I have a confession to make. I use nutritional supplements.
While I wholeheartedly believe that our society relies too much on pill-popping, I do believe supplements and medications serve a purpose. For myself, I’d rather try diet or lifestyle changes before taking medication. For example, I am battling my cholesterol levels with a high fiber diet and exercise. And that is working for me. Recently I eliminated processed sugars and artificial sweeteners from my diet to help me lose weight and feel better.
As we all age, our bodies don’t process sugars like they used to. That usually leads to expanding waistlines, elevated triglycerides, raised LDL and type-2 diabetes (“age onset diabetes” as it used to be called). Our heart rates decrease, which can lead to heart disease. Bladders don’t seem to hold as much as they used to. And our bones become brittle.
We all know that healthier diets and exercise are excellent ways to battle these. The combination helps us keep our body working like a well oiled machine. Supplements help us do that too.
Nutritional supplements refers to a wide range of products. They are designed to enhance our health and improve athletic performance. Some also affect our physical or mental well being. They can include vitamins, sports supplements, weight loss products, teas, herbs, and antioxidants. Supplements can be found in almost all health food stores and many grocery stores as well.
Nutritional Supplements: Adding To Your Health
Nutritional supplements are used to treat a wide range of ailments and to improve health. One of the most common forms of nutritional supplement is the vitamin. Many people take a multivitamin and doctors often recommend such use.
Other popular supplements are used in sports.They are used to enhance performance and speed recovery. Supplements are also used as a weight loss aide.
Make sure you consult with a doctor before taking any supplement, though. Some medications don’t work well with nutritional supplements. Adding extra vitamins, minerals and herbs to your daily routine are great ways to enhance your health, but you want to make sure you are adding the right “ingredients” to the mix.
B Vitamins – there are many types of B vitamins but B12 is the most common deficiency. We need this vitamin to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy.
Calcium – eat leafy green vegetables, dairy products and meat to get the calcium that keeps your bones and teeth strong. Taking more calcium probably isn’t harmful, but you should talk to your doctor if you are concerned about bone health.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – if you are taking a statin to lower your cholesterol, you may want to talk to your doctor about adding CoQ10 to your daily regiment. It is used to decrease muscle cramps and memory impairment caused by statins.
Fish Oil (Omega 3-fatty acids) – helps with heart health, brain functions, arthritis and inflammation.
Folic Acid – getting enough is very important for women planning to be or those who are pregnant. It helps to prevent birth defects.
Iron – transports oxygen to our blood cells. That is why you feel tired when you have an iron deficiency – your blood cells aren’t getting enough oxygen.
Melatonin – helps to balance the wake-sleep cycle.
Multivitamin – doctors recommend that you use an age-targeted multivitamin for maximum results.
Vitamin C – acts as an antioxidant, protecting our bodies from harmful free-radicals that weaken our immune system.
Vitamin D – works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth. It also helps our muscles, nerves and immunity systems.
Zinc – it has been shown to lessen the time of colds and flu.
Adding to Your Health
Everyone is different. We all have different dietary needs and health goals to reach or maintain. For myself, I take an age-specific multivitamin. I also use cinnamon to help keep my cholesterol under control. To help me sleep, I take magnesium daily. And to boost my protein, I add grass-fed whey protein isolate powder to my breakfast smoothies.
Winter will soon be here. For some of us, it is a long period of being shut in doors; seasonal fruits and veggies are in short supply and the days are very short. In my mind, I am going to do whatever I can to help my body stay healthy while I watch the snow fall.
I try to always eat healthy. We eat fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables all year around. We vary our meals to include as many colors of the nutritional rainbow as possible. But…life happens and I can’t always eat as healthy as I’d like. I know that I need more. So I add to my health by taking supplements.
As I said earlier, make sure you speak to your healthcare provider if you are considering adding nutritional supplements to your daily routine. We all want to be healthy, but we want smart healthy 🙂
Do you take supplements to add to your health? How do you feel about using supplements for weight loss or to enhance your game? I would love to hear your thoughts! You can leave a comment in the space below or email me through the contact form to the right.