Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals can lead to serious conditions like cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and more. In a perfect world you would get the necessary nutrients required from the food you eat. Unfortunately, due to inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables, poor food quality, depleted soil, certain health conditions, and absorption issues, you may not get the optimal amounts required from the foods in your daily diet. Hence, you need to choose the highest quality foods for nourishment and consider supplements to help bridge the nutritional gaps in your diet.
Nutritional supplements are considered a subcategory of food that comes in various forms such as capsules, tablets, soft gels, liquids, powders and chewable. Here are some reasons you may need nutritional supplements:
Inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Consuming 3-5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables is crucial for optimal health.
Poor food quality. There is depletion of nutrients in most of the food you consume due to poor soil quality, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides usage, and a decline in nutrients levels with transportation and storage of our food supply.
Certain health conditions. There may be an increased need for specific supplements when experiencing chronic stress, autoimmune issues, or joint or muscle problems. Any of these conditions can deplete the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12), vitamin C, zinc and magnesium.
Following a specific diet. There is a potential need for supplements when adopting diets such as, vegetarian, vegan or ketogenic. For example, someone consuming a vegan diet have the potential to be deficient in vitamin B12, Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Possible absorption issues. Deficiencies in essential nutrients occurs when your small intestine stops absorbing nutrients from the food you eat and sending the nutrients throughout your body. For example, older adults have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 even if they eat a lot of foods rich in B12, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs and fortified cereals.
Over 50 years old. Individuals over fifty years old have increased needs for vitamin D and calcium, especially for post-menopausal women who are risk for bone density loss due to hormonal changes.
Taking multiple prescription medications. Prescription drugs taken for months or years effects your body’s ability absorb and use essential nutrients in your body. For example, metformin is a common drug prescribed for diabetes. Use of this medication causes B12 deficiency, especially if taken for more than four years.
There is a good chance that you need to add nutritional supplement to your diet, if you identify with one or more item(s) on this list.
The Bottom Line
Nutritional supplements are not meant to replace an “unhealthy” diet. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meat, seeds, nuts, and eggs can provide all the nutrients you need, with the exception of vitamin D. However, there are many factors that creates difficulty for many individuals to get the required amount of nutrients they need.
If all this seems a little overwhelming, click here and we can help you determine the nutritional supplements you may need and make individualized recommendations for you.