The vitamin and supplement industry has become very large, garnering over 100 million customers and $20 billion dollars per year. But are they really that good for you? The answer is not so simple, and it largely depends on your diet. Some nutrients are easily consumed in the food you eat, while others are easier to obtain in pill form. Let’s take a closer look at five of the most popular and effective supplements:
- Multivitamin: While people who eat a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruits and veggies, may get a variety of nutrients naturally, other people who eat mostly processed foods may need a little extra help. Multivitamins are not designed to target any specific area of health, but rather, they’re meant to boost overall health and wellness. Nutritionist David Schardt says that taking a daily multivitamin acts as a “very inexpensive insurance policy.” It’s simply meant to give your body a full spectrum of vitamins and nutrients that may not be coming from your diet.
- Antioxidants: Like multivitamins, antioxidants have a very broad purpose, which is to rid you of free radicals. Many researchers agree that free radicals cause oxidative damage (cellular wear and tear) inside your body and that generous doses of antioxidants can squelch them. While these antioxidants are found in many fruits, especially berries, many people prefer the pill form. There are even tests being conducted to study if antioxidants can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration
- Calcium: Doctors have recommended calcium for years to support better bone health and reduce your risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. Safe levels—2,000 mg per day—exceed what most people consume naturally, and therefore, supplementation is often recommended, particularly for women.
- Vitamin D: Studies have proven that vitamin D increases your body’s ability to properly absorb calcium, which means it helps you get more bang for your buck. Your skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun (doctors recommend 10 minutes of exposure per day), but it is scarcely found in food—with the only major source being fatty fish. Vitamin D is proven to boost bone health, and could also be linked to heightened moods, heart health and more.
- Fish Oil: While omega-3 fatty acids may not help people who already have a heart condition, they are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease in healthy individuals. You can get omega-3s from eating fatty fish, nuts or taking supplements such as fish oil or krill oil. Omega-3s are also linked to increased joint comfort and improved dental health.
Supplements can keep you away from the doctor for only so long. Call us at (925) 244-1330 for more information on San Francisco health insurance.