Many adults and children around the world take vitamins and other dietary supplements.
Besides vitamins, supplements also include enzymes, amino acids, herbs, minerals, and many other ingredients. They come in a variety of forms – energy bars, drinks, powders, gummies, capsules, tablets, etc.
This is precisely why a visit to your local health food store can be so overwhelming. A dizzying hotchpotch of products of all shapes and sizes makes it challenging to figure out what you actually need.
Don’t worry – we’re here to help you out. Here’s a short but comprehensive list of health food store supplements you won’t regret buying.
No roundup of the best dietary supplements would be complete without vitamin C.
Everybody knows how to get this vitamin through vegetables and fruits. However, that’s easier said than done – many stores are facing shortages.
Coming in the form of tablets and capsules, and available at stores such as Health Matters, vitamin C supplements are crucial to one’s well-being. As powerful antioxidants, they fight cellular damage caused by stress, processed foods, and the environment.
Zinc lozenges are particularly useful when you’re having a cold – they can reduce its duration by at least one day.
Zinc does this by preventing the virus from getting inside the cells – the specific mechanism is, unfortunately, unknown. This chemical element also decreases the number of inflammatory cytokines in one’s blood.
Besides boosting the immune system, zinc introduces a myriad of additional benefits. It helps the treatment of acne, improves brain function, and speeds up wound healing. Quick-dissolve tablets are the best choice – they’re easier to take than the conventional capsules and pills.
Although magnesium is present in quite a lot of pantry items, research has shown that a staggering number of Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium supplements are particularly important for people who suffer from anxiety. As a “relaxation mineral”, magnesium fights the effects of stress in one’s body and promotes healthy sleep.
Magnesium pills can be a bit harder to swallow so taking it in powder form is recommended. Moreover, magnesium pills can have a laxative effect and cause stomach discomfort.
As they’re hosting the majority of our immune functioning, our stomachs deserve special attention. Maintaining the integrity of your gastrointestinal tract is crucial.
As expected, this requires a multi-faceted approach.
A diverse, high-fiber diet is a must. Fermented foods, like yogurt, as well as polyphenol-rich foods, should be eaten regularly. The purpose of this strategy is to intake both the beneficial bacteria and the foods they’re feeding on.
However, this doesn’t mean you should discard probiotic supplements. Not everybody has easy access to fermented foods. Or, maybe you just want to give your digestive health an extra boost.
Unfortunately, vitamin D can be pretty hard to come by through food.
The easiest way to get it is from sunshine. However, most of us aren’t as exposed to sunshine as we’d like to be. Light therapy lamps can be helpful, but they do not provide vitamin D’s additional benefits.
Using vitamin D supplements is a great way to boost your immune system. What’s more, they can also prevent respiratory infections.
When it comes to minerals most often lacking in people’s diets, calcium takes one of the top spots.
While it can be taken in the form of a supplement, most experts agree that calcium is best taken through foods. These would include raisins, fish, beans, soybeans, dark leafy greens, as well as dairy products.
If you do choose to go with calcium supplements, however, look for calcium lactate or calcium citrate. As it turns out, our bodies find these forms easiest to absorb.
Tips for Choosing Dietary Supplements
Medical experts agree that choosing nutritional and dietary supplements comes with a couple of rules of thumb.
First of all, make sure to look for trusted brands. By choosing a respected brand, you’ll be avoiding supplements contaminated by harmful substances. These are often manufactured and sold by lesser-known companies.
Secondly, it’s very important to carefully read the claims.
Supplements that promise results that look too good to be true should be avoided. For example, supplements promising to give you 15 pounds of muscle in just a week won’t work – it’s impossible for them to deliver those kinds of results.
Finally, checking with your health professional before taking dietary supplements would be a wise decision.
As their name suggests, health food store supplements can’t replace nutritious food, but only supplement it. Still, it’s worth giving some of them a shot. The ones from our roundup make it easier to maintain a healthy immune system, in addition to other benefits.