It would be nice if our diets were always 100% nutritionally balanced and full of all the vitamins and minerals that we need in order to be healthy, wouldn’t they? But most of the time they’re not. Most people eat out at least three nights a week and don’t eat very well the rest of the time.
Some people don’t eat as well as they should because they are pressed for time and it’s faster to get restaurant food when they’re out running around. Some people don’t eat as well as they should because they don’t really know how to eat in a more healthy way.
Most people would say that they take at least one vitamin each day. Some people take many more than that. Experts recommend different vitamins and supplements in different amounts to do everything from improving day-to-day health to cure disease.
It can be very confusing to know which vitamins and supplements you should be taking and which ones you shouldn’t take. If you’re taking prescription medication then there are supplements that you shouldn’t take because they will interfere with the effectiveness of the medication that you’re taking. There are also some vitamins that can be harmful if you take too much of them.
So how are you supposed to make sense out of nutrition and know which vitamins and supplements you should take and which ones you shouldn’t?
The information provided here should give you what you need to get a basic understanding of what vitamins and supplements do and which ones you really need to take in order to balance your diet, look younger, and accomplish other goals.
Since it’s just not possible to eat a balanced diet all the time, knowing which vitamins and supplements you can take to help make up for the times when you can’t eat a balanced meal will help you give your body all the tools that it needs to stay healthy.
Essential Nutrients Everyone Needs To Stay Healthy
When it comes right down to it there are certain things that everyone needs in order to be healthy. Most of the time people are lacking in at least one of the essential nutrients because they don’t eat right, or are trying to lose weight so they aren’t eating enough, or because they just plain don’t like fruits and vegetables or other foods that provide these nutrients.
Whether you get them in a vitamin or a supplement or get them from food these are the six nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly:
- Vitamins – Vitamins are the fuel that your body uses to create new tissue, new cells, and to keep all the systems in the body running properly. Without vitamins, you can’t survive. Vitamins are essential for life and good health.
- Minerals – Minerals often need to be taken as supplements because modern diets don’t give people the trace minerals that their bodies need in order to function properly anymore. Minerals are what helps your body digest food and keep your metabolism running properly. Without the right minerals, you won’t be able to process food effectively in order to get the vitamins that the body needs.
- Amino Acids – Amino acids are essential because the body uses them to produce hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals that help maintain the body’s delicate chemical balance. Lack of amino acids can lead to severe imbalances that can cause a lot of unpleasant conditions.
- Fat – Even though fat is vilified as the source of obesity human beings need fat in their diets. Fat is stored in the body for energy. Fat also keeps the brain functioning well and helps protect the body from damage and temperature changes. There is evidence that eating ‘healthy fats’ can help manage chronic conditions like Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. You shouldn’t go overboard when eating fat but you do need some fat to survive.
- Protein – It is one of the key building blocks of the body. Protein is the main source of energy for the body. Protein also helps build muscle and it is essential to help the body repair damage and keep all the systems of the body running efficiently.
- Carbohydrates – Even though some weight loss plans promote the idea that you don’t need carbohydrates your body does in fact need carbohydrates. Carbs give you energy, and without them, you will soon find yourself unable to do even simple tasks. In order to have the energy that you need to get yourself out of bed each day and function in the world, you need to eat at least a minimal amount of carbs every day.
I have also reviewed a lot of other dietary supplements, if you are interested, you might check them out.
Why Do You Need To Take Supplements and Vitamins
There are certain vitamins and minerals that your body needs in order to function properly and stay healthy. Ideally, you would get all the vitamins that you need from food but it’s very hard to eat a diet that includes the right amounts of all the vitamins and minerals that you need.
When you add in other factors like diets, stress eating, restaurant food, and other things that impact how often you eat and what you eat it can be even tougher to try and get all the nutrients your body needs from food.
In order to stay healthy and to get the vitamins and minerals that are missing from your daily diet, you need to take vitamins and minerals as supplements.
These supplements don’t replace the need for food but they can make sure that your body gets the bare minimum amount of vitamins that it needs to function every day so that you have enough energy and mental clarity to get through your day.
When you don’t get enough vitamins and minerals you will be able to tell because you will feel sluggish and sick. You may get very tired, or you may just lose interest in life in general. If you take too many of one particular type of vitamin you might become physically sick.
If you normally don’t eat a very well balanced diet and you start to notice yourself becoming weaker and more tired it’s a safe bet that a lack of vitamins and minerals is to blame. If you start taking a high-quality multivitamin and eating a better diet you will probably feel good again in no time.
In addition to keeping you healthy and keeping your body running properly, vitamins and minerals can do a lot of other things for the body. Vitamins and minerals can fight ageing, help your skin and hair, help you stave off age-related illnesses and impairments, and even help you fight disease.
Vitamins and certain types of herbal supplements can even help you manage chronic conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other long term conditions that can make life uncomfortable and difficult. Some cultures believe that vitamins and supplements can be used as medicine and that the body can heal itself when it is given the right amounts of vitamins and supplements to use as fuel so that prescription medicines aren’t needed.
While there is still a lot of debate about that topic there is some evidence to show that the body can heal itself of serious diseases under the right circumstances without the intervention of Western medicine.
Because vitamins and minerals are so essential to staying healthy, people that have vitamin deficiencies can suffer from all kinds of health problems ranging from slowed growth process in children to malnutrition and even starvation in older people. Vitamin deficiencies are no laughing matter and can happen to anyone.
Do MultiVitamins Really Work?
There’s no question that many people don’t get the nutrients that they need from the food that they eat every day. Diets that are dependent on fast food or restaurant food at least two or three times per week make it hard for people to get the vitamins and minerals that they really need in order to be healthy.
So in theory multivitamins are a great idea, but doctors and medical experts are split on whether or not multivitamins really give people the nutrition that they lack.
One of the biggest reasons that some doctors feel that taking multivitamins is a waste of time is that most of the thousand of multivitamins that are on the market today are made up of synthetic vitamins and minerals that were created in a lab specifically for use in a multivitamin tablet.
These doctors argue that using synthetic vitamins and minerals doesn’t help the body as much as the natural vitamins and minerals found in food would.
Are synthetically made vitamins and minerals effective when it comes to helping the body? There is some evidence that suggests that multivitamin pills are somewhat effective at providing the body with the vitamins and minerals that it needs.
But a scientist at Northwestern University says that even though multivitamins might be somewhat effective at providing some nutrients a synthetically produced multivitamin can’t come close to the amount of vitamins and nutrients that are absorbed by the body through food.
The theory goes that because of the way that your body interacts with food it’s much better and more effective to get vitamins and minerals from food than through a multivitamin.
And most doctors would agree that multivitamins aren’t going to completely replace the need for food but they argue that multivitamins are a good backup source of vitamins and minerals for people that don’t always eat a balanced diet or don’t always get the kind of nutrition that they should through food.
But that theory doesn’t take into account arguments that proponents of multivitamin pills make pointing out that with soil depletion, pollution, and the use of pesticides and chemicals that the food people eat today isn’t all that healthy and most of the vitamins and minerals have been depleted before a person even eats the food.
The jury is still out on whether or not multivitamins are as effective as eating food to get vitamins and minerals but there is no question that in certain circumstances and for certain people that are too busy to eat a healthy diet, or people that can’t eat certain foods because of allergies, or people that don’t like to eat certain foods or people that are dieting taking a multivitamin every day can be a good way for them to get the vitamins and minerals that they need in order to thrive and be strong and healthy.
Are Organic Vitamins Better?
If you’re worried about whether or not synthetically produced vitamins are going to be effective and help you get healthier you can also buy organic or food-based vitamins. Organic vitamins are created directly from food and mineral sources.
The nutritional compounds are isolated and then broken down and powered or put into a liquid suspension. Because they are made from actual food and the process to extract the vitamins can be tedious, organic vitamins are often more expensive than synthetic vitamins.
Is there really that big a difference between synthetic vitamins and organic vitamins? Some nutrition experts claim that there is. There have been claims that some types of synthetic vitamins can actually cause illness instead of preventing it.
In one study patients using synthetically made Vitamin C actually suffered more illnesses than people not taking any Vitamin C at all. But that is not conclusive proof, and there has been no conclusive proof that synthetic multivitamins can be harmful to your health.
Some people prefer to buy organic vitamins because they try to eat organic foods and live as organically as possible. In general, anytime you can eat something or take vitamins that are made directly from organic, whole foods are going to be the healthiest for you.
But you don’t have to buy organic vitamins in order to get a health benefit from taking a multivitamin. If you do choose to buy organic vitamins there are several things that you should look for in order to know for sure that a particular vitamin is organic instead of synthetically made:
Certification – If the vitamin has a seal of approval from a known and recognized group you can be fairly sure it’s organic. If there is no seal it’s probably not organic.
“Organic” not “Natural” – Many multivitamins say they are “natural” or “100% natural” but naturally doesn’t always mean organic. Check the label very carefully to see if the label says specifically that the vitamin is organic and not just “natural”. Even if the label says the ingredients are natural it might mean that there are some natural components that are bound to chemical or synthetic vitamins so be wary of any label saying the ingredients are “natural” instead of organic.
Price – Organic vitamins are almost always more expensive than synthetic vitamins. So if you see a multivitamin that claims to be natural or organic but it’s cheaper than most of the other types of vitamins it’s probably not organic or natural.
There are thousands of brands of multivitamins on the market so if you choose to use organic vitamins over synthetic vitamins it shouldn’t be too hard to find organic vitamins in your price range.
Who Needs To Take Vitamins?
Anyone that doesn’t eat a very balanced diet needs to take vitamins and supplements to be healthy. That means that most people should be taking at least a few vitamins each day. There are some groups that need vitamins and supplements more than other groups though because they have special nutritional needs. They are children and the elderly.
Because children are still developing mentally and physically it’s especially important that they get the proper vitamins and nutrients so that their bodies have all the tools they need for growth.
When a child is growing and developing it can be hard for the child’s body to keep up with the demand for vitamins and nutrients even if the child is eating a balanced diet.
It can be very difficult to get children to eat a balanced diet. Children that have allergies to certain foods or just refuse to eat certain foods can develop vitamin deficiencies.
Added to the extra need for vitamins that children’s bodies have is the fact that most children don’t get a balanced diet and don’t get even the minimum amount of vitamins and minerals that they need for proper growth and development just from their diet alone.
Children that don’t get enough vitamins and minerals can develop severe problems as a result. A lack of Vitamin A in a child’s diet can cause the child to have poor vision or to have vision problems.
Lack of other vitamins can cause symptoms like nausea, depression, lethargy, constipation, irritability, weight gain or loss, insomnia or other sleep disturbances, and poor mental development and physical coordination.
At the opposite end of the age, spectrum is the elderly, who also need extra vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition is the number one cause of vitamin deficiencies in the elderly.
A lack of money for food or a lack of appetite because of the medications that they are on or depression or other health issues can all cause the elderly to become malnourished and to suffer from vitamin deficiencies.
When the elderly have serious vitamin deficiencies their immune systems can’t function properly and they can end up developing serious infections and other illnesses that they would be able to fight off if they had a healthy immune system.
The elderly also need vitamins and supplements to help them fight diseases and chronic conditions that become more of a problem as people age like arthritis.
Can Supplements Help You Lose Weight?
According to the World Health Organization, obesity is a worldwide epidemic and one of the most glaringly visible but least addressed public health issues of our time. There were 107.7 million obese children and 603.7 million obese adults in 2015.
Various weight loss solutions are available. Among these are pills, pharmaceuticals, and natural supplements. They are said to assist in weight loss, or at least make weight loss easier when used in conjunction with other methods.
It should be noted that pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet. Supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity.
Besides, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you already take medications, have health concerns or are pregnant
Generally, supplements work through one or more of the following mechanisms:
- Reduces appetite, making you feel fuller so that you consume fewer calories
- Reduces the absorption of nutrients, such as fat, causing you to consume fewer calories
- Burn more calories by increasing fat burning
Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.
While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read the reviews.