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4 Health Tips: How To Choose The Right Supplements

Many people turn to supplementation when they believe their diet to be insufficient for their lifestyles. Although this is a great idea, many people fail to understand how to choose the right supplement for their needs. Most people will head directly to the multivitamins, but this can sometimes prove a costly error. So what are some methods you can use to choose the supplement that is right for you?

clear glass bottle with brown and white medication pills

Why Do You Need Supplementation?

Some will say that all the vitamins and minerals you will ever need can come directly from your food. After all, isn’t this the most natural way to consume them? Well, the answer to this is a bit tricky because it is yes and no. Some people who suffer from certain diseases need extra supplementation over and above what food can provide. 

For example, people living with Celiac disease will typically take a raft of medicines to live a normal life. However, some medications interfere directly with the body’s normal functioning, so extra supplements are used to counteract these. In this example, those with Celiacs need a particular calcium pill similar to what Douglas Laboratories calcium citrate provides to stave off early-onset osteoporosis. While most people can get most of their calcium from their diet alone, a significant proportion of the population cannot get enough and therefore require supplement use. So what other factors are there that influence which supplements you can take?

  1. Your Age

Your age will have a considerable impact on which supplements to take. A doctor will usually tell you which one they believe will be most effective. The majority of the time, the following vitamins will be recommended for older people:

  • Calcium: Similar to sufferers of Celiacs disease, a high-quality calcium supplement will help keep the bones strong and protect against possible fracturing or breaks. This is more concerning as you age because the bones will naturally become thinner and more brittle. That, combined with the tendency for older people to eat less, results in a need for more calcium.
  • Vitamin D: This is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Most people get their required amount from the sun and certain foods, but older people are more likely to be confined indoors. This means a vitamin D supplement is needed.
  • Vitamin B6: This is vital for energy and for red blood cells to be formed. As you age, your blood cell count can decrease, so this is the best option for keeping your body doing what it is supposed to do.
  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin allows your body to keep the red blood cells healthy. Sometimes older people can have trouble absorbing it naturally from food.
  1. If You Are Pregnant

Women who are pregnant may need extra supplementation due to the fact they are eating for two. The fetus and subsequent child leeches away an enormous amount of nutrition from the mother, resulting in a healthy child but nutritionally starved mother. It is not always the case that the mother’s life is at risk, but the fact remains that they need extra help to maintain their health ready for birth. The most common supplement given to pregnant women is folic acid. It is a B vitamin critical for brain development and is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Furthermore, a doctor might administer additional supplements depending on how well the pregnancy is progressing.

  1. Extreme Athletes Need More

High-performance athletes will often need to take extra vitamins and minerals due to their extreme lifestyles. The supplements they need depend on what activities they perform. FOr example, weightlifters will take more Zinc and MAgnesium than the average person to help them recover faster. Similarly, endurance athletes often consume more electrolytes such as sodium and potassium due to excretion in the sweat.

  1. Those With Reduced Diets

People who choose a diet that excludes many essential vitamins and minerals from their diets will often need to take extra amounts in the form of supplements. The most obvious example is those choosing a vegan diet. While it can be a perfectly healthy diet, vegans tend to be deficient in specific B vitamins, notably B12. Unless you consume fortified foods with vitamin B12, there arenโ€™t many vitamin B12 present in vegan food. Therefore, vegans can enhance their diet by taking extra B12 or finding enriched food substitutes.

Most healthy people will get many of their daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from the food they eat. The use of supplements is beneficial for some people; however, some need them to remain healthy.

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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