The Schmooze

Why Use Supplements and How To Decide What To Use?

I am a big believer in trying to get as many vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your daily eating plan rather than in supplements. However, there are many reasons why people may need to take them including:

  1. lack of nutrients in diet

  2. smoking

  3. poor digestion

  4. food allergies

  5. antibiotics

  6. illness

  7. stress

  8. pregnancy

  9. aging

  10. lack of sunlight

  11. athletes or highly active individuals

These are just some of the reasons why you may need supplementation.

All these things may require taking supplements because your body could be in a deficit or need extra of certain nutrients. The supplements you may need are based around your lifestyle, activity level, age, body chemistry, genetics, and health. There is no one plan that fits all, it is individual and each person may have very different needs. Just because someone says they take a supplement doesn’t mean it is right for you!

“Take this to help with your skin, take this to help your gut, take this for your immune system to prevent you from getting sick.” Everyone recommending what to take from your friends, to doctors, the news, internet, social media, tv shows, and magazines. If you listened to all of this you would be taking supplements all day and most likely be sick to your stomach because of it.

There are so many supplements, too many, that it is overwhelming! So what do you do and how do you know what to take?

Here are some things you need to know to help you narrow down what supplements to choose:

  1. you do not need all supplements all the time

  2. you cannot physically take all supplements all the time

  3. do not believe what is advertised on supplement labels. Educate yourself on what is inside.

  4. check with your doctor for any nutrient deficiencies you may have

  5. certain medications you are taking can interact with supplements and may not be safe to take together.

When creating a plan about what supplements to take consider these 5 points.

Evaluate your body based on some of the reasons listed above and other goals you may have. Which things are most important to you such as bone health, preventing illness, better digestion? Do you have any food allergies that require you to restore lost nutrients? Do you have a poor diet with lack of fruits and vegetables, or proteins?

Once you decide what is most important to you in your health right now, write it down and take it with you to the doctor. The doctor can then give you a plan on what supplements would be most important for you based on your personal health and goals. These goals and your plan can change at any moment based on health, age, stress and many other reasons. Reevaluate every once in awhile to make sure that you don’t need to change your supplement plan.

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