Dietary Supplements: 4 Key Tips to Help You Make the Most of Them

Ask anyone when last they had the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables. Chances are that they probably can’t remember – or have never eaten that much in a day to begin with. Despite our best efforts, maintaining a completely full and balanced diet just doesn’t always happen, which can leave us deficient of certain nutrients. Moreover, there are many people whose nutritional gaps are created by genetics or lifestyle factors. This can include food allergies, vegetarianism, veganism, and pregnancy among others. In any case, the most popular and reliable solution usually comes in the form of a dietary supplement. Read on for Dietary Supplements: 4 Key Tips to Help You Make the Most of Them!

1. Mind the Dosage

When taking any supplement, it’s important to follow the dosage guidelines specified on the packaging, or recommended by a healthcare professional. Dietary supplements exist to provide additional nutrients over and above what you’re already getting from your normal daily diet. There’s no real advantage to consuming more than what is needed.

In fact, too much of a certain nutrient can harm your health. This is the case with iron, which can build up in toxic levels if taken in excessive amounts, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, depression and joint pain. The same is true for fat-soluble vitamins, namely A, D, and E. So, be sure to take them as recommended.

2. Read Carefully

Labels aren’t only there to tell you what’s in a product and how much you should take. They’re also designed to catch your eye with enticing health benefits. It’s not uncommon to come across a product that claims to do more than it truly can. Stick to reputable brands that are certified by entities such as ConsumerLabs and NSF International.

These organisations don’t guarantee a completely safe or effective product, but they’re an indication that the supplement has at least undergone testing for quality. It’s generally recommended to avoid products that promise rapid weight loss or cures for diseases. A supplement should provide a certain nutrient and nothing more.

3. Make Things Easier

A small, but nonetheless noteworthy aspect of dietary supplements is their packaging. Most come in the form of capsules made out of either gelatine, which is derived from beef or pork, or a vegetable product such as tapioca. Gelatine capsules are not organic, kosher or halal, nor are they suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

While more expensive, vegetable capsules are the opposite in most, if not all of those aspects. What’s great is that you can buy empty vegetable capsules online. Benefits include the fact that empty capsules allow you to mix your own stacks, giving you the versatility to prepare different doses as well as hiding unpleasant tastes.

4. Avoid Extra Ingredients

Let’s say you’re looking to buy a bottle of vitamin A. So, you go to the pharmacy and in the appropriate section, a plethora of different options are available. One has just the vitamin, while another is loaded with immune-supporting herbs. To the left of that bottle is one with this, that and a range of other so-called benefits.

It may seem like a good idea to pick the supplements that are packed with the most additional ingredients. However, this only increases your likelihood of experiencing an unwanted side-effect. It’s usually a better idea to stick to what you need and avoid anything extra over that.

The likes of multivitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, and extracts make up just some of the vast supplement market. And with so many options, it can be difficult to determine what you need exactly to supplement responsibly. Keeping the above points in mind should help you find the perfect supplements for your needs. Remember that they are never meant as a replacement for a healthy diet, which should always be your number one priority.

What supplements do you take? Which products and brands do you really like because they clearly help you in some way, either physically or mentally? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. For more good food ideas, feed on these other Top 5‘s in 2020 to encourage you to KEEP YOUR Fit ON!

Naomi Canham

Having trained as a dancer from a young age, Naomi has always maintained a conscious lifestyle in mind, body and soul which has lead her to the holistic approach that she embraces today. She is always looking out for the latest info and trends in health and fitness. She's a keen foodie, believes in 'food as medicine', and loves to try out new vegan recipes.

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