Dietary supplements are a great way to get some extra nutrients into your body, particularly minerals and vitamins. Ideally, we should all eat a healthy and balanced diet that provides all the nutrition that our bodies need. But when this is not possible, supplements can help. Supplements have some great benefits that we look at here today.
1. Helps in Proper Metabolism
After consuming a meal, the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats we eat are broken down and nutrients are absorbed in the process. This process of absorption depends on several vitamins known as the B-class vitamins, which must be consumed regularly.
These vitamin supplements can also aid in preventing various effects of vitamin deficiencies such as joint pain, skin ailments, nerve damage plus anemia. Researchers from the University of Sheffield have also reported that vitamin D can help relieve IBS.
2. Tissue Repair and Maintenance
Dietary supplements can also help in tissue maintenance and repair. Our daily activities are responsible for straining our tissues on a cellular level, and proteins are continuously produced by some specialized cells within our system which replace the old and damaged tissues with healthy and new ones.
As we age, we suffer from conditions like osteoporosis due to defects in tissue repair and maintenance. However, it is feasible to promote proper growth of tissue and also bone strength by using vitamin D and calcium. Protein is also vital to muscle repair and growth, which is why athletes and bodybuilders need it.
3. May Help In Fight Against Cancer
The consumption of dietary supplements might help to prevent some types of cancer. In fact, vitamins A, C, and E, along with some other essential vitamins function as antioxidants within our system. They are responsible for neutralizing chemical substances known as free radicals, which can trigger oxidative damage within your tissues.
According to the National Cancer Institute, oxidative damage to our cells can lead to malignancy in the long run. Although these studies are yet to be completed, it is widely believed that consuming moderate quantities of antioxidant vitamin supplements might enhance our health. Likewise, cancer is seen more in people who tend to consume an unhealthy diet – obesity, eating processed meat and excessive alcohol consumption are all linked with cancer.
King’s College London also looked at supplements and cancer, and reported that Diindolylmethane (DIM) supplements (normally found in cabbage) may help prevent cervical cancer.
Tomatoes are another famous superfood in the fight against cancer – they help men ward off prostate cancer. The magic ingredient here is lycopene.
4. Slows Down the Aging Process
According to some scientists aging can be reduced by certain vitamins and minerals. For example, in a particular study conducted by the Framingham Heart Study in the US, it was revealed that individuals consuming omega-3 DHA could reduce dementia by as much as 50%.
Other studies have shown that zeaxanthin, carotenoids, and lutein can prevent age-related eye conditions such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (when the retina gets damaged) and cataracts. The B vitamins, particularly choline, help to enhance our memory too. Also, vitamin D can aid in minimizing our risk of fracture and bone loss.
5. Boost Hair Growth
Biotin is one nutrient which deserves special mention while talking about hair growth – it may help to enhance the keratin infrastructure within our system and, interestingly, our hair is made up of keratin. Biotin may aid in rebuilding the hair shingles which have been damaged by excessive exposure from the sun rays and also the toxic chemical substances. Harvard say that while the evidence is not conclusive, there is no harm in taking a supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be the other essential nutrients for hair health that can combat inflammation, which might lead to significant hair loss. The fatty acids likewise encourage the growth of thicker hair plus nourish the hair as well. Iron is one more essential mineral supporting hair growth.
6. Beneficial For Pregnant Women
Supplementation at the time of pregnancy is vital when it comes to folic acid. Studies have revealed that diets in developed countries are lacking in sufficient quantities of folic acid because of which supplementation is often recommended.
On top of this, a pregnant woman is in need of essential nutrients for obvious reasons. The requirement for the intake of micronutrients can increase substantially during this period which makes it imperative to intake these micronutrients in the form of minerals and vitamins. It is of prime importance to correct any nutritional deficiency at this stage since any laxity can result in severe birth defects (for instance, folate deficiency). However, additional vitamin A should not be taken as this is linked with birth defects – you should consume a healthy diet while pregnant and if you do take a supplement, take one designed for pregnancy – these leave out vitamin A.
7. Enhance Athletic Performance
The intake of dietary supplements can aid in enhancing athletic performance. For example, vitamins C and E and other similar antioxidants present in the supplements can combat free radical damage thus, helping in minimizing inflammation and soreness, not to mention, muscle fatigue too.
Amino acids and protein can play a major role when it comes to the enhancement of the growth and recovery of muscles. Apart from this, beta-alanine likewise helps during workouts. The lactic acid produced by our muscles while working out can cause a burning sensation. However, beta-alanine can help to reduce this feeling and assist the person to continue working out.
Of course, your athletic performance is ultimately only ever as good as the work that you put into it. Supplements are not a replacement for training and hours in the gym.
8. Healthy Weight Loss & Weight Gain
Protein is vital for building muscles, and more muscle makes us healthier. However, it will depend on how much protein and when you are consuming it rather than the actual source of the protein, and this is why protein supplements are so important as they can be taken precisely when your body needs them.
Creatine, which is present within our system, aids in improving our workout performance to a great extent. Besides this, it can likewise help us increase our weight in a healthy way. For this, you need to intake creatine monohydrate which is considered to be the most risk-free type of creatine out there.
How To Take Supplements
There are many different supplements available and it can be hard to know which ones are effective and safe. The production and also the safety of dietary supplements is often unregulated – in America, they are not monitored by the FDA. It is therefore sensible to purchase these products from a trustworthy source.
Supplements come in many forms – gone are the days when the only option was a pill. Today’s supplements are often incorporated into snacks so that you also get your macronutrients at the same time. One range of supplements snacks that we have enjoyed are those from IsaTrim, which includes whey protein shakes made from New Zealand grass-fed cows, and chocolate and vanilla snacks that help fill you up while also providing all the nutrients your body needs.
The key to taking any supplement to educate yourself fully about what the supplement contains and how it will potentially improve your health and strengthen your body. More scientific research is needed to fully understand the role that supplements have on our growth and development, but we now know enough to be able to safely say that taking supplements is a good idea for most people.
It is advisable to consult with your medical practitioner before using these supplements to make sure you do not get affected by any undesirable side effects in the long run. But remember that supplements should be used to supplement a healthy diet, not to replace it. Try to improve your diet so that you are getting all the most important nutrients through your meals, rather than relying on supplements all the time.