Friday, November 2, 2007

Why Should You Use Nutritional Supplements In Your Diet?

Nutritional supplements are used to fulfill a deficiency of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in our everyday diet. A few years ago nutritional supplements were not as popular among people as they are today. This is because in years passed there was not much need for anyone to take these supplements. People used to eat pure and healthy food which consisted of a balanced diet including milk, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, fish. Basically back then our diet contained everything that we needed in order for our bodies to function correctly. Today our busy schedules have made our minds so pre-occupied that we don't have enough time to eat enough to fulfill all our body needs. Combined with the fact that the vegetables are extensively farmed and kept on shelves for a long time, this reduces the nutrient intake that we actually eat. This is why we need nutritional supplements to maintain our health.

It is a known fact that nutritional supplements are useful for people belonging to all age groups. Children need adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus and iron to develop healthy bones and teeth. Similarly, elderly people need all kinds of vitamins and energy vitalizing substances to keep themselves fit. These supplements also help them fight against various diseases, and some are even thought to prevent heart attacks and even cancer. Many nutritional supplements, including folic acid, are recommended to pregnant women to protect the baby from developing any abnormality. Obesity and high cholesterol can also be treated by using nutritional supplements made from natural plant and animal extracts.

Lately there has been much debate as to whether nutritional supplements are really useful or if there's really no point in taking them. It's true that there is no alternative for a proper balanced diet, nothing can take the place of fresh fruits and vegetables. But at the same time taking small amounts of health supplements is not harmful at all, instead it provides protection against many diseases in the long run.

You should never replace your everyday meals with nutritional supplements, although meal replacement powders are available on the market. As with any change in your diet it's important to consult a health specialist before consuming any kind of nutritional supplement. Also don't fall for the many attractive advertisements about some supplement products that claim to do wonders overnight. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

Natural food extracts should always be preferred over other man-made supplements. A weight loss supplement made from extracts of green tea is an example. Many other supplements are also made by combining different herbal extracts and a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. As you must have guessed, these materials are not harmful for the body at all as they all occur naturally.

People who are taking antibiotics are advised to ask their doctor before buying nutritional supplements because they might interfere with the antibiotic course that has to be completed in order to treat an infection. Similarly diabetic patients and those suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol are advised not to consume any kind of weight gain or energy boosting supplement before consulting their doctor.

You also need to remember that these nutritional supplements are effective only when right amounts of each one is taken as prescribed by a health specialist. Overdose might prove to be detrimental to your health. Similarly taking less than the correct dosage, or not following the procedure correctly may not prove to be as effective for the body.

Overdose can also cause some side effects like dizziness and nausea. There are no clear signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency in the body, but when you feel that your diet is not composed of all the healthy food that must be consumed everyday, you should immediately ask your doctor's opinion. If taken properly and as part of a healthy balanced diet, nutritional supplements are an excellent way to ensure that your body is being fed with all the necessary nutrients it needs in order to function properly and defend it from various kinds of illnesses.

About the Author:

Chris DiCicco owns the Supplement Store Flexhealthnutrition.comand has been involved with nutrition for over 20 years. Bodybuilding supplements & weightlifting.

Read more articles by: Chris DiCicco

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