Why should you take supplements?

Many people take nutritional supplements, mostly to manage deficiencies. You don’t have to take things at a specific time but the most important thing is that you take them consistently. However, there are some it’s best to take at specific times of the day. Some should be with meals, while others should be away from meals. A good diet should be your most important nutritional foundation and supplements are there to augment that and meet deficiencies. [Please Note: This short article doesn’t cover any of the speciality nutrients like CoQ-10, Milk Thistle and other herbs, or a variety of speciality nutritional supplements – it only covers the basic vitamins and minerals.]

Here are some considerations for taking nutritional supplements:

Water-soluble vitamins: The human body does not naturally produce or store water-soluble vitamins. These hence need to be eaten from animal, plant and supplemental sources. Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin C and most of the B Vitamins. However because they are not stored they can be safely taken throughout the day – every day. B Vitamins are usually our ‘anti-stress’ vitamins, but they are so much more than that as well.

B vitamins are best taken after waking up, as they provide energy for the day. The main B vitamins you’ll find in a complex are Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 or Vitamin H (biotin), B-12 (methylcobalamin) and B9 (folate or folic acid). There are a few others in some complexes, but these are the main ones you’ll find in a good complex. Take them together, they work best this way.

Fat-soluble vitamins: these are necessary in small doses – these can be dangerous in some cases of long-term excess intake. It’s rare, but worth remembering. Fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E and K and are best taken with an oily or fatty meal. Taking these with meals enhances absorption.

Minerals are also important: we generally get more than enough calcium in the diet but we sometimes don’t get enough zinc, magnesium or iron. Magnesium is generally lacking in almost everyone and is a very safe supplement to take – I recommend Magnesium Citrate over all other forms due to it’s high degree of absorption and safety.

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Originally published on https://www.facebook.com/SallyAnnCreedSA/ in 2020.