Even if you eat a perfectly balanced and healthy diet, chances are your body still isn’t getting all of what it needs. This is because the recommended daily amount of every vitamin and mineral is considerably harder to reach than you would think.
Luckily, modern pharmaceuticals have picked up the slack and given us literally thousands of products that all claim to bridge the gap. The problem is in figuring out exactly what is important (calcium, for example) and what is marketing drivel (beeswax extract).
To identify what works, it takes some careful research and a discerning consumer eye. It also requires a good understanding of what your body and lifestyle require. Below are some of the supplements that have valid health benefits.
List of Supplements to Take
Calcium is one of those minerals that few people worry about until it is too late. While it is certainly present in foods such as milk and yogurt, most folks simply do not get nearly as much of it as they should.
A diet low in calcium can directly lead to weakened bones, improper bone growth, and conditions such as osteoporosis. Most adults should be getting about 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Be sure to take a supplement that has secondary ingredients that promote calcium absorption.
Vitamin D is yet another important nutrient that many people neglect. While you may get some Vitamin D from your regular diet, most of your body’s supply is produced when you are exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, those living in areas where the sun doesn’t come out very often (or simply during winter) probably receive nowhere near as much as they should.
Vitamin D is crucial for proper Calcium absorption (why the two are often packaged together). Ideally, you should be ingesting approximately 400 IU of Vitamin D a day.
Folic Acid is the supplemental form of Folate, a crucial B Vitamin. It is most commonly found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, and citrus fruit. Folate supplementation is highly recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, and some research has shown that it can help prevent heart disease in all individuals. The recommended daily allowance of Folic Acid is about 400mcg per adult per day.
If you are suffering from joint pain, or you are performing daily activities that are considered taxing on the joints, you should look into taking Chondroitin and Glucosamine. Both of these supplements have been shown to prevent the deterioration of cartilage and both help prevent and treat joint pain.
While they are technically supposed to treat osteoarthritis, many people use them to manage even mild conditions. An effective dose is around 1500mg of Glucosamine and 1200mg of Chondroitin.
Remember, before deciding to begin a supplement regiment, always consult your primary care physician. Do not exceed the recommended daily allowance, and follow all instructions on the label. A good supplement regiment comes from understanding your diet (and what’s lacking from it) and how to make up for it. If you begin experiencing unusual side effects, stop taking all supplements and consult a doctor immediately.