Now I’m sure we would love to live in a universe where we could easily eat every color of the rainbow at every meal right? Sadly, the truth is, achieving this can be quite difficult. Now, we should still try to eat as many nutritionally-rich foods as possible and when our good intentions fail, thankfully, there are supplements and vitamins to help pick up some of the slack. Which is a great thing when it comes to optimum health! So, if you’re wondering when you should call in the reinforcements, this post will help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of supplementation.
Before you go any further you must know: Supplements are not a substitute for a balanced, healthy diet. A diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, adequate protein, and healthy fats should normally provide all the nutrients needed for good health. However, if there is an area of lack or restriction, supplements are useful for people who cannot meet their nutrient needs through a regular, varied diet.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, among those who may benefit from taking a dietary supplement are:
- Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, as they need to consume adequate amounts of folic acid to prevent certain birth defects
- Pregnant and lactating women who can’t meet their nutrient needs with food
- Older individuals, who need adequate amounts of vitamin D and synthetic vitamin B12
- Individuals who do not drink enough milk and/or do not have adequate sun exposure to meet their vitamin D needs
- Individuals on low-calorie diets that limit the amount of vitamins and minerals they can consume through food
- Strict vegetarians, who have limited dietary options for vitamins B12 and D and other nutrients
- Individuals with food allergies or lactose intolerance that limit food choices
- Individuals who abuse alcohol, have a poor appetite, have medical conditions such as intestinal disorders, or are taking medications that may increase their need of certain vitamins
- Individuals who are food insecure and those who are eliminating food groups from their diet
- Infants who are breast-fed should receive 400 IU of vitamin D daily until they are consuming at least 1 quart of formula daily. Children age one and older should receive 400 IU of vitamin D daily if they consume less than one quart of milk per day. Adolescents who consume less than 400 IU of vitamin D daily from their diet would also benefit from a supplement.
- Vegans may need to supplement with Vitamin D3, B12, Omega-3s, Zinc, and Iron
If you fall into one or more of these categories you’re probably asking yourself, “Ok, so what exactly should I be taking and how much?” We will answer more in later posts and we encourage you to send us messages with your specific questions so we can do our best to help you be your best! We will also help you pick the right supplements for you from our new Impulse line. Our goal is to provide you with as much knowledge as possible so you can thrive and really enjoy your healthy lifestyle, so stay connected and stay tuned.
Yours in health,
Courtney & Laureen