Although we should ideally be taking our nutrition through diet, but for many of us, it becomes impossible to do so on a daily basis. Here, a daily dose of nutritional supplement might come to our rescue to ensure that we get our essential nutrients. This daily dose of right nutrients is a must as it gives our body the necessary fuel to live healthier for longer.
Nutritional supplements are also necessary in certain conditions like pre, during and post pregnancy, in post-menopausal women, old age, condition of malnutrition, certain chronic illnesses, etc. A nutritional supplement helps the body in a faster recovery thereby saving health costs for the patient. In chronic illnesses, there is a deficiency of vitamins, minerals and trace elements and thus supplementation of these nutrients might support a faster recovery.
The nutritional supplements or multivitamin supplements have the potential of helping our body cope better with irregular sleep patterns, exercise or work-related stress, etc. Sleeping poorly, increasing age and stress also adversely impact the absorption of nutrients from the food that one consumes. Therefore, taking a nutritional supplement on a daily basis can help a majority of the population to stay in good shape. The multivitamins or nutritional supplements market is crowded with a variety of supplements on offer. It thus becomes difficult to decide on which one is the right one for you.
Nutritionists around the world have expressed some common views on what essential nutrients should be present in a good nutritional supplement. As per the experts, the seven most important vitamins and nutrients that form a strong foundation of good health are:
A good nutritional supplement must have this element. Iron not only helps produce healthier red blood cells but it also supports the brain function and is related to increased energy levels in our body. Iron deficiency anemia is a very common condition in India. This can be prevented by a proper intake of iron amongst the other nutrients.
In women, the requirement of iron is more through puberty, during menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Even in the rapid growth phase of our body, iron plays a vital role.
This is a very vital nutrient for our body. Energy production, bone health, health of nerves and muscles, maintaining blood sugar levels, making protein and DNA are some of the vital roles that magnesium plays in our body. Magnesium clams our nerves, relives stress and is associated with good sleep.
Spinach, soybeans, brown rice, nuts, pumpkin are some of the magnesium rich foods.
Absorption of calcium in our body is majorly dependent on vitamin D. Thus, vitamin D becomes an essential nutrient for maintaining good health of the bones or the skeletal system.
Vitamin D also prevents you from getting sick frequently, minimizes your chances of back pain or bone pain and also is shown to prevent hair loss.
The natural source of vitamin D is the sunlight. Foods like egg, fatty fish and fortified foods like milk, cereals and juices also are a good source of vitamin D. Older adults need more of this vitamin.
Strong bones and teeth need calcium to stay in good shape. Majority of the men and women are not getting the needed quantity of calcium. Owing to the body weight consciousness, people are shying away from consuming milk and milk products which are a good source of dietary calcium.
In women, the problem of weak bones arises severely after they enter menopause as the resorption or weakening of bones starts owing to the hormonal changes taking place. Thus, calcium supplementation plays a vital role in these women by helping maintain a strong skeletal system.
Some of the foods rich in calcium are nuts, broccoli, milk and milk products, beans, lentils and fortified cereals.
This is a vital nutrient as it plays a major role in making the DNA and keeps the blood and nerve cells healthy. The B-complex group of vitamins break down micronutrients from our diet like proteins, fats and carbohydrates; to produce energy that keeps us going. Most nonveg foods are rich in vitamin B12, may it be poultry, eggs, fish or meat.
Almost all pregnant ladies are prescribed a nutritional supplement having folic acid. Folic acid plays a vital role in the development of foetus and helps prevent birth defects.
Folic acid helps maintain the health of nails, fights depression and helps relieve inflammation.
The foods that are rich in this essential nutrient are citrus, avocados, green leafy vegetables and beans.
In covid times, we have seen the rampant use of zinc supplements in covid patients and that is principally because of the ability of zinc to keep the immune system strong. Zinc not only helps to keep our immunity in top shape but also helps manage stress. Zinc helps in wound healing and also helps the body to utilize the protein, fats and carbohydrates from our diet and convert them into energy.
Some of the zinc rich foods are pumpkin seeds, oysters, meat, sardine fish, wheat germ and brown rice.
Apart from the above seven essential nutrients, our body needs several other minerals, trace elements and vitamins to maintain good health. However, these seven nutrients mentioned above are the most important ones that should not be compromised with. Looking into our lifestyles, eating a balanced diet on a daily basis is nearly impossible for most of us. Thus, there is a great possibility of many of us being deficient in some or the other nutrient. Although it might not bother us immediately, but to be on a safer side, it seems very logical to support our daily diet with a nutritional supplement that has the right amount of minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Nutrition being the foundation of good health, it is advisable for us to pay attention to our nutrient intake and help keep ourselves in the pink of health.