The food we eat contains both macros and micros but sometime are just not enough. Supplements come into picture when you aim to fill your nutritional gaps. Her are some commonly asked questions that we come across while consulting:
Why not include the nutrient rich foods in my diet?
Food is not as whole as it once was because of the processing and refining it undergoes before reaching our kitchens. Secondly, even if we include the nutrient rich food sources in our diet the quantity that needs to be taken is a lot and absorption is low and also hindered by other substances.
For example, if you have been detected with anaemia and have been eating iron rich sources to reverse the same, foods high in caffeine like tea/coffee hinder the absorption.
Lastly, the time lag between the harvesting and consumption of fruits and vegetables leads to loss of nutrients and furthermore gets worse with fine cutting,soaking,storage and heat of cooking.
What are the benefits of supplements?
If legally approved dietary supplements are chosen, they are safe and actually serve the purpose of augmenting the diet. They are also easy to consume and ensures that you obtain the recommended amounts of nutrients on a daily basis as it is high in availability.
For example, post meal if B-complex vitamin supplement is taken it ensures better absorption of the meal's nutrients and metabolism. Vitamin D, an important nutrient that aids in tissue repair, prevents disease and improves bone health. But is usually found to be deficient in most of us because of its availability only in animal products and reduction in exposure to sunlight. A supplement in such cases becomes an ideal alternative.
Do I need supplements even if I'm following a healthy diet?
A healthy and balanced diet sure fuels your body with the required nutrients which enables you to perform daily activities.At the same time, what has been absorbed by the body is always a doubtful factor!
On the other hand, dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids enrich the internal environment, fortify cellular protection, aid in repair and regeneration and support the renewal process when your body fails to get nutrients from natural food sources.
Do supplements have side effects?
Like any other medicine, dietary supplements too have certain risks and side effects. This is why it is recommended to be bought under prescription. Be cautious when you're purchasing one by going through the labels properly. Pregnant/lactating woman and children should be more careful. If you suspect any reaction after consumption you should let your health care provider know.
Can I just pop supplements as per my will without a health expert's advice?
This definitely is a risky behaviour to indulge yourself into because of the various flawed and loosely available products that are accessible to everyone and people are lured towards them because of the fake advertising.
Considering the importance of supplements, only add it when it's required the most or prescribed by your doctor or dietician.