We all know that we need some essential nutrients to get through each day, but not everyone knows what these supplements are or why they’re needed. The truth is that every person has different nutritional needs and a unique diet.
When it comes to supplements, there are many people who take them for no other reason than because “everyone else does”. Some believe that if you don’t take supplements, then you will have health problems later in life. Others feel that taking supplements is simply a waste of time and money.
However, studies show that taking supplements can help with certain conditions like high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, mental illnesses, and even aging. In fact, the FDA recently approved a number of new supplements based on scientific evidence.
So which supplements do you really need? Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
Calcium is one of the most basic minerals found in our bodies and is an essential component of bones. It helps maintain bone density, muscle contraction, and nerve function. Calcium also plays a role in blood clotting and the regulation of your heartbeat. If you’ve ever had a broken leg, you probably know how much calcium is necessary.
The body absorbs less than half its daily requirement from food sources, so supplementing with calcium is usually necessary in order to meet daily needs. You should be getting between 800-1,200 milligrams per day. Most adults get this amount by drinking milk and eating yogurt. Milk is a very common and easy source of calcium which many people overlook. The truth is that milk is a tasty and easily available source that should be used widely. There are many other products as well which can be made with milk. These products are also easily available. We must Buy Food and Health Supplements like milk.
This nutrient plays a role in bone growth and maintaining healthy teeth and skin. Vitamin D is also involved in regulating metabolism and the immune system. When you lack vitamin D, it can cause osteoporosis and increase your risk for heart disease.
In addition, vitamin D helps regulate the secretion of hormones in the brain that affect mood and behavior. There are many foods that contain vitamin D, including fortified dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and soy drinks.
If you haven’t been tested yet, or you’re trying to lose weight, then chances are good that you may be iron deficient. Iron is an essential element for proper functioning of the body, especially for red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body.
You can get enough iron from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy greens, and beans. However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, then you may be lacking iron and you should discuss supplementation with your physician. They may recommend a multivitamin or iron-rich food sources, like spinach, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, blackstrap molasses, lentils, and brown rice.
This B vitamin is essential for cell reproduction and normal growth and development, and it’s especially important during early pregnancy. Folate is also required for building DNA and RNA and for making proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This nutrient has been linked to preventing birth defects and reducing the risk of colon cancer and heart disease.
Women should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid per day, while men should get 600 micrograms of folic acid per day. However, if you’re pregnant, you should try to get more, since it’s beneficial to the fetus.
Zinc is a mineral that is necessary for hundreds of functions within the body, including wound healing, growth and development, immune response, gene expression, and energy production. Zinc is also vital for testosterone production and sperm development. One study showed that zinc deficiency causes a reduction in libido in both males and females.
Although you get zinc naturally in animal protein, vegetables, and grains (especially whole grains), it is difficult to obtain from the plant kingdom. As a result, you may need to supplement to make sure you’re getting enough zinc.
To see just how important zinc is, consider that a child born without zinc has a 50 percent chance of dying before age two. Adults who are zinc deficient also have decreased sex drive, reduced immunity, and difficulty concentrating.
There are eight different B vitamins: thiamine (vitamine B1), riboflavin (vitamine B2), niacin (vitamine B3), pantothenic acid (vitamine B5), pyridoxine (vitamine B6), folate (vitamine B9), cobalamin (vitamine B12), and biotin (vitamine H). Each of these B vitamins has different uses in the body.
For example, vitamin B1 is necessary for nervous system function, vitamin B2 works with vitamin A to aid in vision, vitamin B3 contributes to fat metabolism, vitamin B5 supports the digestive tract, vitamin B6 aids memory, vitamin B9 improves overall health, vitamin B12 is needed for proper blood formation, and vitamin H helps maintain healthy skin and hair. Not only that, but vitamins B1 and B3 can be combined together to create the amino acids leucine and lysine, which are necessary for muscle growth and repair.
Many vegans and vegetarians need to supplement their diets with B vitamins since they often lack these nutrients due to their low consumption of animal products. Vegans also need to ensure that they’re getting enough calories, since calorie intake can influence whether or not they are able to absorb adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Check out the best ways to improve your nutrition with these foods.
Your kidneys play an integral part in the transportation of water and salts around your body, but they also assist in producing enzymes that regulate metabolic processes and remove toxins and excess fluid from your body. Potassium is a major electrolyte, meaning that it acts as a carrier for electrical charges and helps keep your muscles and nerves working properly. You’ll find potassium in bananas, avocados, oranges, and tomatoes among other fruits and vegetables.
Potassium deficiencies can lead to fatigue, constipation, nausea, and low blood pressure. However, too much potassium can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. To avoid either scenario, try to eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, particularly those containing potassium.
It’s no secret that coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and caffeine. Caffeine is also known to provide some benefits when consumed in moderation. For instance, research shows that caffeine can reduce stress and prevent migraines.
One cup of coffee provides about 100 milligrams of caffeine, which falls under the category of “moderate consumption”. So if you drink four cups a day, you’d be consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is considered a low level of consumption. On the other hand, consuming five or six cups of coffee in a row would be classified as “high level consumption”. That means you should cut back on your coffee consumption, or better yet, switch to decaf!
While chromium is not considered a vitamin, it’s essential for numerous bodily functions. Chromium performs a variety of tasks, including helping the liver process sugar, converting food into fuel, and keeping insulin levels stable. Your body can also convert chromium to glucose, which could explain why some people experience cravings after eating bread or pasta.
As a result, people who suffer from diabetes require supplemental chromium. However, a daily dosage of 250 mcg is generally sufficient for healthy individuals.
Even though chromium isn’t technically a vitamin, it’s still important to get enough of it. If you want to learn more about the importance of chromium, read our article on how chromium affects your hormones.