Daily supplements: What you should know

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Multi mineral vitamins are an ideal means of ensuring you are getting the minimum nutrition requirements your body needs (alongside an optimum diet). In other words, they fill the gaps which may be missing from your daily diet.

If you have ill health or health problems  I recommend you do some research to find out what you can do to support your body through its specific needs by talking to your health advisor.

When it comes to supplements, not all are created equal.

There are general preventative multi vitamin combinations, with specific herbs and ingredients  added for the lifestyle, family or personal requirements you may have.

Then there are a host of other categories, all aimed at specific categories; sports, children, senior, women’s and men’s to name a few.

This type of general multi vitamin usually includes a multitude of nutrients in a daily dose. Other than the children’s combinations – where the dosage needs to be smaller – I personally recommend a generic multi vitamin that is easily absorbed.

A number of factors can affect effective absorption of nutrients, among them age and digestive complaints.
If you are confident that you are feeding your body a base level of nutrients for  good health, through a healthy diet and plenty of leafy greens and protein, then it is time to look at adding in any other needs depending what you may be lacking.

Some of the most popular are antioxidants for recovery, B Complex for stress and Magnesium for sleep.

The How:
Multi vitamins come in an array of forms; from tablets and capsules to liquid and powder.
Tablets are handy for convenience and often have added binders. Capsules have a good ease of absorption and are generally easier to swallow. If you have preferences regarding vege capsules, you will find it will always be noted if they are. If nothing is noted – do ask. Capsules sometimes use fillers.
Powders are great for smoothies and also cheaper to buy due to less manufacturing costs.

The When:
When do you take your supplements?
A multi vitamin is best taken with food at breakfast time. B vitamins should always be taken with food. You can get stomach griping if your stomach is empty. Antioxidants and minerals can taken away from food/or with food per convenience. Essential fatty acids can be taken without food – though if you have a sensitive stomach – with food would be advised. Herbs are always best absorbed on an empty stomach before a meal.

The What:
What are we often lacking?
– Calcium: Magnesium. The Calcium:Magnesium Ratio needed by us is 2:1 (2 of calcium to 1 of magnesium).  But due to most of us getting enough calcium from our foods – many of us need more magnesium.
– You may not be able to absorb certain nutrients through the digestive system and need sublingual nutrients instead ( sublingual nutrients are absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth – B12 is one example)
– You might get constipation due to not being able to absorb a nutrient. (Iron is one example and comes in different forms because of this)
– Many of us lack magnesium. You might get eye twitches; muscle spasms or cramp. These can be an indication of lack of magnesium.
– Essential fatty acids – hemp oil/evening primrose oil/fish oil (all omega 3 oils)/flaxseed oil). We should be getting enough essential fatty acids from our diet but often don’t, hence the need for extra.
– Fish; nuts; seaweed and avocado all have essential fatty acids in them. Essential fatty acids are part of daily nutrient needs for brain; heart; circulation and hormonal wellbeing.

Minerals:
Minerals are in our food and should be in our water (as electrolytes) and available from our daily salt intake. Minerals are sensitive to light, refrigeration and cooking, so you may need extra minerals for daily wellbeing.

Nutrition is personal, depending on your lifestyle; genetics and weaknesses. When all is well, diet seems to matter little. The reality is that you are affecting the body’s function every day with the dietary choices you make. Be the best you can be by making the best choices for your lifestyle.

To ensure optimum wellbeing discuss your lifestyle and any health concerns with your health expert who can help ensure you choose the right multi vitamin or supplement for your specific requirements.
www.naturallyhealthy.co.nz

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