While most know the United States Department of Agriculture recommends up to 10 servings of fruits and veggies a day, it can be hard to do that. Among the suggested 2,000 daily caloric intake, produce alone would account for many of them.
Eating 10 servings of produce a day’s also not economical. You’d have to shop every few days to keep up! Produce is among the more expensive food items, which is why nutritional vitamins exist.
If you’re questioning What is a food supplement? you’re in the right place. Here’s what to know about nutrition supplements.
What Is a Food Supplement?
Food supplements are a common dietary solution for those not receiving optimal nourishment. Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only ways to get proper vitamins and minerals. Still, food’s medicinal benefits can include:
- Reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer
- Antioxidizing the body
- Providing vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, K as well as magnesium, calcium, iodine, and iron
- Lowering cholesterol
- Anti-inflammatory assistance
- Weight loss
There’s a reason for the proverbs, you are what you eat, as well as the Hippocrates classic, let food be thy medicine. Every food holds different benefits and therefore different nutritional vitamins.
Unlike the fad diets trending in society, nutritional supplements don’t judge you or your food intake. The truth is it’s hard to meet all your vitamin nutrition needs without a supplement.
The point’s to fill in the nutritional gaps with vitamin supplementation.
Who Needs Them?
There’s a reason that the vitamin and supplement industry is worth $36.2 billion. Even the healthiest eaters can benefit from nutritional supplements.
Common nutrient deficiencies include iron, iodine, vitamin D, B12, and calcium. These deficiencies can manifest as long-term problems including anemia, thyroid dysregulation, osteoporosis, and other conditions.
Deficiencies can stem from people’s specific diets. It’s common to become iron or B12 deficient as a vegetarian or vegan. At the same time, if meat-eaters have an imbalanced produce intake, it can pose similar issues.
If you’ve ever gotten bloodwork and had vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, it’s time to consider a food supplement.
The good news is there’s no shortage of supplements out there for you. At the same time, if you’re new to nutritional vitamins, there are some things to know first.
You’ll find labels on all the best supplements that claim the products aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For that reason, they can’t diagnose, cure, or treat any illness or diagnosis.
If no one’s recommended a specific product to you, pulling vitamins off the shelf can be dangerous. If you’re taking prescription medicines, drink alcohol, or using caffeine, herbal remedies can pose problems.
It’s easy to think nutrition supplements are harmless, but coupled with other things, they’re not. If you’re not sure about a product, don’t let your health be a gamble. Health comes from healthy decisions.
It’s important to know that supplements aren’t meant to replace healthy eating but to help you round out your diet.
Safe Versus Unsafe Food Supplements
Buying vitamins out of curiosity’s not the way to go. If you’re new to taking vitamins and asking “What is a food supplement?” you should read the labels and then consult your doctor before buying.
Nutritional vitamins are tricky since they’re not FDA approved, meaning they can’t say they treat conditions. For that reason alone, they can feel like an uncertain buy.
The best supplements are pure, natural, and follow a naturopathic philosophy. Alternative medicine modalities have existed for thousands of years. While not weighted the same as Western medicine, there’s a reason they work.
If supplements come from an unreliable source, they can use other additives and ingredients that don’t belong in your system. Not having FDA approval means there’s a greater gap in the market, offering a spectrum of fantastic to not-so-good products.
Safe Supplement Shopping
Due to the variety of nutrition supplements on the shelf, you’ll want to become a smart shopper. Here’s how to discern what’s right for you.
Get a Professional Opinion
The best course of action’s getting bloodwork, getting results, and getting a professional recommendation. Your doctor’s a trustworthy source to get the best dietary supplements.
If they give you a Vitamin D recommendation, for example, be sure to ask for a specific brand name. If they say it doesn’t matter, it’s okay to peruse the shelves.
Do Your Research
If you’ve done your own research, use your local pharmacy or doctor visits to ask about what you’ve found. You can also research the specific product online for reviews and opinions.
Other people’s testimonials are some of the most important research you can do for yourself.
Ask Your Network
You can also ask your friends, family, or community what they’d recommend. Remember, nutrition deficiencies are common so it’s likely people can help. Limit how many people you ask, though, since there’s an overwhelming number of options.
Trust Your Intuition
If something feels off to you about a product, it’s not your product. If you’re on the fence, it’s good to be discerning.
You may need to ask yourself, for example, “Is SugarBear Hair safe to use?” before hearing your intuitive answer.
Common ways to tell a product’s high quality is if:
- It has high reviews
- It’s sponsored by legitimate sources
- It’s been around a long time
- It has familiar ingredients
- It has science-backed research
- It’s natural
Transparent labels want to show off their high-quality ingredients, reviews, and results. If there’s limited information, there’s a reason for that.
Nutrition Supplements for All Diets
If you experience chronic symptoms like fatigue, headaches, immune problems, or digestive concerns, it’s possible you could use a food supplement. While food offers fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other nutrients, not everyone eats the foods that provide them.
Symptoms show up to communicate what needs attention. Knowing that food supplements can combat disease is enough reason to try them for yourself.
Next time you’re asking, “What is a food supplement?” you’ll have your own answer. For more on the latest health-based breakthroughs, check out our latest blog posts!