The word ‘supplements’ encompasses a wide range of pills, powders, and liquids meant to improve one’s health and overall function. Supplements can refer to vitamins, minerals, herbs, and homeopathic remedies, such as natural anxiety medication for children.
Although it is possible to get everything you need from the food you eat, there is a need for supplementation in various situations. Learn how supplements can help so you can prepare for a healthy 2024.
How Supplements Can Help
There are a variety of benefits regarding taking supplements, and which ones you take depends on various factors and goals.
One common reason people take supplements is to fill in nutritional gaps. Even people who eat healthy may be missing out on specific vitamins and minerals. For example, in the winter, many individuals do not get adequate levels of vitamin D because of low sun exposure and the fact it is hard to get this vitamin from food. Vitamin D supplementation during colder months is a good idea for many.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are good for picky eaters, such as children. There are also physical signs, such as brittle nails and hair loss, that indicate a deficiency of particular nutrients.
There are a variety of supplements that help improve immune function. People who have a deficient immune system for specific reasons, such as pregnancy or cancer treatment, should regularly take supplementation to boost immunity. For others, taking immune supplements is a good idea during cold and flu season or if they feel they are coming down with something.
It’s also worth mentioning some supplements support cellular health. They contain CoQ10 which provides antioxidant relief to the cell’s mitochondria and helps in the effective production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)– the cells’s main source of energy.
Supplements that support the immune system include:
- Vitamins B6, B9, B12, C, D, and E
- Elderberry extract
There are also immune-boosting solutions that you can find at natural food stores.
Enhance Sports Performance
Many athletes and serious gym goers take supplements to improve their performance, build muscle, and recover faster. Common ones include iron, creatine, coenzyme Q10, amino acids, arginine, ashwagandha, and quercetin.
Naturally Manage Health Conditions
The symptoms that accompany medical conditions often have people reaching for medication. However, due to the accompanying side effects of prescription drugs, some individuals choose homeopathic remedies as an alternative.
For example, an over the counter homeopathic remedy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety contains an antibody, the lapine s-100 immune globulin, which targets specific proteins in the brain without affecting any other area of the body. There is a wide selection of homeopathic remedies available.
Effective Supplement Routines
For supplementation to be most effective, it is important to take the right dose at the right time and the correct way. For example, some need to be taken on an empty stomach, while others need food to absorb.
When supplementing for children, reading the directions is especially important. For example, if you use an over the counter ADHD medication for a child, you want to choose either the mild, moderate, or severe dosage based on the severity of symptoms.
If the package is not clear on how to safely and effectively take supplements, or if you are taking other medications, speak with your healthcare provider.