Stop! Read and Listen – 13 Tips to Taking Supplements
The argument for and against vitamin supplements has raged on for years. Should we take pills and tablets to boost our health? Or should we just be able to get all the nutrients we need from a healthy balanced diet? While many people can indeed get everything their body needs from whole foods and a good diet, a number of us can consider taking supplements for a whole host of different reasons. These range from not enough daily vitamin D to women topping up iron levels when they’re menstruating. But, before you rush into taking supplements, have a look at 13 of our tips on vitamins & nutrients and how to take them the right way.
If there’s one supplement you’ve surely heard of or tried before, it’s probably the multivitamin. No matter what your age or gender, a good multivitamin/multimineral is a great way plug the gaps in your diet. Make sure to opt for a whole food based tablet.
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#2 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very popular for its potent antioxidant properties that help boost immunity amongst a number of other health benefits. Make sure to split your vitamin C intake into two smaller daily doses to improve absorption and keeps the blood level of the vitamin elevated all day. This also prevents gastrointestinal upset.
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#3 Glucosamine and Omega-3
Keep your bones and joints strong and healthy for longer with these two handy nutrients. They work in tandem so you can either choose a supplement that includes both or pair a glucosamine dose with fish oil tablets to get your Omega-3s.
#4 Avoid Weight Loss/Performance Enhancers
Weight loss pills and performance enhancers are a big no no. Not only can they just be a waste of money, but supplements like these should never be used in place of a good diet and exercise nor relied upon to achieve your goals, because they can have detrimental effects to your health.
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#5 Vitamin B
B vitamins can boost your energy and mood but people often make the mistake of taking B supplements at night, which can cause insomnia. Have them in the morning instead and because B vitamins can sometimes cause mild aches on an empty stomach, take them with food.
We all know the importance of calcium for kids to build strong bones, but it’s really important for adults too, especially women. If continually building up and maintaining adequate stores of calcium is difficult to obtain through diet alone, a calcium supplement is recommended.
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Stagger your vitamins throughout the day instead of taking them all at once, unless you’re taking one multivitamin. This gives your body a proper chance to absorb the vitamins and simulates a more organic level of intake.
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#8 Vitamin D
For those of us in countries of Northern & Western Europe, sadly we don’t often get enough vitamin D from the sun. This vitamin aids stronger bones, improved muscle function and protection from cardiovascular disease, so you should consider a supplement if you don’t get your recommended 30 minutes of direct sunlight a day!
Plan your meals and snacks according to the levels of vitamins in your supplements. If you take a multivitamin containing your recommended daily dose of folic acid, it’s best to avoid foods high in folic acid throughout the day. Balance your nutrition with your vitamins in order to achieve optimum health and wellness.
Probiotics are well known and much lauded these days for the boost that they give to your digestive system and overall immunity. Take these tiny organisms during mealtime for maximum effect.
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Iron is an essential mineral and the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. However, as you can actually overdose, it is highly recommended that you have your bloods tested and consult a doctor before embarking on iron supplements. You should also avoid taking iron at the same time as vitamin E as each nutrient is blocked by the other, so you’ll absorb lower levels of each one.
Protein supplements are ever popular. Although they can be extremely helpful for many people to make #gains, it’s important you don’t try to get all or the majority of your calories from shakes or use them to replace healthy, balanced meals.
Just take a look at the name: “supplement.” With a proper diet your body can get all the nutrients and vitamins that it needs. These products are meant to “supplement” a healthy diet and fill small gaps, not replace it.