, minerals and supplements, too.