Food supplements: Do you really need them?

The whole world is in panic, caused by the new coronavirus.

Countries are under quarantine, shops are empty, people literally fight for a pack of toilet paper.

In times like these, it is vital to stay both calm and safe.

This includes rational thinking, not letting panic make us sick and taking care of our health.

Please, stay at home until the crisis is over – this way you will save yourself and your loved ones, which may be at higher risk!

Let’s fight against this disease together – we are so much stronger when we unite!

In this article, we will talk about food supplements, which have become even more popular since the coronavirus is taking over the world.

A lot of people buy stacks of multivitamins, vitamin C, iron, etc.

Some pharmacies do not have any left.

Do these supplements really work though and can they actually help us in a way?

We shall find out in a minute!

What are food supplements?

Food supplements are also known as dietary or nutritional supplements.

Their role is to provide nutrients we may not get in sufficient quantities.

Vitamins, minerals, amino and fatty acids, as well as other substances, in the form of pills, tablets, liquids, etc. are considered to be food supplements.

What is more, there are different doses and combinations on the market.

The European Union regulates nutritional supplements as foods.

There are specific requirements for the sources, used from companies that produce them.

Are food supplements necessary?

A survey has found that more than half of the American population takes one or more food supplements either every day or from time to time.

If they really need it, it is a completely different question.

Our bodies need a certain amount of each nutrient, which makes its overconsumption unnecessary and in some cases, dangerous.

Even natural substances, called β€œbotanicals”, can have side effects if used excessively.

You can buy food supplements without a prescription.

Therefore it is quite easy to get them.

However, here are some things you should have in mind:

Supplements do not substitute a healthy and balanced diet.

A lot of people think they may compensate for their unhealthy way of eating by taking a few different vitamins and minerals.

In fact, nutrients in food may be processed differently (meaning better) by our bodies than those from supplements.

If you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein may give you the whole range of nutrients you need daily.

However, people in certain groups may need to take food supplements in order to improve their condition.

Some examples include:

Women who are in childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding – they should aim for adequate quantities of iron, folate, and vitamin D.

People over the age of 50 – vitamin B12, vitamin D, and folate are very important for people as they age.

What is more, individuals who suffer from age-related macular degeneration may benefit from using a combination of vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Age-related macular degeneration can be slowed down by taking good care of your eyes.

You can start doing that by downloading Iris and reading our articles, reviewing this topic.

Iris is a blue – light blocking software with a few different modes you can choose from.

With Iris, you will be able to use your device even in the evening without having trouble falling asleep.

This is due to the fact that Iris blocks the blue light emitted from the screen.

You can download it from our website and read our articles on our blog.

Vegans – it is recommended that people who follow a vegan diet, take vitamins B12 and D because they can not be delivered from vegan food.

Food supplements may have side effects if used inappropriately.

Remember that the label β€œnatural” on a product does not always mean β€œsafe” or β€œhealthy”.

More on the risks of taking a food supplement later on in the article!

Consider what is the daily recommended amount of any vitamin or mineral before using a supplement of it.

Find out if you can get or if you are getting enough of it from food.

If so, always go for this option.

Before deciding for any food supplement though, we advise you to consult with a medical professional.

Only a qualified specialist can prescribe you the right amount of any nutrient you may need.

Risks

Even though most food supplements do not have critical side effects, some of them may cause health issues.

Especially if you exceed the recommended daily dose.

Besides, it may not be advisable to take any nutritional supplements if you have certain conditions or take some medications.

For this reason, you have to read the labels on the vitamins you consider taking and figure out if they are suitable for you.

If you are about to undergo surgery, have in mind that some supplements may have an effect on the way you react to anesthesia.

  • an excessive amount of vitamin A may cause headaches, liver damage, reduced bone strength, and birth defects;
  • vitamins C and E may reduce the effect of some types of cancer chemotherapy;
  • St. John’s wort can reduce the effectiveness of some medications like antidepressants and heart medications for example;
  • the herbs comfrey and kava can be the reason for liver damage.

Conclusion

Food supplements have a high demand not only in times of pandemic but usually.

People who lead a stressful lifestyle or have an unhealthy diet think multivitamins can prevent future health issues.

The situation, however, is kind of different.

Whole food supplements may be needed sometimes, other cases totally exclude their use.

Therefore, as always, we advise you to seek professional medical help before buying a dietary supplement.

You may not need it and do yourself more bad than good, or you may need something else.

The essentials for a healthy lifestyle, both for the body and for the mind, are a balanced diet, everyday activity and the ability to manage stress.

Last but not least, please stay safe by staying home and be aware!

Do not panic but be aware of what is happening around the world.

Protect yourself and your loved ones, and if you need any medical help, call your doctor!

Believe and pray and everything will be fine!

 

 

 

Author: Ilina Stoyanova

 

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