Vitamins And Minerals
Why Your Body Needs Them
Is it necessary to take vitamins/minerals to be healthy?
While it is important to remember the value of a nutritional supplement in maintaining health, we should never think that taking a supplement replaces a good diet. In other words, the first and by far most important step is to improve the quality of our diet, and then take a supplement as a nutritional insurance policy to make sure we get all we need.
The simplest answer is because most people eat a poor diet. Studies show that the average diet in the US consists of too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
We are eating plenty of calories, but they are often "empty" calories, meaning that they have very low levels of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy.
Since the majority of meals in the US are currently eaten in restaurants or "on the run" it makes good sense to take a vitamin supplement to fill in the gaps in our diet.
Are vitamins safe to take?
Generally Yes, in the ranges that most vitamins are available as supplements. Vitamins are divided into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble.
The water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C) cannot be stored by the body, so they are generally quite safe, even in quantities higher than you would normally get in your diet.
The fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A or D can be stored by the body, so it is possible to build up a level that could be harmful. It is therefore important that you discuss ALL your vitamin consumption with your healthcare provider, to make sure you are getting the optimal amount for your health while not running the risk of taking more than would be safe for you.
Are minerals safe to take?
While the levels of most vitamins and minerals recommended by your healthcare practitioner is considered safe, remember that too much of anything can be potentially harmful.
Even such life-sustaining things as water and sunlight have an upper limit of safety. While certain minerals such as calcium are generally quite safe even when taken in relatively high amounts, your body's requirements for other minerals such as iron or selenium are much lower and therefore have a smaller safety range as well.
Be sure and inform your healthcare provider of all supplements, herbs or medications you are taking so the optimal levels can be determined for you, including an adequate safety margin.
How can I tell if vitamins and minerals are of high quality?
A reputable company will be able to provide scientific studies to support the formulation and its therapeutic value. Quality of the ingredients: the same nutrient may be available in different forms. Quality of the manufacturing process: even if the supplement is well-formulated and has high quality ingredients, care must still be exercised during the manufacturing process to ensure a quality finished product. If the supplement doesn't break down properly during the digestive process it doesn't matter how well it's designed or what is used as ingredients. A manufacturer of high-quality nutritional supplements will perform a number of different tests before, during and after the tableting process to ensure quality in the finshed product, and should be able to provide you with documentation to support their processes upon request.
What Does Your Body And Its Health Need Daily?
Your body is made up of systems. And if you want these systems running on all cylinders, they need the quality nutrients to do so. A healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Recent studies indicate that the majority of meals in the US are eaten in restaurants rather than in the home. Restaurant food tends to be too high in fat and sugar. Additionally, convenience foods now make up a much higher percentage of the average diet than in the past.
In some people well over 60% of their food is from so-called "empty" calorie foods (candy, sweets, chips, or other highly processed foods that contain very little real nutritional value other than calories).Another factor is the high stresses found in today's fast-paced and busy life. The greater the external stresses, the higher the nutritional demands on the body.
Eating a poor-quality diet robs you of the nutritional factors necessary to help you stay healthy. Lastly, many people are simply unaware of how to shop for healthy foods. Convenience and taste become the major criteria for food selection, while nutritional value is given little attention, if any at all.
Many nutritional researchers point to the rising problems of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diseases of modern society as evidence of the deteriorating quality of the diet most people consume.
Beyond just feeling and looking great, vitamins and minerals have many benefits that will help your body over the course of your lifetime. Whether you do use vitamins and minerals, the benefits are too great to ignore. If you are looking to add any one thing to your lifestyle to increase your health, vitamins and minerals should be it.
ARE YOU EATING ENOUGH
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES DAILY?
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