There are so many options nowadays when it comes to supplements it can be a bit of a struggle deciding which works best and how effective they really are. Are they worth all the hype and money? We have choices from vitamin A to Zinc. However, the important thing to remember when choosing a supplement is finding one that suits your diet and lifestyle. There are some nutrients you can only get by the foods you consume or by supplementing as the human body does not produce them. We will look at some of the nutrients the body is unable to produce.
Often referred to as healthy fats that protect against heart-related conditions and cancer, these fats are also important in helping the blood to clot and developing cell membranes in the brain. It is also important in helping to maintain hair health and giving it that extra shine. Omega-3 fats are generally found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna. The recommended serving per week according to the American Heart Association is two serving or (3.5-ounce portions). Omega- 3’s are also present in some nuts and seeds such as flaxseed. It is good to note that not all omega-3’s are the same and if you decide to supplement it is best to speak with your health care professional on the best one to suit your needs.
The human body does not create vitamins, as such if you cannot get it from the foods you consume then supplementing is an alternative to consider. Vitamin A for example is linked to increased brain function, vision, and cell health. The body has the ability to turn the antioxidant beta carotene found in colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, apricots, mangoes, asparagus, broccoli, and kale. There is a wide assortment of B vitamins, these vitamins support cell metabolism. Vitamin C aids the body to produce protein and is recommended to stave off the common cold. Fruits like strawberries, citrus fruits, and peppers are rich in Vitamin C. It is always better to consume whole fruits as opposed to juice as most of the fiber is removed from the juice. The body possesses the ability to produce small portions of Vitamin D, by converting sunlight absorbed through the skin. This vitamin is important in helping the body to absorb calcium and aids in bone health
Iron is one of the most recognized minerals and the lack of it contributes to fatigue and other serious health issues. Another mineral the body needs to aid in hydration is potassium. Meanwhile, calcium plays an important role in bone health. One of the most problematic minerals is sodium as too much can result in various health problems. Most of the vegetables we consume are rich in iron, similarly fresh fruits and whole grains. Milk is also generally fortified with iron. Bananas are very rich in potassium it is also found in other fruits. Health care providers generally state that we can get enough sodium from the foods we eat and recommend using table salt as an additive to whatever meals we prepare.
Water makes up 60% of our body weight; however, the body doesn’t make water. While you may not think water is an essential nutrient it is very important. It carries other nutrients as well as oxygen to cells. Water is essential in keeping our temperatures regulated and feeds our muscles and skin. It is recommended that adults drink 64 ounces of water daily, eight ounces at a time.
Everyone’s body is different as such while we can get all the nutrients from our diet and may not need to add them in the form of supplements, some people are genetically wired to produce more or less of these essential nutrients. It is always best to speak with a health care professional especially if you are relying primarily on supplements for essential nutrients. They can best advise you of the correct qualities and quantities you should be taking.