May 31, 2011 | Posted by: Amy Wermuth
In the news as of late, we have been seeing articles popping up regarding supplements and whether they are good or bad for you. What are the benefits of supplements? You may have even heard “water cooler” discussions on the pros and cons of taking vitamins and supplements. Every one has an opinion. Are they good for you? Will your body learn to depend too much on supplements? Does you body not find nutrients on it’s own from the foods you eat if you are taking extra supplements? The bottom line is that taking supplements properly never hurts. So, this will need most all of you to ask? How do you take supplements correctly? It is all about balance.
Every time you take a vitamin or supplement, it should be to stay in balance or to get back into balance. Then when you are in balance, you do not need to take them. Now there are several reasons to take vitamins continually, but unless you have an imbalance, health issue, or exercise regime, you do not need to take them. Taking vitamins, minerals and other supplements only when needed keeps you in balance. This keeps the benefits of supplements in check.
Let’s consider the typical US diet shall we?
The typical American diet is too high in omega 6 fatty acids and way too low in omega 3 fatty acids. These facts and the money that can be made from them are the reasons fish oil has lots of research that led to the recommendations that everyone should take it. No one really makes any money telling you to mind your veggies do they? But, there are benefits of supplements when taken properly, when you consider that there are 3 vitamins and minerals that affect your omega fatty acids levels. If you are deficient in them, you need supplements. Listen to your body. Get regular blood tests to see what your levels are. Being tested for levels is simple and non-invasive. Why get tested? There are few top reasons that come to mind - to save money, to prevent over or under usage of supplements (which can lead to illness in the future), and last but not least, your education. You may be not need any omega 3 fatty acids, but you may be deficient in one of the vitamins involved in this process. Understanding the true benefits of supplements is the key to your health, both short term and long term.
Of coarse the quality of the supplements you take is important too. All to often cheap supplements do not have as much of the nutrient in them as the label claims. Again, that is why education is vital. Just as the meals you eat every day should be healthy, so too the vitamins and minerals you take. Not all things are created equal. Just because the label says vitamin A, does not mean it is high quality vitamin A.
Speaking of those meals, most of us have nutritional needs because our diet is lacking in proper nutrients. This is another reason to consider the benefits of supplements. Anyone considering taking supplements because they feel they need them should first consider better eating habits. The typical American diet is completely lacking in good nutrition and many consumers turn to the benefits of supplements and start taking them before they adjust their diet in any way. The truth of the matter is that the typical American diet is packed with ingredients that increase inflammation and the risk for many disease including hearth disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. Simply taking a supplement will not remove these ingredients from your diet. But modifying you not so healthy eating habits can reduce these issues. The benefits of supplements are at their best when you take these things into consideration.
We certainly hope this bit of news regarding supplements, their benefits versus you eating habits, helps you better understand all those opinions you hear out there. A healthy lifestyle takes into consideration far more than just eating vitamins. Remember, there are great benefits of supplements, but only high quality vitamins and supplements.