The Best Supplements for Health: Boost Your Overall Wellness
Choosing the best supplements for health to take isn’t all that easy. A “simple” shopping errand to pick up vitamins has turned into a confusing visit to decipher the difference between a myriad of brands, supplements, and herbal remedies.
More than half of Americans—68 percent—take some type of dietary supplement, according to the Council for Professional Nutrition.
But how do you decide on the best supplements for health to take when there are so many options available? Our dietitian at Cary Medical Group is here to help:
“We are always available to answer any questions you have about taking nutrition supplements. It’s important to know you’re taking what you specifically need, that you purchase a good quality supplement and that there will be no medication interactions,” said Nicole Matala, our dietitian.
In a perfect world, our daily diet would provide all the nutrients we need. However, because most Americans don’t follow an ideal diet plan, supplements for health can help you get needed nutrients. This is particularly important if you have certain food allergies or follow a vegan diet.
We’ll take a quick look at some of the best supplements for health that you should take, what to look for when purchasing them, and important factors to consider.
Nutritional Supplements for Health You Should Take Regularly
There is a lot of research that suggests that fish oil and its Omega 3 fatty acids can go a long way toward promoting a healthy heart.
Inflammation can damage blood vessels, putting you at greater risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce this inflammation, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.
In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids also:
- Decrease triglycerides, the amount of fat in your blood
- Reduce blood clotting
- Decrease your risk of developing heart disease
- Reduce irregular heartbeats
Vitamin D is important because it helps your body absorb calcium, reduces the risk of cancer, decreases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and helps strengthen your immune system. However, more than 50 percent of the world’s population has some type of vitamin D deficiency.
Few foods contain as much vitamin D as needed for daily dietary needs. In addition, most people do not get enough exposure to sunlight to get the necessary vitamin D, and sunscreen blocks our ability to make vitamin D. Therefore, this vitamin is important to add to your supplement list.
Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure by supporting several different types of biochemical reactions in your body.
It’s typically found in legumes, seeds, and whole grains. It’s also found in green, leafy vegetables and avocados. Foods that are high in dietary fiber are also a source of magnesium.
Magnesium also helps sleep and bone health. Almost half of all Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets.
The nutrient vitamin B12 keeps blood cells healthy and assists your body in creating DNA. It’s also important in preventing types of anemia, according to information from the National Institute of Health.
B12 can be found in dairy foods, and fish such as salmon, poultry, and eggs. However, as people age, it becomes more challenging to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets.
If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet, speak with us and we can provide the information that you need about this important supplement for health
B12 is also an important supplement to take if you’re a vegan since B12 is found almost entirely in animal foods.
Pregnant women need to receive 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This is an important supplement for all women of childbearing age.
It’s particularly vital for those who are trying to get pregnant because folic acid reduces the risk of certain birth defects, according to information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Folic acid works by helping your tissues grow and ensuring your cells are working at optimum efficiency. It also helps the body create new proteins and red blood cells.
In addition, folic acid helps produce DNA, which carries genetic information, according to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Ideally, you should get folic acid from foods such as nuts, leafy vegetables, and seeds. It can also be found in lettuce, broccoli, peanuts, and avocado.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Supplements for Health
First, it’s vital to keep our internal medicine physicians in Cary in the loop as part of your healthcare team. There is an incredible amount of options available, and as a result, it’s often overwhelming to determine which supplements are safe and effective.
Check for Interactions
FDA regulates supplements as foods, not drugs. However, it’s still important to talk to your internal medicine physician in Cary to be sure that any supplements for health supplements you take won’t interfere with any prescription medications.
Consider the Quality of the Products
Look for reputable brands that have been around for a while and have a good reputation in the market. Read reviews from other consumers. It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients.
Look for supplements that contain the active ingredients you need and avoid those with unnecessary additives or fillers. Supplements with higher-quality ingredients tend to be more effective. In addition, look for supplements that use high-quality ingredients like organic or non-GMO sources.
Consider the dosage and the form of the supplement. Some supplements come in capsules, while others come in tablets or powders. The dosage will depend on your needs, so consult with our doctors or our dietitian to determine the appropriate amount.
Ask About Side Effects
Finally, ask us about any potential risks or side effects of the supplement you are considering. Your doctor will be able to guide whether the supplement is safe for you to take and how it may interact with your current health condition.
Your Complete Guide to Nutrition
Interested in learning the truth about what you should eat and what you shouldn’t? We’re fortunate to have the insight of our incredible dietitian, Nicole Matala, who welcomes the chance to speak with you about taking charge of your health.
“The most rewarding experiences as a dietitian happen when I see patients make healthy changes that they didn’t think they could make,” she said. “I’ve seen patients lose weight, reduce their blood sugar numbers and increase their physical stamina. Seeing those changes and the benefits they provide to my patients is what I find rewarding.”
Cary Medical Group Views Nutrition as Vital to Overall Health
While supplements for health are an important part of your total wellness, they shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, nutrition, and annual wellness exams all play a major role in helping you avoid serious health complications like diabetes, high cholesterolor high blood pressure.
Ready to get started on a journey to a healthier outlook? Contact us today for an appointment.