Why Food Is Better Than Supplements
The link between good health and your diet is nothing new. You are putting your health at risk if you regularly consume processed foods, whilst neglecting fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of protein. Health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, obesity, diabetes and even an increased risk of cancer are all risks of eating a poor diet.
Whilst many people are aware of this, they often reach for supplements to address any deficiencies, as opposed to analysing the foods that they eat.
Why Should You Consider Food First?
First and foremost, the human body is designed to eat and process food. Yes supplements may be able to offer some nutrients, however they may not be as effective as natural foods as the body may process and absorb them differently. One should also note that other substances and fillers are often used in the production of powders and pills. These substances can affect absorption and could even interact with any medications that you take. The simple truth is that you may be getting all of the nutrients you need if you follow a well-balanced eating plan which focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables and does not feature many processed foods.
When To Supplement
The supplement industry is a lucrative one. In America, over $30 billion is spent per year on various dietary supplements. While some supplements can definitely be beneficial, with others you might literally be flushing your money down the toilet. If you’re thinking of supplementing, go and see a doctor first. A physical examination including blood work can uncover the nutrients or vitamins that you are deficient in. Once your test results are back you can have a discussion with your doctor about how to address any issues.
You may wish to see a registered dietician after your meeting with your doctor. Make a food journal of your likes and dislikes and take it along with the notes from your doctor. This will help the dietician to formulate an eating plan to meet your nutritional needs and improve your overall health. Supplementation may be advisable, but it is safer to get this guidance from a professional.