20 Aug Nutritional Supplements
Do we need them or is it a supplement?
Nutrition is not an exact science. Over the years it has suffered when it comes to recommendations, for example, before it was said that we should eat three eggs a week as a maximum, and now they recommend more than once a day. Before, it was said that oily fish was bad and now they say it is necessary to eat it frequently in order to get the benefits of Omega 3 ( healthy fats from fish) …etc, well it is the same story when it comes to supplements.
Supplements are a current topic of debate. On the one hand, we have the pure advocates who claim that we should try to get all our nutrients from a balanced and varied diet. On the other hand, there are those who insist that it is improbable that we get all nutrients from food, and for that reason, we should take supplements. What do you think?
Firstly, it is necessary to define what is required of certain nutrients in our bodies in order to define them as so-called our daily recommended intake. These levels of intake are established so that this quantity (of every daily recommended intake) is sufficient for more than 97% of the population, but this is not an easy task as you have to determine the vitamin, mineral, protein levels, etc sufficient for each person, situation, age, lifestyle and for this reason what we have to determine is when, how and how many?
What is certain is that established recommended daily intake of supplements, a lot of factors must be taken into account as well as using a security margin to guarantee that they cover all the minimum requirements. However, it is very important to consider individual circumstances, which require a permanent or temporary increase in levels of intake as well as general recommendations. This situation is difficult to manage without using nutritional supplements.
Therefore, nutritional supplements are needed in the following situations:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: folate, iodine, iron supplements are very important….etc.
- Inadequate diets: individuals with food problems or with the absorption of food.
- Special diets: vegan, keto…etc.
- Medicine: the intake of some medicines interferes with the correct absorption of some nutrients.
- Lifestyle: someone who smokes, or drinks alcohol, these are habits that increase the need for a higher daily intake of vitamins.
- Illnesses: those related to stomach problems and absorption.
- Sport: depending on the intensity levels and frequency, it is necessary to have a higher intake of nutrients.
- Genetics: each person manages the utilization and absorption of nutrients in a different way.
- Cooking techniques and food intake: depending on how we cook food and how we eat it, a large number of nutrients can be lost. For example, how we cook vegetables, meat, well done or not so well done… etc.
Having analyzed all these sections, we can observe that personalization is key and from this, we observe that there can be numerous conditioning factors that may increase the addition of some specific nutrients. For this reason, it is very important to have a complete and balanced diet, but this diet can be complemented with supplements also.
Would you like to know some of the supplements that are used?
- Vitamin D: used when we do not receive the necessary does of sol to generate it in a natural way in our body.
- Ashwagandha: used to diminish stress or symptoms of anxiety.
- Creatine: helps to improve strength levels in your train regularly.
- Protein powder: used when you do not manage to get your protein needs from food, the goal being to preserve muscular mass.
- Caffeine: used by professional sportspeople to help with concentration and pain tolerance.
- Multivitamins and minerals: to ensure the body functions well.
It is important to mention that we should take the topic of supplements lightly as we must take into account tolerable limits and not overdo it. Amongst other reasons, there is also that of avoidance of possible toxicity in our bodies. Taking supplements by ourselves can mean running a serious risk so it is advisable to see a professional who could recommend the dosage and the correct form to take these to avoid whatever toxicity problem or unchecked issue in our bodies.
So, are supplements necessary? They are if our body needs them and this is true much more than we realize, but we must know how to use them as a supplement (our goal is to ensure to have a complete and balanced nutritional intake) and it should be done under the guidance of a professional.