At in2GREAT, we often get the question, “Do I Really Need To Be Taking Supplements?”. The simple answer is yes. Even if you have the perfect diet, supplements can still help you optimize your health. If you think you feel fine and healthy now, adding in supplements to your daily routine may make you feel even better than you thought. The key is to feed your cells the most optimal diet so that your body has all the nutrients necessary to carry out its maximum functioning. Let’s dig into why and how you can benefit from taking supplements.
What Are Supplements?
Supplements include ingredients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, herbal extracts, amino acids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, probiotics, etc, that can enhance your health and reduce your risk for certain health conditions. Because diets are becoming less nutrient-dense, stress levels are rising, and exercising is becoming less common, individuals; demands for these essential ingredients are higher than ever and we are seeing most people are not meeting these demands and health is declining. Along with making lifestyle changes, consuming supplements can be a great addition to your daily routine to maximize your wellbeing and help you feel your best.
Widespread Deficiencies Are Becoming More Common Americans’ diets are becoming more and more unhealthy and unnatural. The standard American diet leaves many people well-fed, but greatly undernourished. The majority of the population consumes more processed foods than whole foods, and consumes more calorie-dense foods rather than nutrient-dense foods. Not only this, but even if you are consuming an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, you still may not be getting enough. Read our previous blog on how soil health may be depleting our food supply’s nutrients. Here are some vitamins/supplements that most everyone can benefit from because we see such a widespread need for them.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is needed for every cell in the body to function properly. However, the majority of the population is deficient in this vitamin because we aren’t getting enough sunlight, and because we have poor diets that don’t include enough vitamin D. Also, many of us don’t eat enough essential fats to absorb vitamin D, or might have compromised digestion further adding to the lack of vitamin D absorption.Supplementing with this vitamin can positively influence the immune system (possibly reducing your risk of cancers and autoimmune diseases), increase muscle and nerve function, improve mood, protect the brain against toxic chemicals, and potentially reduce pain. You may also want to check out our blog on how vitamin D plays a role in the body.
Our gut health is one of the main organs we can focus on if we want to improve a number of other health issues. Ensuring good gut health can improve your mental health, decrease depression and anxiety, help skin issues like eczema and psoriasis, and enhance your immune system. Because many of us have poor gut health as a consequence of toxin exposure, poor diets, antibiotic consumption through our food, high sugar intake, and chronic stress, probiotics can help increase the “good bugs” in your gut so the bad bugs stay at bay.
The majority of the population consumes less than the recommended amount of magnesium. This is because of higher intakes of processed vs whole foods, demineralized water, and poor soil health in our agriculture practices. Low magnesium levels may affect every system in the body including cardiovascular, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, and renal systems. Supplementing with magnesium can also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
osteoporosis, improve metabolic control, and other positive health effects.
Methylated B Complex
B vitamins play a huge role as cofactors in numerous processes in the body including the nervous system, brain health, energy levels, metabolism, and methylation. When these levels are low, it can reduce your bodys ability to detox, contributing to low energy levels as well as brain fog. The problem is most supplements available to the average consumer are supplying poor grade B Vitamins in a form that is hard for the body to assimilate and convert to the active
Low iron is very common among our population and can lead to anemia. Women, especially, have to be aware of their iron levels due to heavy menstruation or pregnancy. Without optimal iron levels, your body can’t correctly make red blood cells, inhibiting them from carrying oxygen throughout the body and into your cells. However, just blindly supplementing iron can lead to a number of problems. Make sure to get your levels checked and interpreted by a qualified experienced functional medicine provider who can determine if it’s safe to supplement iron or if there are other issues that need to be addressed.
Benefits of Taking the Right Supplements Taking supplements can aid your body’s processes so they are functioning at its full potential. Many vitamins and minerals play a role as cofactors in order to drive chemical processes. If your levels are too low, your cells can’t do their jobs properly. This is why supplements can be a huge benefit in helping your body carry out necessary functions. Be aware that supplements can come in different forms. Here is a list of vitamin forms to look out for when picking out supplements.
- Choose folate instead of folic acid
- Choose B12 methylcobalamin instead of B12 cyanocobalamin
- Choose magnesium glycinate and L-threonate
Also, look closely at the ingredients. You’ll want to avoid things like fillers, corn, soy, and metals. When you give your body its needed nutrients, you can:
- Support Your Health
- Increase Your Energy Levels
- Boost Your Mood
- Increase Mental Acuity
- Enhance Cellular Repair
- Support Immune Health
- Improve Chronic Health Condition Symptoms
- Enhance athletic performance and recovery
- Support healthy hormone response
However, you don’t need to take every supplement on the shelf to increase your health. Doing so can just waste your money or even hurt your health. It’s vital to know which vitamins and minerals your own body needs before setting up a supplement protocol.
Test, Don’t Guess
There are thousands of vitamins and supplements online and in stores to choose from. It can be overwhelming and confusing to most people. You want to help your health but how do you know which ones to choose from? First off, you’ll want to get your blood analyzed for any nutrient deficiencies. This is the starting point. You have to be careful with some supplements because taking doses that are too high for your body can cause more harm than good. Lab tests can tell you not only which nutrients your body needs, but also how much. Depending on your unique body, you’ll need more or less of certain nutrients depending on how your body metabolizes them.
At in2GREAT, we can run multiple lab tests specific to your needs that can tell us the whole story instead of just guessing what your body needs. Get Supplements From High Quality and Highly Trusted Sources It’s just as important to get high-quality supplements from trusted sources than it is to take the right supplements. Because supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, supplements can contain minute levels of active vitamins which you don’t even benefit from, and they can even be contaminated with other ingredients that you aren’t aware of.
Stay tuned for our next blog on how to choose high-quality supplements and what to look out for. If you want an individualized protocol that includes the right supplements for your unique body, then get in contact with us at in2GREAT. We can run all the lab tests necessary to figure out what your body needs. We can also recommend certain brands to ensure you are getting the best quality and reaping the best benefits possible. Give us a call at (913) 308-0174 to get started.