Should You be Taking Supplements? Here’s How You Can Find Out What Nutrients You’re Missing and Whether Supplements Are the Right Choice.
Supplements and Diet
Step one to ensuring that your body receives the right proportion of nutrients to function optimally is to talk to your physician or a registered dietitian about what foods you should be eating. Whole foods (fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and clean protein sources) are the gold standard, but the calories, macronutrients, and volume you’ll be consuming depend on your unique health profile. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure that your diet is both satisfying and nutritious.
When Supplements Are a Good Idea
Patients with certain health conditions may benefit from targeted nutrient supplementation. For example, patients who are anemic may benefit from taking an iron supplement as directed by their physician. Alternately, patients with osteoporosis benefit from calcium, minerals, and vitamin D. Pregnant women are often advised to take prenatal multivitamins to prevent birth defects. Individuals with dietary restrictions – like those who are vegan – can benefit from taking nutrients that are often low in a vegan diet such as vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and omega-3. Your best bet is to ask your trusted professional what supplements are likely to benefit you based on your diet and health conditions.
If you’re looking to incorporate supplements into your health plan, the most useful way to begin is by evaluating your needs based on three key factors: your health history, your current health profile, and your goals for the future. Garnering a holistic understanding...
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