Are Your Nutritional Supplements “Junk Supplements”

We all know that optimum health is now achievable through the vast categories of vitamin nutritional supplements available off the shelf and even over the Internet. We also know that these nutritional supplements are needed to replace the vitamins we know are lacking in the modern diet. It’s true that many foods today are lacking in nutrients – are junk food – but what about the nutritional supplements we take? Is there such a thing as a “junk supplement”? That is, something that fills our need for optimum health, just as junk food fills our need for a full stomach, but that doesn’t actually provide the health we crave. The answer is yes: and this is why all health consumers should be informed in how to choose the correct nutritional supplements or vitamins for them. The key is to think healthy, and particularly think in the same way you do when buying healthy foods. After all, if we can choose a healthy diet, we can choose a healthy vitamins regimen.

Read the Label of Your Vitamins

We are constantly becoming more conscious of the ingredients in our food, looking for hidden ingredients and scrutinizing every “fat-free” claim with cynicism. But how much do we do the same for our nutritional supplements? There are many vitamins companies out there who would try and falsify claims in order to make a quick buck. At the moment, nutritional supplements are not as strictly regulated by the FDA as food and medicines are. Always check the labels, claims, and “gold-standards” of every health-vitamin or nutritional supplement you are thinking of buying.

Check Your Vitamins’ Expiry Date

Food has a shelf-life and so do multivitamins. Nutritional supplements, especially those containing herbs or other botanical ingredients can lose their potency with time. Many vitamins, especially vitamin C, are also prone to being degraded with time.

Make Sure You Get Fresh Vitamins

Even ignoring a product’s expiry date, we all know that fresh food is better than pre-packaged meals stuffed full of additives and preservatives. Vitamins are the same, and it might surprise some people to find out that a large number of store-bought nutritional supplements contain preservatives for a longer shelf-life. Freshly made health supplements do exist, but are not as common as the mass-produced multi-vitamins, so shop around. Many minerals and vitamins that get exposed to light and air lose their health-giving attributes and are rendered no good to us. So make sure that when you do by fresh vitamins and other nutritional supplements that you keep them in cold, dark place and in an airtight container to retain potency.

Custom-made or Off-the-Shelf Vitamins?

Eating healthily often costs more in time and money, yet we all know that the investment is worth it in terms of overall health. Nutritional supplements are the same: there are a lot of “junk vitamins” out there that do not work properly. Getting a custom-made nutritional supplement is like getting a home-cooked meal using fresh ingredients. It’s better quality, better suited to what you want, better tasting, and ultimately better for your health.

Check that You aren’t Allergic to Your Vitamins

There is nothing wrong with dairy products, and they contain many health benefits. However people can still be born with, or develop, allergies to common-place foodstuffs making them something to be avoided. While allergies to vitamins are not possible, it is possible for people to react badly to certain herbs that show positive health benefits when taken by others. Make sure you’re not allergic to any botanical or herbal ingredients in your nutritional supplements.

Don’t Overdose on Vitamins

Overeating can lead to weight gain and related health problems such as heart disease, liver disease, and high cholesterol. Excessive use of nutritional supplements can have an even more dramatic effect on the body so care should be taken. In fact, it is better to compare vitamin supplements with medicine: both have side-effects, and with both there is a danger of overdose. Always consult your physician or health practitioner about safe usage of nutritional supplements for your personal health.

Today’s mantra is “you are what you eat.” But it is also true to say “you are what you take”. Don’t just practice healthy eating; ask the experts about healthy supplementation too.