This is a contributed post.
Have you been giving thought to your diet as of late and come to the realization that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need? It can be hard to ensure you’re getting the recommended dosage of vitamins and minerals each day, especially if you’re not making all three meals at home and in total control of the ingredients being used. Supplements can provide a perfect and convenient solution, as they are meant to fill the gap between what you’re getting and what areas you may be missing out on.
With that said, dietary supplements are not all made equal. It’s important to know exactly what gaps you are looking to fill, how to read the bottles to ensure you’re getting the best product possible, and choose the items that will benefit you in the best possible ways. So, here are some tips that will make it easy for you to choose dietary supplements responsibly and mindfully.
Figure Out Where the Gaps Are in Your Diet
The first step is to figure out what it is in your diet that you are looking to supplement. What are the gaps you are trying to fill? In order to do this, you may find it helpful to write down what you typically eat in a day/week. You could even try keeping a food journal for a couple of weeks so you can start to recognize any patterns you may have and identify areas of weakness, or areas that may be lacking.
Typically, a good place for most people to start is with a multivitamin. This is a pretty general step to take that is meant to fill the basic gaps in your diet. Some may even take it a little further and look for a multivitamin with immunity-boosting potential, which can be especially helpful during the cold and flu season.
Pay Close Attention to the Ingredients
It’s also very important that you take the time to read the labels on any supplement you are looking to purchase. You want to be sure there are no added ingredients that you don’t need or want and that it isn’t high in fillers.
It’s important to note that the FDA doesn’t regulate the supplement industry like it does the food and drug industry. What this means is that they aren’t looking over each product to check its efficacy or safety. This means it’s up to you as a consumer to do your own research.
Vegans Need to Be Especially Mindful When Shopping
If you happen to be a vegan and follow a plant-based diet, then you’ll find you need to be even more mindful when shopping for dietary supplements. Obviously, you need to find one that adheres to your vegan lifestyle in terms of ingredients, yet also addresses your specific needs and dietary requirements.
Take for example a multivitamin specifically formulated for vegans – this multivitamin fits your lifestyle. It can address issues that are common among vegans such as increasing and sustaining energy, helping to support clear thinking, and boosting your immunity.
Are Supplements Safe for Everyone?
Finally, it’s also important to understand that while supplements are generally safe when taken in the recommended dosage, there are those who either shouldn’t take them or who should talk to their doctor first. Those people include:
- Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant
- Those who are going to have surgery or have undergone surgery recently
- Those with cancer
- People who take steroids, blood thinners, diuretics, heart medication, blood pressure medication, aspirin, or medication that decreases the body’s immune system response
Do Your Research and Purchase in a Responsible Manner
By following these tips, doing your own research, and making sure you’re purchasing the right kind of supplement, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that these products have to offer.