A healthy nutritional diet should consist of appropriate portions of foods within the food pyramid each day based on age, activity and sex.
The average American diet falls short of the daily requirements. That’s where food supplements come in.
Food supplements are a nutritional supplement intended to compensate for dietary needs not commonly found in the average diet.
Another common term is dietary supplement, but the two are virtually the same thing.
There are benefits to taking a supplement, as well as dangers. Be educated and know how to shop for your needs before making a purchase.
Benefits of Supplements
There are a number of health benefits that go along with taking a supplement, most obvious being that it supplements necessary vitamins, minerals, and irons that the body needs but does not get in the average daily diet.
Taking regular supplements can also help fight off illness because the body is getting more of the nutrients it needs.
Keep in mind that while studies show that taking a supplement can reduce the risk of illness there is no official research to support this claim. Taking a supplement does not mean you won’t get sick, but that you are less likely if your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
Because nutrients protect your body by strengthening your immune system, supplements can be a great addition to a structured diet.
However, not only are supplements good for you, they’re good for the entire population. Artificial sweeteners and seasonings fill grocery stores – with the promotion of supplements and healthy nutrients, you can discourage future purchases of unhealthy products for your family and friends.
Make sure to research what supplements are right for you and your body – humans are not all made equally and some people may need certain supplements to support their living habits.
How to Shop for Supplements
Being aware of what to look for when shopping for food supplements can reduce the risks of running into the hazards they present.
Always read labels. If a supplement contains a claim that it reduces risk of illness it also should contain a label that reads:
“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Keep in mind that dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA before they are marketed and sold to the public. If it contains a new ingredient that hasn’t been used in supplements before it will need to be tested, but only for safety and not effectiveness.
Also, be aware that just because something is “natural” does not mean it is safe. Make sure the supplement you are considering isn’t on the FDA’s tainted supplement list.
Supplements have a number of benefits, so there is no reason to be afraid of taking one. Just be wise about what you are putting in your body and how much of it before you begin.
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