Posted in: Anaemia, Diet, nutrient deficiency, nutrition

Learn about Nutrition Supplements

What supplements are you taking? why do you feel like you need them? How many of those supplements are you taking? These are the three very first questions you will need to ask yourself.

What are Nutrition supplements?

Products in the form of powders, tablets, capsules, and even drinks that may contain minerals, vitamins, or amino acids that are meant to complement your regular diet and not replace it.

To complement your regular diet and not ever replace it. 

What this means is that depending only on supplements without taking normal foods from the common food groups can lead to major medical problems.

Important to note

 These supplements must never outweigh the benefits of nutrients we get from the normal food that we eat, like fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Reasons why people take supplements

  • Strict dieting means you are missing out on very important nutrients when you are on a diet that excludes proteins completely for example in strict vegans, you may start to become vitamin b12 deficient because vitamin b12 is mostly sourced from Animal source proteins like beef and eggs.
  • Poor appetite leads to reduced oral intake hence a huge risk of malnutrition, and for very sick individuals who cannot eat orally and
    have an extremely reduced oral intake.
  • Change in nutritional needs for example during pregnancy, a pregnant woman would need more nutrients compared to other women.
  • Old age may lead to malabsorption and nutrients don’t get absorbed well, which could lead to conditions like osteoporosis.
  • Exercising may lead to increased energy needs, which is why most athletes are swayed to take in so many supplements like protein powders.
  • To achieve quick weight loss, the weight loss journey can be very exhausting for many, especially if the process becomes too slow, many will become desperate to fasten the process and hence may opt for weight loss supplements.

Basically, these reasons may justify the need to take these supplements,

But, How bad can it get?

  • Are those supplements prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner?
  • Are you taking more than you should?
  • Do they cause any side effects?
  • Are you taking the supplements for the right reasons?

Reasons, why you do not need to take supplements.

  • You may not be taking them for the right reasons, for example, why would be taking protein powders when your workout is not intense or you do not exercise at all?
  • Athletes or individuals that participate in too heavy exercising, may end up developing muscle loss, especially when their diet is not well balanced to cater to the extra need.
  • Nutritious High-Protein diet is always recommended especially those of a high biological value like those from animals, when you adjust your diet, you may not exactly need the protein powders.
  • Tight Budget, truth be said just adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet will save you lots of money that you want to use in
    buying vitamin supplements.

Fruits and vegetables have very attractive colours, and those colours come with lots of vitamins that your body needs.

When your diet contains lots of vegetables and fruits, you will end up getting all the vitamins you need,
and perhaps also in surplus meaning, you don’t ever have to worry about vitamin deficiencies and the need to buy vitamin supplements.

  • You follow people blindly, just because your girlfriend is on pills or supplements containing vitamins or minerals that are giving her clearer skin, can never mean that it will be the same for you.
  • You are taking the supplements for the wrong reasons and the wrong way. This may actually cause you more problems than you expected, people react to things differently and the beauty supplements may not work as well as they did for your friend.

Reasons why supplements are recommended.

  1. Pregnant women do get supplements because when they get pregnant, their dietary needs increase and there would be a need to
    boost, Pregnant women may need folate or folic acid supplements that help in healthy fetal development. Without getting these supplements, a child might be born with deformities.
  2. Infants get vitamin A supplements at six months and thereafter every other six months. Because young children are at high risk of developing vitamin A deficiencies. For growth and development, for good vision, and for healthy skin and teeth. Of
    course, in addition to a well-balanced dish for your child the moment they start complementary feeding. Before a child gets to six months, the child can get vitamin A and other immune boosters through breastfeeding and that is why vitamin A supplementation is not important for infants below six months unless under other extreme medical circumstances.
  3. Vitamin D may be recommended for older adults to prevent osteoporosis. Old age comes in with so many medical
    complications, and malabsorption is also one of them, this may cause poor absorption of nutrients hence risking malnutrition.
  4. For malnourished or very sick patients who cannot sufficiently feed well, they may also need to get supplemented with nutrient-dense feeds. This enables the individual not to get into malnutrition which can also make the hospital stay longer than expected.

So, you see, have a good reason for taking supplements or
then you may develop extreme signs and symptoms like;

  • Stomach pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Constipation and change in bowel movements.

That can lead to more serious medical problems, you only need to take the supplements in the right way and for the right reasons.

A well-balanced diet that contains;

  1. Healthy sources of complex carbohydrates.
  2. Healthy sources of proteins.
  3. Healthy sources of fats. Less saturated fats.
  4. More vegetables, filling half of your plate with vegetables first before serving anything else.
  5. Have fruit after your meals.
  6. Taking 8 glasses of water every day.

Will make your body function properly and therefore there may be no need for supplementation. hen your body is well nourished, you will feel a little happier.

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