Every human being is striving hard to stay fit and to have good health. Nutritional diet is absolutely essential for staying fit and healthy. Vitamin supplements can complement the deficiency in regular food, if any. This article describes benefit of nutritional diet over dietary supplements, when the need of vitamin supplements are required and how to choose vitamin supplements to complement regular diet.
Human body needs vitamins and minerals in small quantity but on daily bases for good health and normal functioning of the body. So in order to stay healthy, human body must get vitamins and minerals (jointly known as micro-nutrients) from the food you eat. Therefore, having daily nutritional diet, with vegetables and fruit servings, is of utmost importance. Vitamin supplements cannot substitute the whole food that one eats daily. If your daily intake of food is not able to provide required nutrients, then you will need vitamin supplements.
Regular Nutritional Diet with whole food items offers following advantages over vitamin supplements.
Whole foods generally contain variety of micro-nutrients needed for the body, unlike vitamin supplements that contain only that particular vitamin. Take example of orange. It will have vitamin C, some quantity of beta carotene and calcium along with other nutrients, where as Vitamin C supplement will give you only Vitamin C.
Fibre helps in preventing certain decease like diabetes, heart disease and constipation. Therefore dietary fiber available in whole food is very helpful in maintaining good health. Vitamin supplement does not provide fiber.
Vegetables and fruits contain phytochemicals that helps in protecting one from hyper tension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They are having good amount of antioxidants. Such whole food provides a protective cover, unlike Vitamin supplements.
In view of the above, you cannot skip daily fruits and vegetables and rely on a vitamin and mineral supplement.
When Vitamin supplements are needed?
If you are eating Nutritional Diet in sufficient quantity including, whole grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fishes and your health is good, then probably you will not need any vitamin supplements. You will need vitamin supplements, if you are following in one of the following category.
• You do not consume daily required calories or do not eat well
• You are pure vegetarian and don’t complement for nutriments appropriately.
• You are either pregnant or breast-feeding your child
• You are a woman and experiences heavy bleeding during your MC or in post menopause stage.
• Due to health problem, your body is not able to absorb or use nutrients. Disease of the gallbladder, intestines, liver or pancreas may lead to such condition. Food intolerance, food allergies or chronic diarrhea may also prevent absorption of nutrients by the body.
• Due to surgery on digestive tract your digestive system is not in a position to digest the food and absorb nutrients.
How to choose vitamin supplements?
Best way is to select the vitamin supplements suggested by your dietitian or doctor and administrate dosages as per advice. It is s better to know from doctor weather the vitamin supplement can have any side effect.
Read labels of the product carefully for active ingredient and nutrients provided. Labels will also tell you about the dose and the nutrients in each dose.
Choose a multivitamin supplement that provides daily requirement of all vitamins and minerals. The Extra quantity is never absorbed by body and goes out of body with waste material.
Ensure that the product you choose is certified by appropriate authority.
It is must to check for expiry date before consuming Vitamin supplements as after expiry date they may not remain effective.
Vitamin supplements must be stored in dry and cool place.