Are Nutritional Supplements Good for You?
By Omer Rashid
We are what we eat, and in order to stay healthy, we need to have healthy food. A healthy lifestyle demands that we regularly fulfill all the nutritional requirements of our bodies. Having said that, most of us are not aware of what, and how much, nutrients are required to maintain our health. This lack of knowledge makes us look for easy ways to fulfill our nutritional needs -- and that's where dietary supplements come into play.
Supplements: To Take or Not to Take
The average American meals usually lack the nutritional supply required for sustaining an optimum health condition. This deficiency of important nutrients propels people toward making food supplements a regular part of their daily dietary intake. However, this pre-supposed efficacy of nutritional supplements in compensating for our nutritional deficiency may be unfounded. On the contrary, excessive intake of these supplements may lead to dangerous effects on the body.
In the U.S. alone, $12 billion are spent on food supplements annually, but many nutrition experts believe that this money would be much better spent on natural food items. These healthy natural foods include vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy items.
Experts suggest that the supplement pills available from the market are not the right way to go about catering to your nutritional requirements. The right approach would be to make well informed dietary and lifestyle corrections. Efforts to maintain a healthy weight, consuming a healthy diet, and opting out from trans fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium can yield beneficial results.
Scientists believe that just following a balanced and healthy natural diet can provide you all the vitamins and minerals that you need. However, the way these food supplements are marketed develops a lot of excitement among the people. But the enthusiasm about the beneficial effects of these packaged vitamins and minerals is shallow and not backed by any evidence.
Natural Sources of Nutrients
When we try to meet our nutritional requirements through nutritional supplements, we don't get the same kind of effect that natural food sources provide. Consuming a natural healthy diet makes most of the nutrients available to us, resulting in a positive synergistic effect on the body. A supplement pill lacks the same kind of composite effect because it lacks all those beneficial substances present in natural food sources.
Taking food supplements exposes you to the risk of over-consuming the vitamins and minerals, which can have harmful effects on the body. So it's best to avoid those pills and focus on the naturally available healthy foods such as fish, fruits, and vegetables.
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