Most people who have access to a balanced diet can usually obtain all the nutrients they require from their normal diet. Because foods contain many substances that promote health, people should therefore be encouraged to select a healthy and balanced diet from food before considering any supplement.

In cases where the intake from the diet is insufficient or where consumers consider their diet requires supplementation, the following supplements serve to supplement the daily diet.

Multivitamins

There are lots of good reasons to take a multivitamin. Even the best eating plans can fall short of meeting all of the 40-plus nutrients you need each day. Multivitamins can help in improving physical and mental health. It helps to improve general bodily functions, reduce stress and promotes overall wellbeing.  Multivitamins are a useful way to get a broad range of essential micronutrients like vitamins (ex: A, B-complex, C, D, E, K) and minerals (ex: calcium, magnesium).

Minerals

Calcium as a nutrient is most commonly associated with the formation and metabolism of bone. It’s critical for mediating vascular contraction and vasodilatation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signalling and hormonal secretion.  Calcium is classically associated with dairy products; milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of calcium, providing the major share of calcium from foods in the general diet.

Magnesium is a mineral that is present in relatively large amounts in the body and is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly: growth and maintenance of bones, proper function of nerves, muscles, neutralize stomach acid.

An easy way to remember foods that are good magnesium sources is to think fibre. Foods that are high in fibre are generally high in magnesium: green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Magnesium deficiency is related to factors that promote or lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Fish Oil

Your doctor may have suggested that you eat salmon or other fatty fish at least twice a week. The reason for this recommendation is that fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats that have been promoted for a variety of heart, brain, and other health benefits. The ideal sources are from foods like: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna) flax seeds, nuts.

Omega-3s may help lower your risk for heart disease. Lowering very high triglycerides can also lessen your risk of pancreas inflammation, called pancreatitis. There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (helps lessen inflammation in the body), DHA (essential for brain health and function), ALA (body converts ALA to in small amounts of more active forms – EPA and DHA).

Green Tea

Green tea is a product made from the Camellia sinensis plant. It can be prepared as a beverage, which can have some health effects. Or an “extract” can be made from the leaves to use as medicine. Some people use green tea to prevent various cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, solid tumour cancers and skin cancer related to exposure to sunlight.

Green tea can help increase and even change your metabolism – burn more calories from adipose tissue (fat stores).

In the past 20 years, thousands of studies have shown green tea’s benefits: healthy cells, healthy heart, brain health, diabetes, weight loss, cancer role, less stress

Protein Powder

You can get plenty of protein in your diet, but protein powder has other advantages: it’s convenient and generally lower in calories than an entire “high protein” meal.

Protein powder shouldn’t be used only if you need to build muscle, it will help you if your goal is to lose fat, train for marathon or just live an active lifestyle.

Protein powders are available in a variety of flavours and sources: whey protein, casein protein, beef protein, egg-white protein, plant based protein (hemp, rice and pea).

Drinking a protein shake after every workout speeds muscle recovery and supplies your body with the amino acids needed for muscle growth. Other benefits: enhanced recovery, optimal immune response, normal and a healthy appetite for losing weight.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant that’s in many foods, and it’s made naturally in our bodies. Alpha-lipoic acid seems to help prevent certain kinds of cell damage in the body, protection to the brain under conditions of damage or injury. The antioxidant effects might also be helpful in certain liver diseases and restores vitamin levels such as vitamin E and vitamin C.

Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. It is also made in the laboratory for use as medicine.

 

Remember, supplements should only be used with a balanced diet. They should not be considered as a substitute to healthy food.

The content of this article is intended for educational and information purposes and is not in any way intended to replace or substitute medical advice by your physician or any other healthcare provider.

Always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet and/or food supplementation.

 

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