Vitamins and Minerals. By Jackie Barber
One of the most common questions that I get asked by my clients is, “Do supplements work?”
Vitamins and minerals are essential to the normal functioning of our bodies. They are necessary for growth, energy and general well-being. As these nutrients are not all produced in the body, we must obtain them from the foods we eat. Unfortunately many people do not reach recommended levels for these nutrients from their diets.
Some reasons for this include, poor food choices, lack of time to prepare freshly cooked meals, reduced food intake to achieve weight-loss and poor digestion.
Studies show that nutrient levels in our food are falling. There are less vitamins and minerals in fresh produce today compared to 30 years ago. Intensive farming, nutrient deficient soil, long storage times and refined foods (e.g. white flour used in bread, biscuits and pasta) have led to a decrease in the quality of our diets.
Even people who claim to eat a balanced diet can still fail to reach the basic recommended levels if their digestion is inadequate due to a stressful lifestyle!
Scientific studies have shown that increased intakes of vitamins and minerals can boost immunity, increase energy, prevent PMS and raise I.Q. As we have different needs for nutrients at different times of life, an adolescent boy would have different needs to a menopausal woman or a sportsman.
So, yes there are times when supplements are desirable and yes they do work! But get some good advice to ensure that you have the right supplement program for you. They can be used to treat a specific illness or as a preventative measure but are NOT a substitute for healthy eating!
Here are some ‘Superfoods’ that you could include in your diet ;
Red onion – has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Kiwi – is one of the most nutritious fruits and contains more vitamin C than oranges.
Sesame seeds – are a good source of magnesium and calcium.
If you choose to take supplements make sure that you get advice from a qualified Therapist and if you are on medication or have a health condition it is important to ask the advice of your G.P.