Thursday 14 December 2017

How to maximise the health benefits of supplements

Vitamins and supplements
Vitamins and supplements

Siobhan Byrne

It's fair to say that sometimes we struggle to maintain a balanced diet. A healthy, balanced diet should provide a source of vitamins and minerals, but taking dietary supplements can help fill nutrient gaps when health conditions cause you to have a deficiency.

Let's take a look at some supplements and the benefits they have. Remember, it's always best to consult your doctor if you are unsure or have any underlying medical conditions.

Benefits of taking dietary supplements:

* Taking multivitamin supplements can improve physical and mental health, prevent vitamin deficiency that can cause illnesses, and reduce stress.

* Aids in tissue maintenance and repair - by taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, they help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis, as their role is to keep bones strong.

* Vitamin D fights infections including colds and the flu, could help prevent autoimmune diseases such as MS, and also helps guard against cardiovascular disease, and boosts the immune system.

* Essential vitamins such as A, C and E act as antioxidants in the body that can help prevent cancer.

* Vitamin A is essential for normal vision, reproduction, growth and immune function.

* Vitamin C and vitamin E supplements improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

* Generous intake of B vitamins may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

* Taking folic acid during pregnancy decreases the risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida.

* Mineral supplements help elevate energy and activity levels, and support growth and maintenance of hard and soft tissue.

* Omega-3 fatty acids you get from fish oils might help some people with heart disease.

* Zinc is essential for growth and development. Zinc supplements can contribute to healthier pregnancies and improved immune function, improve performance and strength, and boost brain function.

* Benefits of iron - acts as a carrier of oxygen, regulates body temperature, vital for muscle function, prevents anaemia, keeps you energetic, and provides strength to the immune system.

* Phosphorus is needed for bone and teeth formation, calcium needs phosphorus to help in maximising bone strengthening benefits. Phosphorus also gives you energy, and helps kidneys effectively excrete waste products. Not getting enough phosphorus in your body can lead to anxiety, fatigue, bone problems, irregular breathing, teeth weakness, numbness, and weight changes.

* Magnesium is essential in the body. Helps keep bones strong, muscles relaxed, blood pressure normal and heart rhythm steady, allows nerves to send messages to the brain, regulates the metabolism of nutrients and regulates cholesterol production.

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