What are Nutrition Supplements?
- Supplements the nutrition of the food you eat.
- Contains one or more dietary ingredient (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids, and other substances).
- Comes in capsule, tablet, or liquid form.
- Is labelled as a dietary supplement.
Nutrition supplements come in a variety of types. Vitamin and mineral supplements are types of dietary supplements containing micronutrients meant to help a body function smoothly and improve mental health. Herbal (or botanical) supplements are dietary supplements that have a medicinal purpose. Herbal supplements generally support a specific area of the body’s health, such as the liver, bones or skin.
Herbal and natural nutrition supplements
Herbal and natural nutrition supplements are different from vitamin and mineral supplements in that they are considered to have medicinal value. Herbs, also known as botanicals, are one of humanity’s oldest health care tools, and the basis of many modern medicines.
Primitive and ancient civilizations relied on herbs for healing, as do many contemporary cultures throughout the world. In fact, the World Health Organisation has estimated that 80% of the world’s population continues to use traditional therapies, a major part of which are derived from plants.
Who can benefit from vitamin and mineral nutrition supplements?
In general, children and adults might benefit from taking a nutrition supplement a day. A nutritional supplement helps provide a consistent source of the necessary vitamins and micronutrients. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “a daily nutritional supplement, and maybe an extra vitamin D supplement, is a great way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.” In South Africa, however, we tend to get far more sunshine than North America, so we do not have to supplement further with vitamin D.
However, the very first consideration is to eat a healthy diet.In many Western countries, people tend to consume foods that are high in calories but lack nutrients that are vital for good health. Our Ultima1 shake is a comprehensive source of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and can be used as a complete meal replacement.
Most groups of people, because of their nutritional needs, benefit most from taking a vitamin, micronutrient and mineral supplement:
- Women of childbearing age (need extra calcium and iron)
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Children and teenagers with irregular eating habits
- Vegetarians (may be deficient in key nutrients)
- Dieters or people avoiding certain food groups (may be deficient in key nutrients)
- People with eating disorders or medical conditions (deficiency diseases, absorption problems, lactose intolerance, etc.)
- People who often eat processed and fast food
An excellent natural nutrition supplement, for example, is Ultima Energy, which has a large amount of Spirulina, a natural source of minerals, vitamins and micronutrients.
Ensuring smart supplementation
The word “supplement” means something added. In this case, you’re “adding” to a basic healthy diet and lifestyle, or to a prescription medication or therapy to treat a medical or lifestyle condition. A herbal supplement or vitamin regimen on its own will not necessarily cure or treat your condition or health problem. Nutrition supplements should form part of a holistic health program, including healthy food and exercise. It’s also important to remember that not all supplements are beneficial, especially when taken in toxic doses or combined with other medications.
Choosing probiotic nutrition supplements
Probiotic-rich foods (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir) have become important to boosting the immune system and improving overall physical and mental health. Taking additional probiotics in supplement form can be useful in targeting a specific illness or making up for any periodic shortfalls in your diet.
To make the best choices of probiotic supplements:
- Opt for supplements that provide a variety of probiotic members, including both the Lactobacillusand Bifidobacterium groups.
- Avoid supplements that use the term “proprietary blend” instead of a list.
- Select a reputable brand. You’re less likely to end up with an ineffective product.
- To treat a mild to moderate health condition, use 20 to 30 billion CFU per day. Doses in this range have been proven effective in a wide variety of conditions.
Consult a healthcare professional before taking a probiotic supplement if you have an immunodeficiency disease, are receiving treatment for cancer or a digestive tract disorder, or are pregnant, hospitalised, or have ever suffered an adverse reaction to probiotic or yeast products in the past.We hope that this information on food supplementation has been helpful to you. Please let us know in the comments!