Supplements: Do You Need Them?
Supplements are a hotly debated topic, with many believing them necessary. However, a balanced diet should provide you with most of what your body needs to function, with a couple of exceptions. Read on to find out more!
What are supplements?
Supplements are products that you take to improve your health or manage a medical condition. They can be vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, or enzymes. Supplements can come in many forms, including pills, capsules, powders, and liquids.
What is considered a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is one that includes all the major food groups in the right proportions. It should be high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars. A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and promote your overall health.
Supplements during pregnancy
Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin and is mainly found in leafy green vegetables and fruits. It is important for pregnant women to take supplements of folic acid because it helps to prevent neural tube defects in the developing baby. Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Supplements during the winter
Winter brings shorter days and less sunshine, making it difficult to get our daily dose of vitamin D. Supplementing with vitamin D during the winter months can help ensure we're getting enough of this important nutrient.
Supplements as a vegetarian/vegan
If you're eating a varied diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, then you're probably getting all the nutrients you need. However, you may need to take a B12 supplement as this is given to animals and passed on in the food chain; you will miss out as a vegetarian or vegan unless you consume fortified foods and drinks.
Choosing a supplement
When it comes to supplements, quality is key. Look for supplements that are made by reputable companies and backed by science. Be sure to read the label carefully and understand what you're taking. And always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regime.