Health Food Supplements You Should Know About | Living Healthy List

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Health Food Supplements You Should Know About

Wellness

Health food supplements (supplements) are one of the hottest selling products in the market these days.  In the US there are billions of dollars in sales every year. Recent surveys show that more than half of the adults in the U.S. use supplements in different forms, such as tablets, capsules, powders, soft gels, gel caps, and liquids.

Its’ not surprising that studies show a close correlation between health and nutrition.   When you have an insufficient amount of nutrients your body’s defense mechanism is weakened causing medical problems from the common cold to severe long-term illnesses. The higher use of health food supplements is attributed to public awareness of health issues and improved standard of living.

Types of Health Food Supplements

There are different types of supplements, including macronutrients (amino acids, proteins, essential fatty acids), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), enzymes (digestive enzymes and antioxidant enzymes), probiotics (beneficial bacteria in the gut), and herbal supplements.

Each of these supplements has unique functions in your body. They are either essential for life and good health, modulate our immune system or help with liver detoxification, digestion, mental clarity, etc.

Many people argue that there is no need to take health food supplements as long as you live a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet. While this may be true, the fact is many people find maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and eating a proper diet is difficult to achieve.

It’s no wonder that so many people are confused about what they should take.  I spend a lot of time explaining supplements to my clients and researching brands.  Check out this article on Superfoods & Juice on my blog!

 
Environment and health Food Supplements

Over the past few decades, the green revolution has changed the farming practices over the world. We use more chemical fertilizers, more pesticides to grow our food to increase harvest and shorten the growing time. As a result, soil nutrients and beneficial soil bacteria are rapidly getting depleted.   The produce we grow and eat today contains less micronutrient than ever.

A stressful lifestyle, improper eating habits, an imbalanced diet, and increased exposure to chemicals, environmental pollutants (air, water) and pesticides, drugs, hormones, heavy metals in foods also weaken our body gradually. Check out this Living Healthy List article about Toxins.

Although they can benefit your health, you should carefully choose the health food supplements you take.   Did you know that there is little regulation on the quality of health food supplements? The composition of some products may not match what the label claims.  Also, the quality of raw materials and the finished products are not guaranteed. I suggest that you read the labels carefully and only buy from reputable health food manufacturers,

 
General rules for buying health food supplements

1) Buy supplements made from whole foods, natural sources instead of synthetic. They are more bioactive, better absorbed, and less likely to be contaminated by chemicals such as coal tars used in chemical synthesis.

2) Protein-bonded vitamins and minerals (vitamins and minerals in organic form, binding to amino acids) are more bioactive than the inorganic forms.

3) Safe extraction methods, such as cold-pressed extraction or supercritical extraction eliminates harmful residue from chemical extraction.

4) Herbal concentrate and extract are usually more effective than raw herbs.

5) Organically grown or wildcrafted herbs are less likely to be contaminated by heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals.

6) Read the labels, do not consume more than the recommended dose.

7) Be careful when consuming certain herbal supplements, such as Ma Huang / ephedra, Kava Kava, comfrey, etc. Some studies have shown that these herbs may cause severe side effects to some people. Stop use if unusual signs appear after consumption.

8) Some health food supplements may interact with drugs, either by decreasing or increasing their effects. Consult your doctor if you are currently taking medications.

9) Pregnant and nursing women, people with specific medical conditions such consult the doctors when consuming health food supplements.

10) If in doubt, contact the supplement manufacturers or distributors for more information on their products.

11) Health food supplements are available in many places, such as grocery stores, health food stores, drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, department stores, online stores, etc. Be a smart consumer, compare the price and service before purchase.

 
Vitamins

Vitamins can be very useful, but remember it’s always better to get them from food!!  A vitamin is an organic compound essential to help your body grow and remain healthy. Essentially, a vitamin is a natural chemical. There are thirteen major essential vitamins and the lack of any one of them can lead to poor health and illness.

Vitamins come in two distinct types: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Of the major vitamins, A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and Vitamins B and C are water-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are not stored by the body so these need to be topped up regularly.

On the whole, if you have a normal well-balanced diet this should provide your body with the vitamins it needs, but if your diet is not fully balanced then you may need to supplement the vitamins you receive in your diet.

 
More about Vitamins

Vitamin B12 is found in meats so this is something vegetarians need to look out for. Vitamin C and B can be lacking in elderly people. People working on night shifts could have a lack of vitamin D as your body produces this during sunlight hours. Overworked people, people under pressure and people suffering from stress could be lacking in vitamin B and C. People on diets can also have a lack of these 2 vitamins. Vitamin B can be lacking in heavy drinkers and vitamin C deficiency can be a problem area for heavy smokers as well as heavy drinkers.

Most vitamins are taken by mouth. Some vitamins like vitamin B12  is often administered through injection by a qualified medical practitioner.

When you swallow vitamins y they have to pass through your digestive system. The strong stomach acids can destroy the effectiveness of the vitamin so it’s important that you take the recommended dose.  Not more or less, but the recommended dose.

 
Check out my favorite Whole Food Supplement!

 

I hope that i have given you useful information on health food supplements.  It’s so important to remember that even though you may eat  a healthy and well-balanced diet, the natural processes of your body can destroy some of potency which lessens the amount your body absorbs. If you want to help preserve their effectiveness than eating fresh foods and only cooking foods lightly will help increase the usefulness of the vitamins.

Vitamin supplements can help boost any vitamin deficiencies you may have and are most easily obtained in a tablet form.  You can buy multivitamins or single vitamin types.  The decision to take supplements is up to you unless you have been advised to take a vitamin supplement by your doctor.

Only take vitamins to help supplement a well-balanced diet and do not go overboard, so take vitamin supplements in moderation. Take only as much as you need and no more, and if your diet is as good as it should be, then you may not need any vitamin supplements. Remember that as the name suggests they are supplements and not designed to replace a balanced diet.

Be sensible and use vitamin supplements carefully. I recommend taking time off from all supplements, I recomend the 3 & 1 metod.  Take for 3 weeks and omit  for one week.

Much Love,

Suzanne

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