How to Shop for Supplements
Supplements can be a tricky thing. In the world of health, there can be too much of a good thing, yet the reason we have supplements is due to not having enough. So how do you know what your body needs? And in what quantity do you need it? When you finally have a good idea of your necessary supplements, the real pressure begins. There are so many options on the market it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your health.
First, it’s good to clear up that supplements are no longer restricted to capsules only. They also no longer reference vitamins only. Protein powder is a supplement, as are certain herbs, seaweeds, oils and so on. Each person is different in what supplements are most needed for their body.
Choosing Your Supplements
It seems simple but the basics are incredibly important in determining what you should start taking. Men and women need different things. Women need different amounts based on their cycles and if they are pregnant. Our age plays a role in what we should be taking, like extra calcium for weary bones. We also need different amounts of things depending on our diets and physical activities. A simple example is the triathlete who will need more carbs, versus the body builder who will need more protein. A person who is inside all the time may need more Vitamin D, whereas the outdoor enthusiast probably has plenty.
Diet is a BIG Factor
Humans have lived a very long time before the emergence of supplements, but we also used to lead very different lives. Today diet can be severely lacking in certain vitamins and nutrients, so if you experience symptoms like fatigue, soreness, mood swings, insomnia or other unexplainable changes, go talk with your physician. You may be quite surprised at a deficiency diagnosis or overdose!
If you’re taking multiple supplements and eating a healthy and enriched diet, it’s quite likely you’re getting more than your recommended daily amount. If you’ve been surviving purely on take-out, you may be missing a key component to your health.
Know How the Supplement Breaks Down
Once you have an idea of what you need to add to your daily routine, it’s good to know whether your vitamins are fat-soluble like A, D, E and K, or are they water-soluble like B and C?
Fat-soluble supplements are absorbed into the body when consumed with fat! Otherwise they can pass straight through your system. You don’t need a lot of fat. Drinking a small glass of coconut milk to get them down should do nicely. It’s also important to know that they are then stored in fat and are not needed every day. Your liver and fatty tissues will store them up until they’re needed, but this also causes a higher risk of toxicity from overdose.
Water-soluble supplements need to be regularly consumed as they go in and what the body doesn’t need at that moment, it then expels. The only risk here is if you take too much of them you can experience digestive issues and discomfort. You can also be literally losing money every time you urinate. Let’s face it, a quality supplement is rarely cheap!
Choosing the Right Supplement Brand
You have spoken with your physician, discovered what your body is crying out for, determined how much of it you need and you know when and how to take it. Now, it’s time to choose your brand.
3 Key Things to Know About Your Vitamins and Minerals
- Know the Label
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA and can hide a lot in a small capsule. This means it’s up to you to thoroughly read the label, even the small print. Try to avoid things you wouldn’t want to eat, like food coloring, artificial ingredients, sugars, GMOs and chemical words like titanium dioxide. Many supplements use natural herbs and extracts, so don’t assume all unknown words are chemical based. Ashwagandha is a good thing!
- Know the Source
This goes for ingredients and manufacturing. Transparency in a brand is a good sign! It means they are being upfront and making an effort to give you the highest quality possible.
When it comes to ingredients, look for the source on the label. For example, Terra Origin’s products tell you where the vitamin comes from like Vitamin D as Cholecalciferol and Huperzine A from Toothed Clubmoss.
It’s also very important to see where your supplements are manufactured. Unfortunately, there are many countries that export vitamins and health products with little to no regulations or ingredient checks. This leaves you vulnerable to heavy metals such as lead, chemicals that are no longer used in the U.S. or Europe and small doses of medical chemicals to enhance results, such as artificial steroids.
Terra Origin lets you know upfront that our supplements are made Hauppauge, New York.
- Know Your Body
Be wary of any label that claims to be a cure. Vitamins, minerals and nutrients are vital to our health, but there is no known supplement that can fully cure disease. They can help boost your immune system, help to rejuvenate skin cells and even help to improve certain functions in the body by aiding muscles or tissues to do their work, but there is no supplement that can rid your body of disease all on its own.
That being said, you can certainly experience improvements and even overcome certain diseases with a high-quality diet and health regime.
If for any reason you feel worse or irregular after starting a supplement, stop using it immediately and see your physician. Sometimes our bodies can reject a good thing. It’s always best to listen.