What are dietary supplements?
A dietary supplement is intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. They are concentrated sources of nutrients taken as a dietary top-up.
Supplements as generally understood include vitamins, minerals, fibre, fatty acids, or amino acids, among other substances.
Why do you need to take supplements?
Most people look at supplements with suspicion due to ignorance or lack of enough knowledge about them. The most popular myth is that dietary supplements is only for folks who are in the field of fitness, bodybuilding or sports.
Most people who aren’t in a health crisis wonder why they need to take a supplement. “I feel fine. Why would I need to take anything?”
Contrary to this myth some kind of supplementation is necessary for all of us to lead a healthy life.
They’re a must-have for awesome health, and chances are you’re not getting enough and here are some of the reasons why…
Most of us do not consume a balanced diet consisting all the required macro nutrients, vitamins and minerals. However, even if you eat a healthy, predominantly plant-based diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, chances are good (unless you’re consuming everything organic) the food comes from soils that have insufficient mineral content. When foods are grown over and over again in the same soils, the mineral content of that soil becomes depleted over time. Therefore the produce from such soil lacks enough minerals.
To give you an example; by some estimates the vitamin C we got from 1 orange about 20-30 years ago would today take about 5 oranges for the same amount of vitamin C. Surprised? But it’s true. Now that’s a lot of oranges to eat daily to fulfil your daily requirement of Vitamin C. And what about the other vitamin and mineral requirements? At this rate you can imagine the quantity of other foods you would have to consume to get other vitamin needs fulfilled. You would have to be eat pretty much the whole dayJ I don’t think the greatest foodie in the world would like thatJ
Also a lot of processed foods in today’s world and overcooking of our foods leads to loss of a lot of vital nutrients from its original form. This has more relevance in India where most of the foods no matter which cuisine are cooked to a point where most of the nutrients are lost. So what you are mostly consuming are foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.
Moreover, in our busy and hectic schedules it is very difficult for most of us to consistently follow a healthy and balanced diet and therefore it is imperative to consume at least some basic supplements like multivitamins, omega 3 and some probiotics.
However, the key to remember here is that supplements cannot replace natural foods, all they can do is fill the nutrient deficiency in a balanced diet. So the best of supplements taken with a poor diet will not do you much good.
Also note that supplements must be taken only after consultation from an expert.