According to Bharat Bhise, nutritional supplements come in various forms such as powder, pill, capsules, and liquid and their primary goal is to supplement your daily diet so that you can ensure you are receiving your daily recommended dose of nutrients. However, it is important to note that although they can be beneficial when taken appropriately, they are not a substitute for a healthy diet.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you intend to control your diet using nutritional supplements:
- Read nutrition labels carefully – It is crucial to read the nutrition labels carefully before you consume any type of supplements since these provide essential information that you need to know to determine whether you should consume them. For instance, you should always read the ingredients and nutrition list carefully to avoid consuming supplements that you are allergic to.
It is also important to avoid supplements that contain ingredients that can interact with any medication you are consuming and cause unhealthy side effects. Finally, you should avoid consuming any supplements that boast about unrealistic benefits that sound too good to be true.
- Consider the effectiveness of the supplements – Not all dietary or nutritional supplements would be equally effective for your needs and thus, it is important to choose your supplements carefully. Generally, doctors recommend supplements to fulfill the lack of nutrition caused due to a specific diet or food habits, or medical conditions.
For instance, vitamin B12 helps to keep blood cells and nerves healthy, Vitamin D and calcium helps to strengthen bones and reduce bone loss, Folic acid helps to reduce birth defects when consumed by pregnant women, and omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help to maintain heart health, and multivitamins offer a host of health benefits.
- Ensure they are safe to consume – Not all supplements are safe to consume, especially if you suffer from certain medical conditions. This is because many supplements contain active ingredients that have a strong effect on your body.
For instance, vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners, herbal supplements such as kava can cause liver damage, St. John’s Wort can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications such as birth control pills and antidepressant medications, and antioxidant supplements can reduce the effectiveness of cancer chemotherapy.
- Watch your dosage – When consuming any kind of supplement, it is always recommended that you follow the dosage guidelines listed on the label or that is recommended by your doctor. In most cases, there are no extra benefits you can gain by consuming more but you can certainly suffer from negative health effects if you exceed the recommended dosage guidelines.
Thus, it is always recommended that you consume supplements as directed for them to have the best effect on your body and be safe.
Bharat Bhise suggests you only consume supplements from brands that follow the good manufacturing practices (GMPs) established by the FDA. However, it is also important to verify the seal of quality assurance.