What is a dietary supplement?

A wholesome diet is imperative to being healthy, fit and feeling good in your body. Vegetables, fruit and good quality protein sources should make up most of your diet so you can get the nutrients to build muscle and burn fat. But sometimes its hard to get all the nutrients you need, so dietary supplements come into play.

Dietary supplements come in forms of of pills, liquids and powders. They can be added in during a meal or as a meal replacement sometimes. Scientific research shows that supplementing minerals, nutrients and protein is beneficial for overall health. Some of the most supplemented nutrients in the US are calcium and vitamin D.

Before jumping into the variety of supplements and their purposes as well as benefits, it is important to address the importance of quality of supplements. It is vital that they are made naturally and don’t have a lot of preservatives. The goal is to not put negative things in your body, but valuable additions that your body needs.

So let’s look at the variety of supplements and how they can add to your diet and be helpful to your fitness routine.

Greens

It can be hard to get enough spinach, kale or zucchini in your diet. Greens are a vital part of the human diet as they provide those beneficial micronutrients. Greens give energy, help with recovery and give great antioxidants. The goal is to get at least 10 servings of vegetables and fruit in your diet, therefore, it is important to ensure you have enough green food around.

If you are unsure how to cook vegetables or just don’t have time, buying a greens powder is very valuable for your health. Greens supplements are simply dehydrated vegetables put into a powder, they can be added to water or smoothies with little to no taste. The only difference from eating a regular vegetable versus a greens supplement is the digestive enzymes, you will see al the health benefits associated with green vegetables by taking a supplement.

Vitamins

Vitamins is of course a huge category, as there are many types of nutrients you can supplement from a vitamin. But, for example, if you do not get enough time in the sun it would be valuable to take a vitamin D pill. Or, if you are feeling sick, a vitamin C pill would be a good resource.

In health and fitness, it is imperative that you listen to your body and understand how you feel to take what you need. You can go to your doctor to get a blood test and see what you may be lacking in vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you know exactly what you need to be taking.

Fiber

Fiber in its simplest form, is an aspect of fruits and vegetables. It is important to digestion, regularity and weight management. So, it is necessary for everyday consumption, and similar to greens powder if you do not get enough veggies in your diet, supplementing fiber is a necessity.

The Institute of Medicine recommends an average of 28 grams per day day, and accordingly, most Americans do not consume enough fiber. Fiber powders are easy to come by at any grocery store. So if feel like you do not have enough vegetables in your diet, or a doctor suggests adding more fiber, then you should get a fiber supplement.

Shakes

Meal replacement shakes or great if you or on the go, do not enjoy cooking or just need extra calories in your diet. Unlike, protein shakes meal replacement shakes are intended to provide the nutrition of a full meal. Some come in a can or a bottle, while others are powder.

They usually contain 200 to 400 calories and have all the protein, fiber and essential vitamins you need in at least one meal of the day. They are good for weight loss, if they help you eat less than you normally would.

To get the benefits of a true shake, make sure there are no added sugar or preservatives. They can help you avoid unhealthy meals, as long as they are healthy themselves.

Diet Pills

Diet pills are a hot topic that are controversial among the fitness industry. Various diet pills can be good in a completely supplemental way. They can be an extreme measure as the best way to lose weight is a healthy diet.

The best types of diet pills are quality ones that have a thermogenic effect. Meaning, your body goes into a calorie burning state even though you have done no exercise. Otherwise, do not be fooled by celebrities or companies who try to sell you a quick fix.

Probiotics

If you have never encountered probiotics they may seem weird or off-putting. Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast that live in your digestive track and help your gut move things along. Your body is full of good and bad bacteria and supplementing those good bacteria are valuable if you have issues with being regular.

A main source of probiotics in everyday food is yogurt, simply eating yogurt a few times a week will regulate your bacteria. Kombucha as well has become a popular source of probiotics, you can find it at any grocery store.

Protein Powder

The supplement of all supplements, protein powder is a full business of its own. One of the hardest nutrients to get all you need of in your diet, protein only comes from meats and a selective amount of vegetables.

Protein powders come in a whey form, or from pea protein which is a vegan option. Protein helps you build muscle which in turn helps you burn fat.

What Supplement is for You?

Each person needs a different type of supplement in their life depending on deficiencies as well as lifestyle choices. Consult your doctor, as well as listen to the signals your body is giving you to understand where you could be healthier and live a better life!

  • December 11, 2019
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