Supplements: A Dietary Boost?
The effectiveness of taking supplements is a highly debated topic, with some arguing for their potential benefits and others deeming them practically useless. My personal experience with nutritional supplements has been a great one and I would definitely recommend that everyone look into taking at least a daily multivitamin if not more specific vitamins and minerals to target your individual deficiencies. Here are a few supplements that I have found to be worth their weight and have helped me to get fit and stay healthy all while maintaining a busy lifestyle.
First I would just like to note that I do not advise beginning any kind of supplement routine without first consulting a doctor or dietician. It can actually be harmful to take large quantities of supplements that you do not need (iron for example can be toxic if you overdose on it). A doctor can run a variety of tests to check your vitamin levels and see if taking supplements would be appropriate for you.
I recently started taking fish oil tablets which are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. For years I did not eat any seafood and thus was not getting enough of them. You only have to take 1-2 a day with meals and should see results within a month. The benefits of taking fish oil are numerous and include: the promotion of eye health, the reduction of inflammation, promotion of good metabolism, lowering the risk of some cancers, and helping maintain healthy skin and hair. However, if you are going to take fish oil tablets make sure you get ones of the highest quality to ensure that they have not been contaminated with mercury. Just like you would look up ratings and quality of human resources software or games before you purchased them, you should do the same for your supplements.
A second supplement which I highly recommend is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is traditionally absorbed through the skin from exposure to the sun. However, in the UK due to the angle of the sun (and frequent lack of sunlight), it is almost impossible to get enough of this vitamin. Just the other day on BBC news they ran a whole segment discussing how people living in the UK were very likely to have Vitamin D deficiencies. With a very potent Vitamin D supplement I was able to raise my levels from defficient into the high range within 6 weeks, but the same could be done with a lower concentration Vitamin D supplement taken daily. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and helps to regulate the immune system amongst many other things.
Supplements can be a great way to regain and maintain your health, just be sure to pick those ones you really need and do your research to make sure they are high quality.
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