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Supplements – Do We Really Need Them?

A lot of people especially in the developed countries have made it a practice to take dietary supplements, regularly. Do we really need them?

Well, an intake of a well-balanced diet ensures that our body receives the right amount of nutrients to grow and stay healthy. Sadly, with pollution, less fertile soil and the consumption of junk food makes it necessary for humans to take supplements to meet their day-to-day nutrition requirements.

So, what are these supplements?

According to WebMD dietary supplements are pills, tablets, capsules or liquids that contain nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, botanicals, herbs or other dietary ingredients to supplement your diet.

Supplements offer a lot of health benefits and are usually not required in case of individuals who consume a balanced diet on regular basis. However, if you miss consuming nutritious food at times, taking low-dose supplements can help your body significantly. Some benefits of taking supplements are stated below.

Fix Dietary Deficiencies

Adults and children who do not consume a balanced diet can suffer from malnourishment. Insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables can lead to dietary deficiencies. Our body needs a continuous supply of not only macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates, but also micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

When your body does not receive a sufficient supply of these nutrients, over a certain period of time it suffers from illness and negative effect. Therefore, it is necessary to take supplements that will fix dietary deficiencies in your body. Some common signs of vitamins and mineral deficiencies are brittle hair and nails, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, slow wound healing, weak bones and muscles, poor vision, hair fall, and skin problems.

Please note that supplements should not replace your food, as food plays a crucial role in managing the overall functioning of your body.

Flushing Out Toxins From The Body

With factors like environmental pollution, food sprayed with pesticides, harmful chemicals that enter your body, detoxifying the body has become a highly crucial task. Apart from eating healthy, supplements help to detox your body by flushing out toxins.

For example, iron and riboflavin supplements help the liver to breakdown toxins. Vitamins are great antioxidants and keeps you protected from the harmful rays of the Sun. It also cleanses the blood and nourishes the skin.

It is very important that toxins from your body must be flushed out as these harmful particles might settle in your blood, skin and vital organs. These toxins can lead to hormonal imbalances, faster aging, poor metabolism, and mood swings.

Reducing Birth Defects In Babies

Taking prenatal supplements with folic acid before or during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects in a baby. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects, that is, birth defects of the spinal cord and the brain.

Neural tube defects occur at a very early stage of pregnancy and therefore it is important to start taking folic acid before and during pregnancy. Apart from this, folic acid aids the body to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. It is also needed for the proper functioning of the DNA.

Supplements are available for sale over the counter, in pharmacies and online marketplaces such as iHerb or Shopee. It is very easy to acquire effective and good-quality supplements, so lack of accessibility should not be an excuse to not get yourselves some supplements.

Although supplements are quite safe to take, it is recommended to ask your physician if you can take them based on your health and diet evaluation. This is especially important in the case of pregnant women, nursing mothers and individuals with health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Supplements available for children and adults are different, with varying dosage and based on health status. Overconsumption of supplements can lead to organ malfunction. To avoid this, consult a health expert for the correct dosage. Finally, remember that dietary supplements can never replace a healthy diet.

Whether you need a particular type of supplement or not depends on age, lifestyle habits, and health conditions.  Before taking a supplement, understand the benefits and risks involved. If necessary, speak to your physician and decide whether you need to take the supplement or not.