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Do We Really Need to Take Supplements?

During pregnancy iron supplements taken can substantially reduce the risk of anemia and perinatal complications in expectant mothers. Similarly, periconceptionalfolate supplements substantially reduce the risk of neural tube defects (abnormalities that occur in the brain, spinal column or spine of a developing embryo).

In these particularly exceptional cases above, taking certain types of supplements are a must. The same goes for situations where individuals are diagnosed with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or conditions such Celiac. But in situations where there are no medical conditions present, do we really need to take supplements to improve our healthy like we do?

Are Supplements Beneficial to Health?

We certainly can live without supplements but the thing is, we are likely going to be missing out on some very essential nutrients our bodies need to function at its best.

Looking at our fast lifestyles these days, many of us do not have the time to properly stalk our health and give it the necessary elements it needs. In addition, we have certain groups of people who skip on some meals like our vegan and vegetarian friends as well as those on weight loss diets. Hence, a lot of us do not have the necessary amounts of nutrients need to function on a daily basis.

Also, the soils, on which our food grows these days, have been depleted of some of its original minerals and elements. Again, after harvest, the foods are preserved with chemicals because they take a long time to get to us. Considering these facts, our foods are no longer fresh and organic by the time we consume them; a majority of the nutrients are already depleted.

That said, however, it is not all supplements that we have to take into our systems. The trick is to observe your lifestyle, identify the nutrient areas you have been skipping out of your diet and take the necessary supplements that will stock up on the missing nutritional element. Because supplements are only designed to fill in the gaps of our dietary intake.

Health professionals caution that it is wise to supplement only for a known deficiency or specific purpose. Otherwise, we do not only waste money but cause harm to ourselves too.

Recommended Daily Supplements

According to experts, everyone needs a variety of nutrients each day to stay healthy. Which is why the need to take in a balanced diet on a daily basis from the basic food groups (dairy, protein foods, fats & oils, grains, fruits, and vegetables) has been stressed on since time immemorial. But this, due to our lifestyle and the state of our environment now, has caused to be living on imbalanced diets.

Let’s look at some of the essential supplements our bodies need to function well.

1. Multivitamins

These are for general well-being. Most contain vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins. These vitamins provide good eyesight, keep our body cells healthy, protects our bones and teeth, gives us healthy skin, needed for blood clotting and provide us with a healthy nervous system respectively.

Folate is found in the B vitamins. It is not only for expectant mothers but essential for everyone since it has been linked to improving cardiovascular health and cognitive abilities.

It is necessary to check with your doctor for the recommended daily intake of these vitamins.

2. Garlic Supplements

These boost our immune system. Research shows that garlic may help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Also, garlic is thought to be good for the heart and aids in the circulation of blood. Hence, it is important to take these in reasonable amounts.

3. Fish Oils

These provide Omega 3 fats which are good for our heart health. They also keep our joints healthy, boost brain power and prevent blood clots. If you don’t eat ample amounts of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout, these are supplements you should be taking.

It is recommended we eat 2-3 portions of oily fish a week, so check how this translates into the dosage of a pill you can take.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium keeps our muscles and nerves working. It aids in controlling blood sugar levels as well. It is recommended that adults take 270 to 400 milligrams a day of magnesium.

5. Iron

Because blood volume grows during pregnancy, iron supplements are needed to provide a healthy environment to the baby. Iron helps our bodies to generate new red blood cells. These cells allow our bodies to have fresh oxygen. Iron deficiency translates into anemia and the body developing infections. Feeling tired and short of breath is also a symptom of not having enough amount of iron in your system.

The Way Forward with Supplements

In actual fact, all the nutrient our bodies need to function should be got from food but unfortunately, that’s not what is happening. We are not eating balanced meals. This is the reason why we need to take supplements. So before taking supplements, here some cautionary details to keep in mind.

1. Speak to a professional for advice on the particular supplements you need to take.
2. Do not go beyond the recommended dosages prescribed for you. Too much of everything is bad and so are supplements. For instance, taking high doses of vitamin E interferes with the body’ ability to clot blood.
3. Supplements are not to be replaced with food. Therefore, eat as healthily as you can.


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