Health & Wellness News and Tips
Priya K + Follow 16 Feb 2017
Vitamins and Supplements: Adding on life to life

There is a substitute for everything, yet original is always preferred. Enjoying the abundance of nature while it lasts is a good idea. But what if one day you wake up and you have no more of it? It will be a craving that will deplete you of your nourishment.

Soak up the sun

You may want to wake up early and soak up the sun rather than gulp some tablets for Vitamin D. Natural sources of vitamins are always better than supplements. Nutritional needs should be met by eating a variety of foods as outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In some cases, vitamin/mineral supplements or fortified foods may be useful for providing nutrients that may otherwise be eaten in less than recommended amounts. If you’re already eating the recommended amount of a nutrient, you may not get any further health benefit from taking a supplement. In some cases, supplements and fortified foods may actually cause you to exceed safe levels of intake of nutrients.

If you’re already taking dietary supplements, you should inform your doctor. Research shows that many people do not let their doctors know that they are taking a dietary supplement or are considering taking one. You may think side effects happen only with prescription medicines, but some dietary supplements can cause side effects, if taken with other medications or if certain health conditions exist.

Vitamins and minerals are essential to any diet, and research suggests they may help prevent cancer and heart disease, not to mention other health problems. But reality check. Many studies have been conducted on vitamin-containing food, but not necessarily supplements.

In fact, if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fortified food, you're probably getting all you need. But supplements do offer an easy, just-in-case form of health insurance.

Be judicious about your use of supplements. If you’re lacking in a particular nutrient, ask your doctor whether you need to look beyond your diet to make up for what you’re missing—but don’t take more than the recommended daily intake for that nutrient unless your health care provider advises it.

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