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Who Needs Dietary Supplements

Much media attention has been directed toward the safety and efficacy of vitamins and supplements. Some nutritionists have claimed that supplements do less than promised and that we should simply eat healthier foods to provide for our dietary needs. And, in fact, these claims are not without merit. As you’ll soon learn, many – if not most – of the supplements onWhole food nutrition vs fruits and vegeables the market today do not deliver the nutrition that they claim.

Ideally, all of us would derive our complete nutrition from a balanced and wholesome diet. But the reality is that modern lifestyles make numerous demands of our time … time that we could spend preparing the foods that our bodies truly need.

So, how can you determine if you need to enhance your diet with daily nutritional supplements? There are several factors one needs to consider to answer this question adequately. Would you characterize your lifestyle or physical state closely with any of the following descriptions? If so, you might need the extra nutrition that comes from daily supplementation.

• If you’re not getting multiple servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits every day, it’s unlikely that you’ll be taking in the necessary amounts of minerals and vitamins that you body needs for optimal health. While many of us aspire to eat sensibly, in practice, as mentioned before, this is rarely the case.

• If you’re on a restricted-calorie diet, you may not be fulfilling your daily requirements. This is primarily due to not eating a wide variety of foods, which makes it very difficult to get all of the essential nutrition your body needs.

• If you are considering becoming pregnant, or are already pregnant, your body’s needs are different. You’ll need more calcium, iron and folate. The extra iron is needed for red blood cell health, in order to stave off fatigue. Folate is generally recommended to protect against fetal spinal defects, like spina bifida.

• If you are postmenopausal, you need additional nutritional support. This period of life is marked by drops in estrogen production which can lead to bone loss. It’s imperative that you receive additional calcium and vitamin D, which is necessary for your body to process calcium to strengthen bones.

• If you drink alcohol heavily or smoke tobacco, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients can be impaired. Taking supplements won’t reverse the effects of these unhealthy habits, but they may help to offset some of the damage done to your body.

It certainly seems that the majority of us could use the additional nutrition provided by a high-quality daily supplement.