Our bodies make millions of new cells every day: heart cells, brain cells, bone and blood cells. Every time a cell dies it should be replaced. If you do not have the right amount of nutrients to construct a new cell you will either make an incomplete cell or none at all. The outcome is bad in either case, so we really need to keep all nutrients on board at all times. This is why we suggest a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. This helps ensure we stay on top of our nutrient reserve.
The word supplement means to add more – to make up for a deficiency. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken in addition to a healthy diet. They make up for the deficiency we face due to the poor nutrient density in our foods. Supplements also help make up the difference when our diet is less than perfect.
The simplest way to help support your nutrition is to take a general multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that provides a broad range of nutrients at standard nutritional levels. However, please remember the following points:
- Some supplements contain very high doses of certain nutrients. When you take nutrients in extremely high doses, you are no longer in the world of nutritional supplementation and have passed into the riskier world of “megadose” treatment.
- Calcium and magnesium are very bulky minerals, and few multi-vitamin/mineral supplements provide the daily requirement. These minerals generally must be taken in the form of additional pills. Note: It isn’t possible for your body to absorb a day’s worth of calcium in a single dose. At least two doses are necessary.
Common nutritional deficiencies:
|Calcium||Helps with bone density, muscle contraction and digestion|
|Chromium||Helps with blood sugar control|
|Magnesium||Helps protect against high blood pressure, kidney stones and migraine headaches|
|Vitamin C||Helps with detoxification, immune system health and connective tissue|
|Vitamin D||Involved in bone and skin health and helps protect against diabetes and obesity|
|Zinc||Helps protect against acne, ADD/ADHD, the common cold and macular degeneration|
Very few of us are so deficient in these nutrients as to show symptoms of obvious malnutrition. However, subtle deficiencies may increase the risk for a variety of conditions. For example, insufficient intake of calcium and Vitamin D may increase your chances of developing osteoporosis, and inadequate folate and Vitamin B-6 may speed the development of heart disease.
Besides vitamins and minerals, intake of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is often inadequate.
A plan for everyone
Finally, keep in mind that food contains many substances other than vitamins and minerals that may enhance your health.
Supplements won’t overcome bad dietary choices. We simply must commit ourselves to eating more fruits and vegetables. However, the reality of life is that we don’t always attend to our diet perfectly. So, appropriate nutrient supplementation can help make up for the deficiency we face because of poor nutrient density in our foods and an imperfect diet.
Take Charge of Your Health
- How to get more fruits and vegetables the easy way.