Why should I take supplements and why quality matters
In general, we all know that nutrition matters. We can't underestimate the power of positive nutrition on a person's health and wellness—and how that can contribute to resilience that can strengthen one's constitution and lead to better outcomes related to fighting disease and remaining healthy.
“Poor diet is responsible for almost 700,000 deaths in the U.S. each year—and 11 million worldwide,” -Mark Hyman, M.D., a New York Times bestselling author and chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine.
The past year and a half have certainly highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system, maintaining a healthy diet, lifestyle, exercise regime, and minimal stress. Many of us have a well-known deficiency in micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, and zinc.
Nutritional supplements ingredients can help facilitate a strong immune system, and targeted supplementation, healthier food, better lifestyle practices, and improved nutrition are the way forward.
But I eat a healthy diet; why should I still consider supplementation?
You hear all the time that the food we consume nowadays doesn't have the same nutrition that it once did. With the chronic depletion of soil nutrients, genetically modified produce, and the array of chemicals used as pesticides and preservatives, it's hard to tell what nutrition is left in our food. And even if you buy organic, there is no guarantee you will eat enough or the right foods to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs at any given time. Natural supplements can be a great addition to a healthy diet and genuinely contribute to better overall health.
But, not all supplements are created equal. The purity, quality, potency, efficacy, and overall benefits can, and often do, vary wildly. Just as there is junk food, there are also junk vitamins.
Walking into a bargain shop and buying the largest bottle of fish oil for the lowest price you can find might not be the best idea, as you might not be getting any of the health benefits you are looking for.
So, how do you know if you are getting quality supplements? You can conduct a few tests yourself, like placing your fish oil in the freezer to make sure it doesn't freeze.
How a supplement is created, manufactured, packaged, and delivered all make a difference in its effectiveness in your body. Reading vitamin labels to avoid synthetic forms of nutrients is as important as reading food package labels to avoid artificial ingredients.
So here are some of the most important things to consider to ensure only the highest quality supplements are consumed:
Fillers: The reality is, each tablet or capsule has a set 'size', and if it is not filled with the active ingredients, the leftover room needs to be used up by filler.
Artificial colorings: so those bright blue gummy vitamins may look cute, but do you want to ingest Blue No. 1 or No. 2 (that have been shown to increase tumor incidence in rats, by the way)? Some companies get too caught up in how their supplement appears, ironically, more than what it does for the body.
Testing or purity, content accuracy: what sets the quality supplements apart from the rest of the bunch is a commitment to pure, quality, active ingredients, and in the dosage that is stated on the bottle
The bottom line: when it comes to supplements and their efficacy and safety, quality matters. In general (and I hate to say it), you often get what you pay for. If you invest in your health, make sure the supplements you are taking are of high quality and can be positively used by your body, and are not full of unwelcome fillers and synthetic ingredients.
Your body will thank you.