According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a majority of American adults are using supplements to enhance the effects of a healthy diet and exercise – 68% to be exact – and if you’re not yet among them, you may be missing out.
While the dizzying array of options available that spans everything from vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals to amino acids and enzymes can make creating a supplement plan a challenge, the health boost supplementation can offer is worth the time it takes to find the right balance.
Some of the more popular supplements are vitamins D and E; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea; and specialty supplements like probiotics and glucosamine, but your main concern should be finding the supplements that are right for you. Visiting with either a naturopathic or a traditional physician is the best way to create a schedule of supplementation that meets your exact needs.
Wellness that Works for You
It’s not hard to see why supplements are so popular. Some of the many health benefits of supplements include boosting metabolism with B-vitamins that absorb nutrients and aid in the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Zinc, green tea, selenium and CLA are also known metabolism boosters. Tissue repair is also a well-known benefit of supplements, as Calcium and vitamins D, A, C, and K can make recovering from exercise-related injuries easier by helping your body create new healthy tissue. Supplements have also been known to prevent birth defects; taking folic acid before and during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns. Those who suffer from migraines can benefit from supplements with Butterbur, magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10, and those who suffer from indigestion can benefit from supplements with B-class vitamins like folic acid. Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E and D, folic acid and other supplements have also shown promising results in disease prevention studies.
Choosing the Healthiest Supplements
Supplement makers put additives into tablets and powders for lots of different reasons – some additives help make pills easier to swallow while others ensure liquid supplements taste great. Most additives are simply there to make supplements easier to take and are made of food grade ingredients not uncommon to encounter in prepared meals. But that doesn’t mean all additives are healthy or even safe.
You can avoid unhealthy additives by choosing brands like Nutrilite from Amway that use organic plant concentrates and highly purified vitamins and minerals to deliver nutrition naturally. When in doubt, research the ingredients in your supplements so you can be sure you’re not inadvertently taking in toxins along with your nutrients.
Beware of False Claims
Herbs, amino acids, botanicals, minerals and vitamins can all have a powerful impact on physical and mental wellness but remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The most effective supplements have been specially formulated to meet gaps in nutrition not replace the whole foods that should be providing the bulk of your nutrition or stand in for regular exercise.
In other words, investing in good quality supplements is a smart decision, but don’t give up your commitment to your already healthy lifestyle. Approach wellness holistically for the best results.