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The Deal on Health Supplements: Necessary, Optional, or Useless?

“A healthy body is a platform for flourishing a healthy mind.” Pawan Mishra

If you walk down the health aisle at any drug store, you’ll be amazed at just how many vitamins and supplements there are out there.

Ten years ago, simply taking a vitamin C supplement in the morning would make you feel a step ahead of the health game. In recent history, the market for vitamin supplements has gone through the roof. There seems to be a capsule for any condition out there (even ones you didn’t know you could have!)

Really, there are supplements available that are marked as  “curve-enhancement,” “sharp mind“, and “placenta pills.” Who would have known?

So, in the midst of this colorful and extensive health market, what vitamins do we actually need to be taking?

As it stands, for those with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, vitamins and supplements aren’t a dire necessity. However, there are some supplements that have been recognized as being beneficial in preventing and treating certain conditions.

1) Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is very essential for the overall quality of your health. Women especially don’t consume enough calcium: which is problematic considering the direct correlation between bone mass in young adulthood and the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Calcium is also very important for healthy teeth, blood clotting, and nerve function.

For people that don’t consume regular amounts of dairy in their diet, a calcium supplement is highly recommended.

2) Vitamin D

While most vitamins are already plentiful in the foods we consume, vitamin D is a bit more elusive in comparison. It is found most commonly in fish and eggs, however, in very limited amounts. Investing in a vitamin D supplement is a wise choice, considering it is very important for bone health, cell growth, and a strong immune system.

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TeddyCan Blog discusses why we might benefit from certain supplements.

3) Probiotics

I cannot stress how important it is to maintain a well-balanced bacterial environment in your gut. Without a sufficient amount of healthy microbes in your system, bad bacteria runs rampant. Most people don’t even realize that they are suffering from bacterial overgrowth, but it can have devasting effects on their health. Taking a probiotic supplement is well-worth the positive impact it will leave on your health.

4) Folic Acid

Folic acid is essential in nutrient absorption and several mental health issues like depression, insomnia, and Alzheimer’s. Folate naturally occurs in a variety of foods such as spinach, broccoli, bananas, and beans. If you don’t have a folate deficiency, isn’t necessary to invest in a supplement. However, a supplement is highly recommended for pregnant women, people diagnosed with kidney / liver / or sickle cell disease, as they require higher levels of folate.

5) Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the most influential vitamins when it comes to brain function. This vitamin plays a role in some very critical mental processes: such as concentration, memory, and maintaining energy levels. People with low levels of B12 feel lethargic, weak, and mentally foggy- basically, living through a perpetual 3 P.M slump.

Vegetarians and people over the age of 50 are urged to take a B12 supplement, as they are at a higher risk for deficiency. For the rest of us, a little extra B12 wouldn’t hurt, at the very least it’d give us a little metabolic boost.

Investing in an expansive collection of obscure supplements won’t turn you into a beautiful, immortal superhero. However, supplements can be great options for those with vitamin deficiencies, restrictive diets, or approaching old age. It is important to note that supplements are not effective substitutes for a nutritious diet or healthy lifestyle, hence the word supplement.  For vitamins to be effective, there needs to be a balanced diet, exercise, and healthy habits to back them up!

If you haven’t been taking any vitamins or health supplements, there’s no need to worry. It’s never too late to start, and we have a fabulous website for you to use: A1Supplements is a great resource for great quality (and affordable) vitamins.

Let us know in the comments if you recommend any supplements we didn’t list above, we love hearing your thoughts!

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