More than one third of all Americans take supplements to enhance their health, with about 30 percent of older adults taking four or more supplements. With the rise in popularity on social media, and the scientific evidence of the benefits to be had, more and more people are looking into the world of natural supplements. Neighbours, friends, co-workers and influencers all boast about the benefits of supplements. The recent pandemic reminded everyone of the fragility of health and the important responsibility that we all must care for our minds and bodies. If you are considering taking supplements for your health too, hopefully the information to follow will give you the basic information you need to start your journey to a stronger mind and body.
Supplements Come in Many Forms
The goal of supplements is the same: to enhance your health by introducing important vitamins and nutrients into your diet. The form that these supplements can take however varies greatly. Tablets and capsules can be taken like any other similar medication, swallowed whole with water. Gummies are becoming more popular too, as they take a more attractive form and look like chewy sweets. Powders are also common, as they can be mixed into liquids to make a tasty beverage, as well as supplement drinks and snacking bars. Each supplement will contain some kind of nutritional quality or vitamin that will benefit your health.
Supplements for Your Body
Many supplements boast benefits for the body. If you have a deficiency of some kind, you may be a good idea to look into taking a supplement to boost your body’s supply of a vitamin in order to reap the benefits of a well-balanced body. Some of the common supplements include:
- Calcium: If a person’s calcium intake is insufficient, the body will take calcium out of the bones which leaves them weak and brittle. In such cases, people may be told to take calcium supplements to strengthen their bones. The potential benefits of calcium are many, from prevention of bone loss to help with fat loss. Calcium supplements may even help lower the risk of colon cancer while improving metabolic markers.
- Omega 3: A great deal of research has been done into omega 3 fatty acids and the benefits they bring to the body. Omega 3 supplements can reduce levels of triglycerides and help to relieve symptoms of arthritis. Naturally, this fat can be found in seafood and plant oils.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D works to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate that is in a person’s body. If someone suffers from a lack of vitamin D, it can cause bone deformities in children and bone pain in adults. During sunny seasons, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from natural sunlight, and it can also be found in oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, and fortified foods. If a person cannot take in as much Vitamin D as their body needs, they may consider taking a supplement to support their health.
- Folic acid: Folic acid is the manmade version of the vitamin known as folate or vitamin B9. This vitamin supports the body to make healthy red blood cells and it can be found in many foods, such as whole grains, beans, and green leafy vegetables. However, if a person has developed folate deficiency anomia, or is pregnant, it may be recommended that they take a folic acid supplement to improve their health or the health of their baby.
Supplements for Your Mind
Besides the many supplements available that help to support the health of your body, there are also supplements that support the health of your mind. From memory supplements to focus supplements, there are various things that you can take to improve the health of your mind. If you find you struggle to remember things, or you suffer from brain fog or lose focus during your work hours, instead of dosing yourself with red bull or coffee, a natural supplement could be the answer. Here are some of the supplements that can boost your brain function:
- Fish Oils: Fish oils are rich sources of fatty acids that have been linked to improved brain health. Taking fish oil supplements has been linked to improved thinking ability, memory, and reaction times. It has also been shown to help reduce the decline in brain function that is common with aging.
- Creatine: This natural substance is very important in the metabolism of energy. It’s found naturally in the body mostly in muscles and in the brain, and it can be found in some foods like meat and eggs. Creatine supplements have been shown to improve the memory and thinking ability of people who don’t eat meat and therefore don’t naturally take in creatine in their diet.
- Magnesium: Magnesium plays a role in converting food into energy, so taking it as a supplement will boost your energy. It also has a part to play in brain function and mood, with low levels of magnesium being linked to a higher risk of depression. Magnesium may also support better sleep and reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a nutrient vital to vision, reproduction and the health of your blood and skin. It also has great benefits for brain function too.
A Word of Caution
While it may sound like a great idea to start taking all the supplements you see advertised, there is a word of caution needed. While many supplements claim to be safe and natural, it’s still important that you discuss things with your health care provider. This is especially important in you are pregnant or planning to become so, breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or take any other medication. Taking too much of a certain vitamin or nutrient could actually do more harm than good, so it’s important that you know what your body really needs before you start taking a supplement.