The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more conscious about our health and willing to adopt certain lifestyle habits such as consuming less processed sugar and harmful fats, to stay well. Many have also opted to add vitamin supplements to their diet to get all the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to function properly. Maintain a Healthy Wellbeing
If you have never taken any vitamin supplements, now might be a good time to try. After the long months indoors, there are some key components your body may be calling out for. Here’s what you should know before you try supplementing.
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Is It Better to Get Vitamins From Food or Supplements?
In an ideal world, you should get your vitamins and minerals from food. However, it can be difficult to eat healthily every day when you have a busy schedule. So, while obtaining as many nutrients from food as possible will benefit your overall health, a vitamin boost can also help improve your wellbeing.
There is also the fact that food today, comes from far away, losing quality during transport, and is packaged and processed. This makes it difficult for the body to digest and absorb the nutrients it needs. According to experts, toxins from pesticides, heavy metals and pollution force nutrients out of our systems. Stress from daily life can also cause many of our vital nutrients to become depleted.
Which Vitamin Supplements to Take?
What vitamins should I be taking daily, you may ask? A simple search or a quick visit to a health food store and you will see that there is an immense variety of vitamin supplements available to choose from. While choice is great, too much can also be overwhelming. To help you out, here’s a list of the vitamin supplements that healthcare professionals often recommend for their patients to improve their well-being.
Vitamin B Complex for Energy
Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that work together to improve metabolism, stabilise blood sugar and detoxify the body, all of which help improve your energy levels. They include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12. These vitamins, and especially vitamin B6, are also essential for the optimal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin C for a Stronger Immune System
Supplementing with vitamin C can help you maintain a healthy immune system to protect against infections like the flu and colds. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant. This means it can neutralize the harmful free radicals that your cells naturally make.
When shopping for Vitamin C, you’ll want to avoid the pure ascorbic acid form, which can be rough on the stomach. Start with a 500-milligram dose twice daily.
Vitamin D for Bone and Brain Health-a Healthy Wellbeing
Vitamin D is not only beneficial for strengthening bones and teeth but it’s also vital for healthy brain function. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and the brain is mostly formed of fat. For maximum absorption, take Vitamin D in the evening. Taking vitamin D in the morning will prevent your body from producing vitamin D from sunlight.
Magnesium for Stress and Muscle Tension-a Healthy Wellbeing
Magnesium can help calm both your body and mind by relaxing your muscles. However, it’s important to note that you can lose large amounts of magnesium through your urine when you’re nervous. This can result in a repetitive cycle in which your magnesium levels drop, you become more stressed, and you lose even more magnesium. You can help stop this pattern by combining magnesium with meditation and massage.
Keep in mind that your heart, blood arteries, and uterus are all muscles. You might experience high blood pressure if your blood vessels can’t relax properly, and if your uterus is stiff, it might cause increased discomfort during periods and possibly high blood pressure throughout pregnancy. Magnesium can also help you sleep better at night.
Zinc for Wound Healing-a Healthy Wellbeing
Zinc assists white blood cells in their battle against infection as well as the healing of injuries and bruises. Low zinc levels also mean poor blood sugar control, as zinc is required for insulin production. Some individuals need higher doses of zinc than others. If you’re having trouble healing, you may want to up your dose.
Calcium For Bone Health-a Healthy Wellbeing
Calcium is the body’s most prevalent mineral in the body and it’s well-known for its bone-building properties. 99 percent of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones and teeth, which is necessary for their formation and maintenance. Calcium is also necessary for your heart, muscles, and nerves to work optimally.
If you follow a dairy or lactose-free diet, or if you have osteoporosis, you’re more likely to develop calcium deficiency. In these circumstances, a daily calcium supplement can help you meet your calcium requirements. If you’re starting a calcium supplement, calcium citrate is usually the best choice because it maximises bioavailability and causes fewer symptoms in persons with absorption problems.
Fish Oil for Heart Health
One of the easiest things you can do to improve heart health is to take a daily dose of fish oil. Fish oil supplements have the ability to reduce blood clotting, lower blood pressure and decrease your chances of having a fatal heart attack. Fish oil is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and even improve depression and mood.
Probiotics for Gut Health
Bacteria are known for being harmful, however, in your gut, they can actually be beneficial. However, due to all the antimicrobial soaps and cleaners we use, as well as antibiotics, our digestive tract isn’t getting the necessary microorganisms to keep it in check. Probiotics are live bacteria that can boost your immune system, improve digestion, lower your risk of getting colds or the flu, and even help you get rid of irritable bowel conditions. You can increase your probiotic intake by consuming probiotic yogurt or kefir or taking a probiotic supplement.
Iron for Healthy Red Blood Cells
Red meat eaters usually obtain enough iron, but some circumstances, such as a menstrual cycle, puberty, or pregnancy, may increase the amount of iron a person requires. This is because iron is necessary during periods of rapid development and growth. It’s also recommended that vegans and vegetarians who don’t consume enough iron-rich foods take iron supplements.
What to Look for When Purchasing Supplements?
The first thing you’ll want to do when purchasing vitamin supplements is read the label. That is because you’ll come across many products promising to be able to do more than they actually can. If something sounds too good to be true when it comes to supplements and health claims, it probably is. Aside from wasting your money, you may also end up with something quite dangerous for your health. To get a sense of what’s in the bottle and how much to take, check the supplement facts chart and ingredients, as well as the claims on the front of the label.
Certified products mean they have undergone testing for quality. You’ll also want to buy from a respected brand. Brands that have been around for a long time generally offer decent products.