If you haven’t considered supplementing your diet or your lifestyle before, you might find it a minefield of information that you have to wade through to get to the reasons why you should do it. Station isn’t new. People have been supplementing their diets with natural supplements for many years. And whether you are vegan and are supplementing with B12, or you are using protein powders in your milkshakes in the morning to up your protein, you are supplementing naturally. Nutritional supplements should never replace your diet in a balanced way, but they can be very beneficial to you in some circumstances.
When you understand why natural supplements are good for you, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which supplements you should use and why. For example, there are plenty of methods on how to naturally increase testosterone production with natural supplements. There are also supplements out there that help women to boost their hormones and their ovarian function. If you’ve ever thought about adding something to your diet because you feel like you are lacking in something, we’ve put together the top reasons that you should use natural supplements where you can.
- Your joints are bothering you. Whether you are in your senior years or not, you’re going to feel it when your joints start feeling the pressure of your weight and your lifestyle. As you age, though, the amount of glucosamine that your body can produce slows down. This means that the cartilage between your joints becomes a lot thinner and starts to rub very, very quickly together. This wear and tear overtime can lead to osteoporosis, which can be very uncomfortable. Your joints then become damaged and potentially arthritic, but with a glucosamine supplement you can maintain the health of your cartilage and you can enhance your flexibility and your joints again. Your joints may not be where they used to be, but supplements can help you to get it back there.
- You feel very stressed when your cortisol levels shoot through the roof. Your body feels it. Your body will react physically to stress, not just emotionally, and it uses very vital minerals and vitamins at a much higher rate. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can lead to you being deficient in certain vitamins that you can use natural supplements to help you with. You can mostly get your vitamins and minerals from your food, but when that’s not helping and your stress levels are not leveling out, you need some extra help.
- Your food isn’t as nutritious as you think. For the most part, you’ve been eating a healthy and balanced diet for many years, but recently you’ve turned to more convenient foods. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but if you are eating microwaved foods on a long term basis, then you could be depleting the vitamins in your food that you’ve been relying on. For example, did you know that when you microwave broccoli, you can lose up to 97% of the antioxidants your body relies on? If you’re microwaving your food and you notice a difference physically, the first thing to do is to get rid of the microwave, or at least start using it less. From there you can determine whether you need to continue to supplement or not.
- You are not getting enough from your food. Microwaving isn’t the only way you can blast out the vitamins and minerals that you need. If you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables, then you will be definitely missing out on some important nutrients. Multivitamin supplements and additional supplements such as vitamin C can really help you to absorb what you need to absorb. It’s always better to supplement your diet with Whole Foods and foods that are rich in vitamins that you do need. It’s not always possible, and if you find yourself being turned off certain fruits and vegetables because of illness or pregnancy, or just generally feeling your tastes are changing, then supplementation is a good backup.
- You want to have a baby. Whether you’re the male in the family and you want to enhance your testosterone, or you’re the female and you’d like to conceive, you need to supplement here so that you can ensure that your conception efforts are spot on. Women who are planning to conceive are always advised to take folic acid from the conception stages through to the first three months of pregnancy. This helps to reduce the likelihood of any spinal abnormalities and neural tube defects. Men taking a multivitamin supplement can help to boost their facility, but the key nutrients to aim for include vitamin E, zinc, selenium and vitamin C.
- You are currently pregnant or you are breastfeeding. When you are growing a person or you are feeding a person, you need to be as nourished as possible to allow that to happen. Babies, whether they are in the womb or out, will take from you, so you need to nourish yourself the best you can so that you don’t end up deficient. Your diet may not be able to supply all the nutrients that you need. So extra supplements like vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids can be very beneficial to you. Ensuring that you are taking these regularly will help you to boost your health and the health of your baby while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You don’t eat meat. Vegetarians and vegans can gain a lot of the vitamins and minerals they need from their food, even if they don’t eat meat. However, they are more prone to B12, iron, zinc and calcium deficiencies compared to meat eaters. As your diet can be low in these nutrients, supplementation may be the necessary next step. If you’re not meeting your daily recommendations for these nutrients, then your body could feel more sluggish, you could feel more tired and exhausted, and you’ll find that your muscles will break down faster.
- You are aging. It happens to the best of us, but as you’re getting older, you need to make sure that you are taking the right supplements so that your body gets the nutrients it needs. Stomach acid production will decline from middle age onwards, so you might find that your ability to absorb all of those delicious nutrients and vitamins is harder. Take the time to figure out which nutrients you’re lacking with a blood test before you start supplementing anything.
- Your diet has a lot of sugar. While sugar is delicious, it can be difficult on your immune system. Consuming too much of it can weaken it, and a high sugar intake can also lower your levels of vitamin E. This then impedes your absorption of calcium and magnesium, which leads to further deficiencies in copper and chromium. This can be avoided by lowering your sugar, but then you may find you need to supplement the other minerals and vitamins that you might have missed.
- You love the gym. You might not consider using natural supplements because you are a gym goer, which means you likely eat healthily and you stay hydrated. However, when you are physically active, you have a higher nutritional requirement than your peers. There’s also the difficulty that you may not be able to get the nutrients that you need from your diet.You should consider taking supplements where you can, and antioxidants especially could be very important here. The increased consumption of oxygen when you exercise can generate free radicals in your body, and you do need to neutralize these so you don’t end up getting sick.
- You have issues with the sun. Whether you’re not spending too much time in it or you are prone to sunburn, having issues with the sun is a great reason to use natural supplements. If you’re not exposing your skin to the sun on a regular basis, you are at a much higher risk of a deficiency in vitamin D. You would benefit from taking supplements here.If you’re prone to sunburn, then getting sunburnt doesn’t just increase your skin cancer risk, it also makes your skin age faster, makes you feel sore, and can irritate your skin long term. When you are taking vitamins C&E, however, as a supplement to your diet, you’ll reduce the aging effects on your skin.And you won’t feel so exposed to the sun.
- You’re a jet setter. You might not think so, but people who fly regularly are exposed to radiation which can damage the cells of the body. It’s lovely to jet off on vacations across the world where you are flying above 10,000 meters above sea level, but supplementing with antioxidants can help to reduce any physical damage to your body. If we were designed to fly, we would have been given wings. So in the meantime we need to look after the body that you have while you have it.