Supplements were considered unnecessary a few years back. With an ever evolving lifestyle focussed on fast foods and quick meals, the focus on nutrition in food has taken a southward dip. To add to this, the increasing use of pesticides and other environmental toxins causing havoc in our food chain. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies in kids and adults alike is considered to the be the root cause of many ailments that people suffer from today.
More and more people are realizing the need to get support from external (as natural as possible) sources to cover for these shortfalls in nutrients. Herbal and other supplements now find prominent space on super market shelves. Most of these supplements can be purchased over-the-counter without any prescription. So are these supplements really giving you what they promise or they are causing more harm than good.
Supplements For Your Kids
In the next year, an estimated four million babies will be born in the United States. One in nine of these babies will be born pre-term, a leading cause of developmental delays and neurological disabilities in children. To help address the nutrient deficiencies that cause many of these health issues, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) now recommends that all women capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 µg of folic acid daily and ensure adequate iron and calcium levels.
Healthy children who are physically active and well-rounded do not necessarily need supplements to amp up their health. Most whole foods contain the required nutrients for your child’s good health. If you are planning on including vitamin supplements to your child’s diet, it may be time to think again because the intake of excess amounts of vitamins may actually be detrimental to health.
Beauty And Dietary Supplements
In a world where most people are workaholics, eating right and getting enough sleep have become Utopian endeavors. Essential vitamins are required to get us back on our feet and although it might surprise you, certain beauty supplements have outstanding effects.
One of the greatest myths the media loves to perpetuate is that the dietary supplement industry is not regulated. The truth is that all dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialty products must conform to federal regulations that control manufacturing, labeling and advertising practices.
Supplements And Diabetes
Diabetic symptoms may include: high levels of blood sugar, increased thirst, increased need to urinate, increased appetite, tiredness, recurring or hard-to-heal skin infections, blurred vision, tingling or loss of feeling in the hands or feet and dry, itchy skin. If left uncontrolled, high blood sugar may result in serious complications. Diabetes supplements and nutrients can ease some of the burden.
Supplemental chromium has beneficial effects on HbA1c, glucose, insulin, and cholesterol variables. Banaba extract has an “insulin-like principle” and ability to reduce blood sugar. The herb Gymnema Sylvestre is capable of lowering blood glucose levels. Bitter melon can significantly improve glucose tolerance and Grape Seed Extract improves venous blood flow.
Multivitamin And Calcium Supplements
In the past, nutrients were needed only to carry out our basic functions like digestion and hormone production. But due to the toxins we are exposed to today, our detox systems need a lot more nutrients to flush them out and keep us away from headaches, fatigue and eczema. Even if you are healthy, support your diet with multivitamins to help the detox process.
Vitamin supplements have a mix of nutrients, some of which we lack in our day to day diet and some that can be damaging when consumed in excess. Like vegans might require calcium as they avoid dairy products. An excess of nutrients can cause ailments than prevent them, eg: excess zinc reduces immunity. So stick to a balanced diet and avoid supplements.
To absorb calcium, Vit D is needed but to maintain healthy calcium levels in your body, magnesium, Vit K2 and phosphorus are needed as well. Calcium carbonate, used in supplements, needs stomach acids to solubilize and ionize it. As we age, stomach acids reduce making this form of calcium intake ineffective and increase risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Supplements And Fitness
Supplements are the biggest kink in the fitness chain. Some people put way too much value in them while others mistakenly shun them completely. Some people buy into the latest fad and hype, regardless of lack of credible research or real life success. Others miss out on some great scientific discoveries because they are jaded by all the crap that’s out there, so they write all supplements off as a waste of money.
Eating healthy prevents binging on unhealthy sugar laden, refined carbohydrates. Foods like sodas, pastas, breads and potatoes cause low level inflammation in the body, causing weight gain and deterioration to health. Eat low-glycemic foods like berries, leafy greens, yogurt, eggs, lean meats and seafood, lean proteins and healthy fats with each meal.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that inhabit the human intestinal tract. According to studies, probiotic supplements can help weight loss. However, it is important to note that just because one strain of bacteria in a given species has a proven action does not mean that another strain will as well, even if they are closely related. So, choose wisely.