What Nutritional Supplements do you Really Need?

According to the USDA American adults do not get enough of the seven essential nutrients. You may need to take supplements to help bring your dietary needs up to the recommended levels. Do eat the recommended foods and keep a journal of how you feel when you are on or off dietary supplements. These seven necessary nutrients you need for good health include:

  1. Potassium keeps the blood pressure regulated and healthy. It supports fertility and muscle”s plus nerve functions. Potassium is naturally in milk, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, bananas and avocados.   Even if you eat some of these foods on a daily basis, you are still not getting the potassium levels you need.
  2. Magnesium is a mineral preventing certain diseases. Low magnesium levels contributed to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, diabetes and heart diseases. The elderly or those with stomach or intestinal problems are at risk of low magnesium levels. Find this awesome mineral in spinach, beans, peas, whole grains and almonds.
  3. Vitamin A or retinol and carotenoids support vision, immunity and tissue growth. You can find beta carotene in orange and yellow foods. Carrots are obvious but sweet potatoes and winter squash plus spinach and broccoli are wonderful suppliers of vitamin A.
  4. Vitamin D contributes to the development of muscles, bones and nerve fibers. It also provides for a strong immune system. Your body makes vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight, but you may need to get sufficient vitamin D in other ways, too. Fatty fish or salmon and mackerel, mushrooms, cheese, egg yolks and liver contain vitamin D. Milk and some brands of orange juice are fortified with vitamin D. Purchase vitamin D capsules at any pharmacy. Take an 800 mg tab a day.
  5. Calcium is the mineral that is great for teeth and bones. Calcium also maintains muscle function and heart rhythm. Studies show calcium might help prevent high blood pressure. Dairy is an awesome source of calcium but you need to eat salmon, kale and broccoli for more calcium supplements. Do note that vitamin D and calcium work tougher to keep your body strong and well.
  6. You always hear that vitamin C will prevent the common cold. Probably not but studies suggest vitamin C and shorten the duration of cold symptoms. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables and boosts the growth of bones and tissue. It is also an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. Take vitamin C capsules if you don”t eat enough vitamin-C carrying foods.
  7. Fiber that comes from beans and grains lowers cholesterol and improves bowel functions. It can also lower the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and cancers. If you want to lose a few pounds, eat fiber. High fiber foods are filling and low in calories. Do be careful when using fiber supplements. They can decrease the absorption of medications and other healthy supplements. Try not to eat or take fiber at the same time you are taking other supplements.  

Dietary supplements are designed to provide nutrients that are not or cannot be consumed in sufficient quantities.   There are more than 50,000 dietary supplements available with the most common on being vitamins.   Most dietary supplements are not designed to prevent diseases and you do need to treat supplements in the same way as prescription medications. Eat a well-balanced diet to ensure your chosen supplements have value.

Do note that there are some supplements with little or no effect. Glucosamine and chondroitin thought to relieve joint pain have little or no benefit. Omega-3 fatty acids do not have the advertised benefits.   If you are a man, avoid vitamin E supplements; they may cause prostate cancer. Studies show high calcium supplements cause heart attacks in some people.   Eat a healthy diet. That is the best supplement you can offer your body.


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