What You Should Know About Supplements And Essential Nutrients…
People are always asking me about this supplement and that supplement… Some “talking head” mentioned this on TV… Which supplement is better ?.. What supplements do you recommend / take ?.. There is so much information out there, going in every direction, its hard to keep it all straight. Supplements are nice but surprisingly, i only take / recommend consuming a few on a daily basis.
Food vs supplements
In most cases, food is better. It is easy to get your 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C by supplementing with a pill. However, you can also accomplish the same thing by eating a large orange. Whole foods, like fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy products have benefits you can’t get in a pill. Whole foods contain a variety of nutrients your body needs, not just one. Supplementation is appropriate to “fill in the gaps” if a person is on a strict / limited diet plan, or has a deficiency of some kind, or you have some kind of intolerance to certain foods (like dairy). For instance, if you don’t eat the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods, you may benefit from a multivitamin that contains a variety of essential nutrients. Multivitamins can also be helpful if you are a strict vegetarian or have a disease or condition that doesn’t allow you to digest or absorb nutrients properly. Older age and certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, also can make it difficult to get all the nutrients you need from food.
Women and supplements
There are a few other situations when this also makes sense, especially for women. If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, certain nutrients, such as calcium, folic acid and iron. These are needed more than ever to protect your health and the health of your developing baby. Supplementing your diet with additional calcium and vitamin D is often considered crucial following menopause to protect against osteoporosis and the risk of fractures.
Recommended Daily Supplements
I personally recommend only one or two general supplements which are a MUST HAVE for everyday health and maintenance. However, i have a few others which can be OPTIONAL, but are a good idea to which i call the “insurance plan”… To cover all the bases and check all the boxes. Here is what i recommend:
Multi VitaminRecommendation: MUST HAVE
It is not news to most but it is important to have, at the very minimum, a good quality multivitamin to help meet or exceed daily dietary requirements. studies indicate that taking a daily multivitamin mineral supplement may increase the immune response in older adults, while other studies suggest supplementation may weaken the immune response. Any of these fine brands will do.
Vitamin CRecommendation: OPTIONAL
Vitamin C / ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that maintains healthy tissue and helps the body absorb iron. It also plays a role in wound healing. Studies have shown that eating foods high in vitamin C can lower rates of cancer and heart disease. Recommended Dietary Allowance: 75 milligrams (mg)/day (adult women), 110 mg/day (women who smoke), 90 mg/day (adult men), 125 mg/day (men who smoke).
Vitamin DRecommendation: OPTIONAL
Vitamin D / calciferol helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral that’s responsible for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. This vitamin also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because your skin produces it after being exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Research Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium can prevent or slow osteoporosis and reduce bone fractures. A growing body of research also suggests that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing muscle pain and weakness, autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis), cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. In addition, vitamin D deficiency appears to be a growing problem in the United States. As a result, supplemental vitamin D is commonly recommended for many people. Adequate Intake: 200 international units (IU)/day (adults ages 19 to 50), 400 IU/day (adults 51 to 70), and 600 IU/day (adults 71 or older). Despite current recommendations, many experts now believe that adults should get at least 800 to 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D. Some even advise getting up to 2,000 IU/day.
Omega−3 fatty acids also called Omega-3 oils are polyunsaturated fatty acids and are widely distributed in nature.There are different types of omega-3s: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Common sources of plant oils containing ALA include walnut, edible seeds, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil, while sources of animal omega−3 fatty acids EPA and DHA include fish, fish oils, eggs from chickens fed EPA and DHA, squid oils and krill oil. Adequate Intake: Your body can turn ALA into DHA and EPA, though not very efficiently (only about 15% of the plant-based ALA can be converted to DHA and EPA in the body). So, many dietitians recommend getting DHA and EPA from supplements. While there’s no standard recommendation for how many omega-3s we need, dietitians consider the Adequate Intake (AI) for adults to be 1600 milligrams (mg) for men and 1100 mg for women.
Potassium is an electrolyte that is critical to the function of nerve and muscle cells, including those in your heart. Some studies indicate that low potassium may contribute to hypertension, and that increasing potassium intake through diet may help prevent or help treat this problem. Other studies indicate that increased potassium intake is linked with a lower risk of stroke, but more research is needed. Adequate Intake: 4,700 milligrams/day (adults).
Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. It’s also needed for your heart, muscles and nerves to function properly. Research findings: Many Americans don’t get enough calcium in their diets. However, calcium supplements can help prevent deficiencies that can lead to bone loss and the brittle bone disease osteoporosis — especially when taken regularly and combined with vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D, taken in combination with prescribed medications, can also be used to help treat osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (osteopenia). Adequate Intake: 1,000 milligrams (mg)/day (adults ages 19 to 50); 1,200 mg/day (adults 51 and older and postmenopausal women of all ages). For the best absorption, limit supplemental doses to 500 to 600 mg at one time and space doses evenly throughout the day.
Magnesium is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body, helping maintain normal heart rhythm, immune system and muscle function. Low magnesium levels are linked with a variety of conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis and poorly controlled diabetes. Use of certain medications, such as diuretics and some antibiotics, also may affect magnesium levels. Recommended Dietary Allowance: 310 milligrams (mg)/day (women ages 19 to 30), 320 mg/day (women 31 or older), 400 mg/day (men 19 to 30), 420 mg/day (men 31 or older).
When starting some sort of fitness goal / lifestyle… Some individuals focus WAY TOO MUCH on what they should be “taking” instead of adhering to their diet / workout routines. Supplementation, while important, represents very little in a persons routine. Sticking to your diet / workout plan should be the higher priority.
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