Sometimes, we tend to think of nutritional supplements as a good idea, something to probably keep doing as long as we remember to, but not really that big a deal if we miss out on them or forget. Well, as it turns out, that may not be quite true. In fact, it’s really important that everyone take nutritional supplements. Today, we’ll discuss seven reasons why.
Nutritional supplements are intended to be exactly what they say they are: supplements that fill the gaps left in our diets. They’re not meant to be relied on for all of our nutritional needs, but rather, to be supplementary. Why, then, is it so important that we take them?
The reasons will surprise you.
They help defend against harmful chemicals in our food, water supply, and environment. Most of our produce is sprayed heavily with pesticides and herbicides, not to mention the runoff into our water supply and other environmental toxins from pollution, acid rain, and other chemicals being leached into the environment. These harmful chemicals can create free radicals that attack our bodies — especially our digestive and immune systems. Nutritional supplements often contain antioxidants that may help fight or neutralize free radicals in our bodies, therefore lowering the amount of damage done.
People who exercise need more nutrients. Do you consider yourself an athlete or do you exercise a lot? Staying in shape requires a lot of energy and vital nutrients. Athletes use up the energy and nutrients stored in the body more quickly because their hard physical work demands more from them. Trying to maintain those energy stores through diet often isn’t enough because of the sheer amounts of carbs and proteins athletes need to power through a workout and recover afterwards. Supplementary protein powder becomes a quick, convenient, and easy way to get the protein athletes need post-workout, without having to down bowls of pasta and chicken. Other energy-boosting supplements can help as well.
The soil that our vegetables are grown in is depleted. Modern farming methods strip soil of all of its nutrients with the applications of harsh chemical pesticides and herbicides. The vegetables that grow there grow simply because the chemicals force them to, not because they are being nourished by the soil. The soil, once living, is now robbed of all of its vitality. Previously, it passed along that vitality into the plants that grew in it, but now, there is nothing to pass along. Because of this, plants don’t have the kinds of vitamins and minerals that their forebears carried. And because those vitamins and minerals aren’t present in the plants, we can’t get them from consuming the plant. Supplements are essential to make up for nutrient deficiencies due to modern growing methods destroying the very soil plants grow in.
Expensive health care issues can be prevented. Health care providers constantly encourage their patients to be proactive in preventing disease rather than reactive in having to treat it once they catch an illness. Daily supplements, along with regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, taking time to relax and rejuvenate, are all important factors in preventing costly health care issues from coming up in the future. It’s simple, really. If you don’t get sick, you don’t have to be treated for being sick! Supplements may be a helpful factor in preventing health issues.
Making up for poor eating habits. Supplements aren’t a magic bullet. If you eat garbage all the time, no amount of supplements can undo the damage you’re doing to your body. If, however, you typically observe a healthy diet but for some reason have to eat some processed foods or fast foods due to time conflicts or other factors, supplements can help make up for the nutrients you didn’t get in those foods. Again, it’s not a magic bullet: supplements can’t replace a poor diet. They can help to prevent the damage poor diets cause by filling in nutritional voids when necessary.
Filling in that first nutritional gap. It is estimated that 90% of people don’t get the recommended amount of nutrients from their diet. Many of us fail to meet dietary recommendations because of strict dieting, poor appetite, or fluctuating nutritional needs. Supplements are intended to bridge the nutritional gap, so that the proper balance of nutrients is achieved. By taking supplements, you increase the nutrient density of your diet and ensure you are receiving the correct amount of nutrients for your dietary needs.
Absorption of nutrients declines with age. As we age, our bodies simply don’t have the same capacity to do the same things that they could when they were younger. The body also doesn’t produce as many digestive enzymes as it did when you were younger. Because of this, you are likely not getting as many nutrients from your diet as you were when you were younger. Taking medications can also play a role in this, as we often take more medications as we age, and medications can sometimes even deplete essential nutrients that the body needs. Supplements are highly encouraged to help add those nutrients back in and restore the nutrient balance.
It’s easy to see, then, why no matter what your age or activity level or health condition may be, that supplements are helpful for everyone. We can all benefit from taking supplements. Some of us may benefit more than others, and some of us may see or feel the benefits of nutritional supplements more than others, but everyone can benefit from adding supplements to their diet.