How Nutritional Supplements Can Improve Your Health

Composition with dietary supplement capsules

Our bodies are complex organisms that need protection to keep them strong. Stressful lifestyles, environmental pollution and disease can affect how our bodies function and fight off infection. Nutritional supplements are an effective way of combating these issues while reducing long-term healthcare costs. Supplements can decrease the likelihood of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Through supplementing your diet, you can make great strides in correcting the inadequacies that are so frequent in American diets. Find out what your food is doing to you and how nutritional supplements can improve your health with this guide!


Nutrient Deficiencies

Many people across the U.S. suffer from nutrient deficiencies, which can stem from aging bodies that don’t absorb nutrients well to food that doesn’t contain sufficient nutrients. Our bodies need the right amount of nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, to function properly and ensure that our organs are healthy. Calcium and vitamin D keep bones strong, while folic acid can protect unborn children from developing birth defects. Fatty acids from fish oils, like omega-3, help protect the heart from heart disease. What we put into our bodies affect how our systems function and how well they work. For this reason, it is extremely important to monitor our food intake and recognize how our bodies are reacting to what we give them. Many people today are under the impression that as long as they eat enough fruits and vegetables, they’re good to go. Unfortunately, not everything we eat, even fruits and vegetables, provide us with the nutrients that we need to be healthy and feel well. Supplements have become a common way for people to increase the nutrients that they’re consuming each day and combat the illnesses that are caused by environmental pollution, stressful lifestyles and disease. Before you begin supplementing your diet, though, it’s important to know how supplements work and what they do for the body. If you don’t eat a nutritious variety of foods, supplements can be a way to protect your system and improve your health.


How Supplements Can Help

Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, such as traditional tablets, capsules, gummies, drinks and energy bars. These supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbals and botanicals that are filled with minerals like calcium and iron or herbs like echinacea and garlic. While not everyone is eligible for supplementation, if you have medical complications, feel a lot of stress or have an energetic living style, then supplementation can help. These issues affect your body, which, in turn, will dictate what specific vitamins and minerals your body needs to heal itself. Supplementation can improve the deficiencies that we find in the everyday food we eat. For example, USDA tests showed that in 1950, spinach contained 158 milligrams of iron per 100 grams; today, spinach contains a mere 2.7 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. 70 years later, we are now seeing how chemicals used in farming, depleted soils, preservatives and additives are negatively affecting our food supplies and preventing us from receiving the nutrition our bodies need. Supplementation helps override these deficiencies and put the nutrients back into our bodies, where they should be. As our bodies begin digesting more and more nutrients from supplementation, we can counteract chronic disease better and avoid long-term health costs, as well. You and your body are unique, and unique solutions will be required to obtain the physical health that you need and deserve.


Things To Keep In Mind With SupplementsPicture of supplements with fruits and vegetables surrounding them

To begin, it’s important to note that food should come first before supplements. Supplements are beneficial, but the way to having true vitamin and mineral success is by eating a balanced diet. Foods provide many bioactive compounds and dietary fiber that aren’t found in supplements, so it’s important that you are eating a balanced diet before looking to supplementation. If you do decide to supplement, make sure that you aren’t reliant on them. Supplements are not beneficial when taken in excess, and supplementation should always be monitored by your medical provider to make sure that you are ingesting the correct ones. Like food and medicine, supplements can also cause reactions in the body that you need to be aware of. Supplements are known to cause side effects when mixed with prescription drugs or when taken with other supplements at the same time. Some can increase your risk of bleeding and interfere with some types of cancer chemotherapy, as well. As always, stay informed about what you are taking into your body and discuss with your medical provider what supplements he/she thinks is best to begin taking, if at all. If you are already eating a balanced diet or taking additional supplements but your deficiencies aren’t improving, this can be a sign that there may be an underlying condition that is preventing your body from functioning correctly. Make sure that you visit with your doctor and get tested to gauge where exactly the nutrients in your body are. Depending on your results, supplementation may not be the number one choice for you, so getting a checkup should be your first step towards improving your health.


Get Tested Today

At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, our staff is experienced in helping patients obtain wellness and optimal health through natural ways. Our functional medicine approach focuses on you and your specific needs to address the problem at hand and treat it. We examine all factors that are affecting your body, such as the environment and your lifestyle habits, to develop a health regimen that is unique to your wants and needs. For more information on how supplements can improve your health, call our office today at (970) 631-8286 to schedule a consultation. Your journey to wellness begins today!