Vitamins and Supplements: Do I Need To Take Them?

vitaminsAre you confused by the conflicting information on whether or not taking additional vitamins and supplements on top of an already well-rounded diet is necessary?

First, you need to understand that vitamins and supplements don’t intend to replace the need to get nutrients from food; rather, vitamin and mineral supplements can help fill the nutritional gaps and prevent deficiencies that could lead to chronic conditions. The reality today is that our food sources aren’t as reliable as they were generations ago. On top of that, our modern lifestyles and urban environments have left us with increased nutritional demands.

Here are 5 reasons why people today need vitamins and supplements:

1. Exercise increases your need for nutrients

Exercise is great but done in excess, it can be unhealthy and deplete energy reserves. And many athletes and those who are trying to lose weight are not only working out too much, but they are also eating low calorie, low nutrient diets.

2. Chemicals, toxins, and preservatives found in modern food supply

 The advances in food technology have been largely focused on long-term food storage and faster food processing. Unfortunately, the addition of compounds to food through these processes has degraded its nutrient value.

Furthermore, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals found in modern food significantly increase the need for vitamins and nutrients to ward off the formation of free radicals that can attack our immune system and affect our metabolism.

3. Nutrient Absorption declines as you age

The older you get, you produce less hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. This decrease in production makes it difficult for you to break down and absorb the nutrients from your food. Furthermore, many medications that you may be prescribed to take as you age may interfere with proper nutrient absorption.
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 4. Poor eating habits

Good nutrition and a balanced diet are essential for good health. While many of us know that proper diet, moderate exercise, and adequate sleep are keys to a healthy existence, the reality is that with the demands of our everyday life, it’s not that simple. Many of us work extended hours, leaving us little time to prepare nutritious meals. And while our focus should be on balancing our nutritional deficiencies, sometimes the only option is to take vitamins and supplements that will help support our daily needs until we can regain control of our busy schedules and poor eating habits.

5. Bad lifestyle choices

Did you know that stress and lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your well-being and health? Adequate sleep helps our bodies battle toxins that we are exposed to every day. Supplements help support detox because our bodies weren’t built to deal with daily toxins just by the nutrients we gain from our food.
Other poor lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol can cause your nutritional needs to increase. Did you know that smoking and drinking alcohol depletes the amount of vitamin C in your body?

The reality is that while most people know what it takes to fulfill their daily nutritional needs, the complexities of their lives, schedules, and habits and other external factors such as the environment, food processing, and farming methods can significantly affect the amount of nutrients your body receives through food alone. And the role of vitamins and supplements is to restore balance in your body, enhance your health, and help prevent nutritional deficiencies.

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Author: Mark Alvisi

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