In our busy lives, it’s not always easy to get all of the vitamins and minerals we need each day from our food alone.
That’s why adding dietary supplements to our daily routines has become increasingly popular.
Supplements can be a great way to provide essential nutrients that your current diet doesn’t provide, as well as supporting specific health needs.
That being said, as with anything in life, it is possible to have too much of a good thing!
If you’re wondering how to safely add supplements to your diet, keep these tips in mind to help ensure you’re getting the best results:
Determine Your Nutritional Needs
Before deciding what dietary supplements you’re going to add to your routine, you need to understand exactly what your body’s nutritional needs are.
Start by ensuring that you’re eating a health and balanced diet, so that you know your body is getting its most essential nutrients.
Then, visiting a doctor or dietician is a great way to move forward with determining your specific needs and choosing supplements to support your health.
You may even want to consider a blood test to help identify any vitamins or minerals that aren’t at their ideal levels in your body.
Don’t forget to discuss any specific issues that you’re struggling with, so that you can get advice on supplements that could help.
For those struggling with stress, for example, Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics could be a good way to provide natural stress relief.
Or, people that suffer from seasonal allergies may prefer looking into natural allergy relief products to help soothe their symptoms.
Determining the best possible supplements for you is an important first step in improving your overall health with supplements.
Choose Quality Supplements
For the most part, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements are considered natural health products, which means they don’t have the same rigorous vetting process as pharmaceutical products.
That’s why it’s important to do some research before choosing your supplements, to ensure you’re buying a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer.
Choosing supplements that have certifications from reputable third party organizations, like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or NSF International, is a good indicator that you’re purchasing a quality product.
It’s also a good idea to look into the different dosages of the supplements you’re purchasing. In some cases, you may get better results with a lower dose vitamin taken multiple times a day, as opposed to a higher dose taken just once.
If you have specific questions or concerns, consulting your family doctor for guidance is always a wise decision.
Consider Nutrient Interactions
Some dietary supplements can interact with certain medication or with other supplements, altering their effectiveness or causing adverse effects.
Be aware of potential interactions, and discuss them with your healthcare provider to determine proper timing and dosage.
For example, iron and calcium supplements should never be taken at the same time, as calcium reduces your body’s ability to absorb iron.
And, if you take prescription medication, make sure to always disclose any supplements you’re taking to your doctor, to ensure their compatibility and avoid any potential adverse interactions.
Give It Time
Supplements are not magic pills, and some of their beneficial effects may not be immediately noticeable. It takes time for your body to absorb and use the nutrients supplements provide.
Consistency is a must when using supplements for improved health and wellness. Follow the recommended dosage and give your body time to respond.
Depending on the supplement and your body’s individual needs, it may take weeks, or even months, to experience noticeable benefits.
In the meantime, make sure to also continue to focus on nourishing your body with a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
By giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll be helping to ensure any additional supplements are able to work at their peak efficiency.
Be Mindful of Mega-Dosing
Mega-dosing is a term that refers to taking extremely high doses of a particular supplement.
While some nutrients may occasionally need to be taken in higher amounts for therapeutic purposes under medical supervision, mega-dosing can be risky for most vitamins and minerals.
Excessive intake of certain nutrients can lead a variety of unpleasant side effects. And in rare cases, or if taken in high doses for long periods, mega-dosing can even lead to permanent organ damage or death.
Always follow the recommended dosage guidelines, and consult a healthcare professional before considering high-dose supplementation.
If you experience any unexpected symptoms or adverse effects, discontinue the supplement and consult a healthcare professional.
If you’re treating low levels of a specific vitamin or mineral with supplements, periodic blood tests may be recommended to assess your nutrient levels and ensure you are not exceeding safe levels.
Store Supplements Properly
Proper storage of supplements is crucial to maintain their potency and shelf life. Follow the storage instructions indicated on the product label to ensure their effectiveness.
In most cases, supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place that is away from moisture and direct sunlight. Exposure to heat, humidity, and light can degrade the quality and efficacy of supplements over time.
Liquid supplements may sometimes have additional storage requirements, such as refrigeration.
Also, as with any medication, ensure that your dietary supplements are stored in child-safe containers, out of reach of children and pets.
When used correctly, supplements can be an incredibly useful addition to your health and wellness journey.
Natural health supplements are helpful for everything from supporting proper digestion to improving sleep quality.
But, taking the time to thoroughly research the best supplements for your personal needs is essential in getting the results that you want.
Jot down some notes about your overall health, and any areas of concern you’d like to improve. Then, sit down with your doctor or dietician to decide what supplements might be worth trying.
You may be impressed by just how effective the right dietary supplements can be when it comes to improving your overall health and wellness.