There is some debate about whether supplements actually work. They do – but the debate emerges because people purchase either the wrong supplement for their condition or low quality supplements which are synthetic or have a low dose of the active ingredient required.
We all have busy and stressful lifestyles and are then faced with choices involving fast food and fresh food of substandard nutritional value which make our lives easier because they are quick and convenient. it is very difficult to eat a diet that provides excellent daily nutrition. Another reason for low nutrition foods is the current farming methods and supermarket transport and storage issues. Farming methods for a mass market ensure nutritional value in that apple you’re buying is very low. Some apples bought in your supermarket today are 9 months old (they’ve been in cold storage) and many healthy products are pumped with water to make them look bigger. This means nutrient levels are much lower in our fruit and veg than the ones our grandparents were eating. In fact nutritional deficiency is very common these days.
It is for these reasons, amongst others, that we should all be taking nutritional supplements of some kind. This is not to say, though, that health supplements should replace proper nutrition. They should work by complementing our diets to make sure that we get enough of the right nutrients to optimize our health.
Apart from the fact that supplements can help us overcome nutritional deficiencies they can also help boost our immune system. The stronger our immune system, the more resistant our bodies are to disease and infections. Vitamin C, zinc, and other nutritional supplements, can work to help boost immunity. Nutritional supplements are also useful in getting rid of the toxins which we all take in everyday. The chemicals we come into contact with (pesticides on foods, chemicals in shampoo, chlorine in water), as well as our lifestyle choices (alcohol, smoking) all subject us to harmful toxins which can lead to serious health problems. Some suggest these harmful chemicals are the reason for rising chronic illness rates from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Supplements, most especially anti-oxidants, can help our body keep toxins to a minimum.
This is a simplistic look at the benefits that nutritional supplements can provide. The most important thing to understand is that nutritional supplements can help you have the optimum health you deserve whilst also minimizing the risk of disease.
It is crucially important that you buy good quality supplements.Choose supplements with real ingredients, as opposed to synthetic (they’ve been made in a laboratory) and also make sure you have adequate quantities of the active ingredient in each supplement (not just cheaper fillers) and also in balanced ratios (some nutrients need another nutrient to ensure the body absorbs the nutrient you’re taking). Cheaper supermarket brands tend to have a low level of the ingredient you’re supplementing with. Good brands should have higher dosages and will work more effectively so don’t always go with the least expensive.
If you’re not sure which supplements to take for your condition (or where to buy them), whether it’s for migraines, insomnia or skin disorders or something more chronic like cancer, diabetes, asthma or arthritis, then you have 3 avenues to choose from:
a) go to a nutritionist to gain advice. Purchase practitioner only ranges which will contain quality, high doses of the active ingredient.
b) go to a healthcare shop and see if they have a nutritionist or naturopath in store who can advise you. Beware of bias for certain products in case there’s a sales angle involved though.
c) go online to search for good supplements which discuss high quality active ingredient doses, pure ingredients, non-synthetic ingredients and many sites will also give you advice too.
Remember, the link between food nutrients and health is undeniable.
So you have decided to take supplements, you have worked out which supplements will give you the most health benefits and you have sourced and bought high quality products. Problem solved. Well not quite, because if you don’t store your supplements properly they can lose their potency dramatically, to such an extent that you are almost wasting your money.
There are three conditions that can cause this to happen – temperature, light and humidity. If you can avoid exposing your nutritional supplements to these three conditions then you can be certain that you will get the best nutritional benefit from them.
Most people tend to store their supplements in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. This is not a good choice Temperatures and humidity are at their highest in a bathroom, particularly after a bath or a shower when the humidity will penetrate the supplement! High temperatures and humidity have significant effects on degradation of nutritional supplement
So if you don’t store them in the bathroom, then what about the kitchen? This may seem like a good choice because most supplements are taken with food. But kitchen temperatures and humidity are often just as intense as they are in the bathroom.
You need to look around your house to find a dark cupboard or drawer in a room that maintains the lowest humidity and most even temperature all year round. This may be a bedroom, stair cupboard or a linen cupboard? It is really worth giving it some thought to find the ideal storage place in your home so that you know that the supplements you have bought to promote your good health are actually stored correctly so that they will work. This is one reason why I don’t buy in bulk – not to mention that bulk suppliers tend to be the cheaper, low active ingredient brands.
Nutritional medicine is a growing body within the medical community and supplementation is a big part of that. It does work but you have to find the right supplements and store them correctly.
Disclaimer: The use of this information is not a substitute for health advice. Please consult your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider for specific medical advice. The information should be used in conjunction with guidance from your medical practitioner as he/she will be aware of your unique personal medical history.