Supplements or no supplements?
Supplements or no supplements? We have all asked ourselves this question – out of fear or out of concern, haven’t we? Most people we know either believe in the magic pills or they don’t because you know nutrition equals real food and nothing else. It’s not surprising that this leaves us confused and worried.
So first, let’s understand what is a supplement?
What is a supplement?
- A supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet.
- This ingredient could be one or any combination of – a vitamin, a mineral, a herb, amino acid or even a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake.
The most essential thing to know about supplements is that though it is a great source of nutrition, it can never replace food. Ideally, all the nutrients our body needs including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are obtained from a well-balanced diet. Supplements only support our diet to ensure adequate daily intake of basic nutritional needs that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities.
Why we might need supplements?
We may not require supplements, at all, if our diet was perfect and we exercised every day. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case because we’re living stressful lives, consuming poor quality – low calorie meals and rarely indulging in any form of exercise. This lifestyle over a period of time will lead to nutritional deficiencies, poor health and chronic diseases. It is essential that we consume a balanced diet rich in locally grown green vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts for us to fulfil our nutritional needs. However, in current scenario, the food we consume is grown repeatedly on the same land depleting the soil of essential vitamins and minerals, leaving fewer nutrients for the plants to grow. This may be a reason, a high number of our population is deficient in one or more vitamins or minerals. This is where the importance of finding safe, high-quality and effective nutritional supplements becomes important.
Most people find it “normal” to consume generic supplements like multivitamins and minerals and end up ignoring other essentials like Vitamin B12, Biotin, Magnesium, Flaxseed, Turmeric, Black Pepper. We often forget that, each one of us is different and so are our nutritional needs. You may be a ‘working lady’ whose office hours are way beyond 9 to 6 or a ‘Mother to a toddler’ who hasn’t had a 7 hour sleep in months. Neither of those situations can be an excuse to deprive your body of the nutritious diet it deserves. Though evidence proves that consuming nutrients from food is far more beneficial than supplements but its only wise to know that isn’t enough anymore.