Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is perhaps one of the most controversial issues relating to healthy living. The lack of vitamins in your diet can be unhealthy, but too many vitamins can also put your health in danger. So, how do you know if taking vitamin and mineral supplements is necessary for you? Ask yourself the following questions in order to determine if you may need vitamin supplementation for a healthier lifestyle:
- Am I Stressed? If you are constantly stressed-out due to work, relationships, family or any other situation, your adrenal glands may be working overtime. This can potentially cause fatigue and headaches. Treatment: Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin E and Vitamin C supplements can help with this problem.
- Is My Immune System Up to Par? Do you constantly find yourself catching colds and the flu more frequently than others? You may need to boost your immune system with vitamins and minerals which provide the nutrients needed to fight these viruses. Treatment: Vitamin C supplement, Zinc and Manganese will do the trick.
- Do I smoke? I'm sure you're aware that this habit is unhealthy but smoking uses up vitamin C and puts you at higher risk of osteoporosis. Treatment: Vitamin C supplements and calcium supplements will help reduce your chances of osteoporosis and provide you with the adequate amount of vitamin C.
- Am I Pregnant? Pregnant and hormonal women often lack in vitamin B-6. If you do not receive enough of this vitamin it can be harmful to you and your baby. Treatment: Take a vitamin B-6 supplement, but make sure not to take doses of more than 500mg per day without a Doctor's recommendation.
- Am I on a Diet? If you are on a low-carb, low-fat or any form of diet you are probably not receiving the vitamins necessary for healthy living. Individuals on diets very rarely eat foods from all the major food groups and if they do, they usually do not eat the required amounts. Treatment: Depending on the type of diet and the foods you eat, you may require a multi-vitamin supplement or specific supplements of Vitamin A, B, C, D, E or K.
Answering yes to any of the questions above does not necessarily mean that vitamin or mineral supplements are critical to healthy living. The situations listed above are merely a guideline to help individuals who already feel as though they are lacking the vitamins and minerals in their diets. It is important to remember that vitamin supplements are intended to accompany food and are in no way mean as a replacement for a healthy diet.
Health-related information changes frequently, and while every attempt has been made to ensure the content in this article is up to date and accurate, you should always check with a doctor or nutritional expert before undertaking any substantive change in diet or lifestyle.