With a whole world of supplements out there, it’s hard to know what’s best. You can find supplements at the corner drug store, the grocery store, health food store or even a supplement store and they have an array of different brands and prices. How do you know which ones are best, which ones you should be taking for you and simply which ones you actually need to be taking?
The best way to know which supplements you should consider taking is by evaluating your diet and lifestyle choices, seeing what you are eating and doing on a day-to-day basis will help figure out where you are nutritionally lacking. This can be done on a phone app, through a naturopath or even blood tests through your doctor’s office. The truth is, we do not obtain all of the nutrients we require from food, even if someone eats a clean diet filled with vegetables and fruit, they could still be missing out on vital nutrients. We also live in a landlocked province, where we do not get the best quality vegetables and fruit year around. We enjoy foods, beverages and vices (cigarettes) that are not always beneficial to our health and can even play a role in depleting the body’s nutrients.
Some common deficiencies or issues that most people should be supplementing for include:
- Vitamin D levels: North America is deficient in vitamin D, we all need it. Especially in the winter
- Probiotics: our immune system lives in our guts, if we have happy guts we will stay healthier and happier. At Douglasdale Family Chiropractic we have noticed an influx of practice members that come into our office dealing with gut-related issues (constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, difficult digestion, nausea, and frequent infections.
- Not adequate vegetable and fruit intake: we all know how beneficial eating vegetables and fruit are, but even as adults we can’t force ourselves to eat broccoli or beans even though we know they are good for our health. As a whole, our society does not eat enough vegetables and fruit, especially in the winter when we lack abundant access to fresh produce. Even for people who make it a priority to eat vegetables and fruit in abundance, the variety of vegetables and fruit is just as important. This is where a supplement such as a greens powder is beneficial, it includes a variety of vegetables and fruit to ensure highest nutrient content.
At Douglasdale Family Chiropractic, we pride ourselves on carrying quality supplements that are beneficial for a majority of our practice members, but more than that we pride ourselves on the fact that we have a team of doctors, therapists and nutrition consultants that can help identify which supplements would benefit you the most, both from our supplement wall or from a store down the road.
When choosing supplements it’s important to take the following things into consideration:
-Why are you taking the supplement? What is it doing for your health?
-Can you eat foods that contain the nutrients that you would be receiving from this supplement? Ex. Vegetables and fruit.
-Is the supplement full of “fillers” or ingredients that you question? Could you spend a little bit more money and purchase a supplement of better quality and ingredients you can trust?
To expand on the last point, you get what you pay for with supplements. When it comes to picking supplements, it’s not the same way we tend to shop for most other things, it’s not always in our best (health) interest to choose the cheapest or the no-name brand. Quality does matter, especially if you are consistently lacking on a certain nutrient. Here’s an example for you to ponder. You found out that you need to add more vitamin C into your diet, and you know that the easiest way for you to do that is by taking a supplement. So you set out the store to find a vitamin C powder or pill. You come across the following 3 vitamin C supplements:
|Vitamin C Powder||Vitamin C Swallow Tablets||Vitamin C Chewables|
|Cost / Container||$30.00||$17.00||$16.00|
|Serving Size||1 Scoop||1 Tablet||1-4 Tablets|
|Serving / Container||200||360||82-330|
|Cost / Serving||$0.15||$0.05||$0.05-$0.19|
|Vitamin C in 1 Serving||2000mg||1000mg||500mg / 1 tablet|
|Ingredients||Pure Ascorbic Acid||Vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoids, rosehip extract, cellulose, sodium, silica, magnesium||Vitamin C, a botanical blend, dextrose, natural orange flavour, cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, silica, magnesium, sucralose.|
To summarize, although it costs almost two times the amount of money to purchase the powder instead of the chewable tablets, the serving size is four times greater, there are more servings per container and it is a product that is will give you better results because it has better ingredients in it.
You don’t need to be taking every supplement under the sun, but you should know why you are taking the ones that you do and trust that they are beneficial for you. Supplements are meant to do exactly that, supplement your nutrition, help you become healthier so you can feel better, focus, and achieve your goals.
To help you answer any questions you have regarding supplements, please contact certified nutrition consultant Lindsay at Douglasdale Family Chiropractic at 403-279-2229.