Supplements have become an important part of individual wellness. This is illustrated by the fact that upwards of 70% of Americans use dietary supplements regularly. Some would argue that such supplementation is unnecessary and has a minimal influence on wellness. In actuality, most people benefit from some form of daily supplementation. Read on to learn of the growing importance of supplementation, who benefits from supplementation, and what supplements to consider including in your own wellness plan.
Why Are Supplements Important?
To function properly, we must supply the body with resources in the form of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Ideally, everyone gets the requisite amount of these nutrients through their diet. Unfortunately, because of factors outside their control, many cannot do so. Two of the chief contributors to the country-wide decrease in nutrition acquisition is the dwindling nutritional value of foods, due to soil depletion and poor farming practices, and increased occurrence of absorption issues. Despite these nutritional roadblocks, we can still achieve optimal nutrition through the use of supplements.
Who Benefits from Supplementation?
Most people benefit from supplementation. However, there are several groups that could see a considerable improvement in their well-being by including specific supplements into their wellness plan. Individuals in the following groups should strongly consider supplementation to better support their health.
Athletes or Active Individuals
Living an active lifestyle does an impressive deal to support overall wellness. However, it is important that active individuals and athletes recognize that physical activity takes a nutritional toll. Ignoring the additional nutritional demands that come with regular physical activity can limit wellness and increase the risk of various health issues.
Supplementation allows active persons to fill nutritional gaps while also supporting various areas of wellness. Effective supplementation provides immune support, joint protection, better muscle repair and recovery, and improved energy production. Each of which are essential for keeping active people healthy and working at their best.
If you exercise regularly, consider supplementing with a daily multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc, amino acids, creatine, and electrolytes. But, before supplementing, be sure to speak with a nutritionist or other medical expert to identify your unique nutritional needs.
Those Taking Medications
About 50 percent of Americans are on one or more prescription medications. An even larger number take antibiotics or other over-the-counter medications regularly. On the surface, this may not seem problematic. However, many of these medications have the potential to impede nutrient absorption and promote nutrient depletion.
Examples of nutrient depleting medications include proton-pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, statins, anti-hypertensives, and beta-blockers. Taking these and other nutrient-depleting medications without also taking supplements to counteract their effects can cause nutrient deficiencies. If left unchecked, these deficiencies can develop into serious health issues. Therefore, before taking any medication, especially those taken for an extended period, be sure to consider their nutritional impact and speak with your physician about supplementing accordingly.
Pregnancy can notably increase an individual’s need for various nutrients. For example, during and leading up to pregnancy, the body’s demand for folic acid, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids increases.
Ideally, women supplement with folic acid to prepare for pregnancy and continue throughout the entire term. A lack of folic acid increases the risk of serious abnormalities in the fetus’ brain and spinal cord called neural tube defects. Therefore, women planning for pregnancy should strongly consider supplementation.
Iron is also a key pregnancy consideration as it plays a critical role in blood cell production. During pregnancy, additional blood is required to deliver oxygen to the forming fetus and placenta. Deficiency can cause inhibited development and even anemia.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are most readily present in fish, are important for both mother and child. Supplementing with omega-3s leading up to and during pregnancy helps protect the brain of the fetus while also encouraging its development.
Much of the American population now works in an office or from home. Although this provides certain advantages, there is a potentially significant drawback. The body requires a steady supply of vitamin D to complete various essential processes including the utilization of calcium, maintaining healthy immune, brain, and nervous system activity, and regulating insulin levels.
The best way to acquire vitamin D is by getting outside and being exposed to sunlight. This can be a problem for those who work in an office, live in areas with little sunlight, or work swing shifts. Fortunately, individuals in these positions may prevent or resolve vitamin D deficiency through supplementation.
Many consider age-related illness to be an inevitability. However, research continues to show that supplementation with specific nutrients may help combat a wide range of age-related ailments.
Research shows that proactive supplementation with B vitamins and omega-3s, specifically DHA, can slow brain atrophy and its associated symptoms. Supplementation with these substances has been shown to ease a wide range of problematic inflammatory disorders commonly seen in elderly populations.
Declining eyesight due to macular degeneration is another common issue for older individuals. Studies suggest that regular supplementation with various antioxidants and minerals including zinc may prevent loss of vision later in life. These findings show that proactive supplementation can result in greater longevity and a higher quality of life.
Support Your Wellness with Supplementation
Supplements are powerful tools that we may use to promote wellness and protect ourselves from potential health issues. Those who belong to the groups above may find that supplementation provides them with significant health benefits. However, even if you do not belong in these categories, you may still improve your overall wellness through supplementation. If you are interested in supplementation, speak to your doctor or a professional nutritionist about how to best use supplements to resolve nutritional gaps in your diet, achieve optimal nutrition, and support greater wellness.
Although the bargain pricing for supplements may be enticing, the consumer may ultimately end up paying a significant price. Being well-informed of the great disparity in nutritional value between supplement products and knowing what type of products to avoid can help protect you from potentially damaging substances. To provide you with the best pharmaceutical-grade supplements, Dr. Kent Holtorf created HoltraCeuticals.
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