Many of us pop a multi-vitamin a day just in case.
Just in case our diets filled with noodles, rice, and other forms of simple carbs with no sight of any veggies or fruits don’t give us the nutrients we need to sustain a healthy body.
Just in case it could ward off dangerous ailments like cancer and heart disease.
Just in case our love affair with our couches might just one day do us in.
No Magic Pill
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical pill out there that can erase all signs of our bad decisions. If there’s one, it doesn’t come in the form of a vitamin or supplement pill.
The general advice from the scientific community is not to substitute vitamins or mineral pills with drugs, but to get your daily vitamin and mineral requirement from good wholesome food, and not supplements. The best approach, according to science, is to live a healthy lifestyle with healthy varied meals and regular exercise. That’s your best defense against illnesses.
However, this isn’t a death sentence to vitamin and mineral supplements, as they are essential to those with a vitamin deficiency whose bodies cannot absorb the nutrients they need from their diet alone.
So How Do I Find Out If I Should Take Vitamin Supplements?
There are blood and urine tests you can do to check if you’re deficient in certain types of vitamins. However, you can also consult a registered dietitian who will help assess your daily diet to see if you’re getting enough vitamins from it, and advise you on the best way to overcome the loopholes in your diet.
If they find that you’re missing out on some important vitamins, your dietitian will help point out foods which can help counter that. These foods suggested are high in the vitamins you’re lacking, but they also come with fibre, protein and a host of other nutrients a pill cannot provide.
Vitamin and mineral supplements should come as the last option, only if your lifestyle or allergies simply cannot allow you to absorb all the nutrients you need for a healthy body. Your dietitian will teach you when to take these supplements for the best effect and how much of it to take, as it is not advised to overdose, even on vitamin pills .
Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms and Foods to Counter
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Sources: WebMD [1,2, 3], Wikipedia, Dietitians.ca [1,2], NHS UK [1,2], Healthline, University of Maryland Medical Center, Merck Manuals
If you suspect you’re deficient in certain types of vitamin, and eating more of the foods rich in said vitamin didn’t work, it’s best to talk to a healthcare professional before prescribing supplements for yourself. They can usually pinpoint the problem and help you find a good solution better than you can.
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