5 Science-Based Reasons Why You Should Take Nutritional Supplements
Your body is a complex bio-machine. Every second, multiple biochemical reactions take place. Some reactions lead to others.
Your body needs a cocktail of many nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and hormones directly in these reactions or to produce essential components needed for the same.
Over 300 million cells die every minute, and your body needs to replace them to perform optimally.
Food and liquid intake is the most dominant factor affecting your body’s performance and health. If you’re not getting the right balance of nutrients, it’ll show up on and in your body.
Some science-based reasons you should take nutritional supplements include avoiding nutrient deficiency, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and improving nutrient absorption as you age.
Your body needs the right amount of essential nutrients to provide energy for daily activities, repair and make new cells, keep your organs functioning properly, and maintain your immune system.
In this article, we dive deep into why taking dietary supplements is important for your health.
How to know if you need nutritional supplements?
It's incredible how the body signals something is out of place, like when suffering from nutrient deficiency.
If you're having any of the symptoms below, you may need dietary supplements:
- If you're enduring bone pains and mood shifts, you may lack enough vitamin D in your diet.
- Wounds that aren't healing quickly or if you bruise easily may be because of vitamin C deficiency.
- Muscle weakness or vision problems may be due to a vitamin E deficiency.
- Burning sensation on your feet or tongue is a symptom of lacking vitamin B12.
- Having no appetite and nausea points to a lack of magnesium in your diet.
Other symptoms may include having trouble sleeping, hair loss, anxiety, and irregular heartbeat, which all point to not eating a well-balanced diet.
Some lifestyle choices may also lead to the necessity of taking certain supplements.
For example, you may need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement or folic acid if you're vegan. Vitamin B12 helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy. You can find vitamin B12 in meat, fish, and dairy. The paleo diet can also lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiency.
As we age, our body's ability to do certain things diminishes. Some older populations can't chew well and thus avoid certain meals. They may require dietary supplements.
Ultimately, you'll need to conduct medical tests to ensure the symptoms you're experiencing are not due to chronic health conditions rather than vitamin deficiencies.
Science-based reasons for adding nutritional supplements to your diet
You can find all the vitamins and all the nutrients humans need in food sources.
However, for many reasons, which we will discuss below, it’s hard to meet the daily requirement for most essential nutrients even if you eat a balanced diet.
That’s why adding supplements to your diet is critical and necessary to meet your required daily intake based on the following science-based reasons:
1. Avoid nutrient deficiency
As many as 94.3% of Americans above four years do not meet their daily required intake of vitamin D. For magnesium, vitamin A, and calcium, this figure stands at 52.2%, 43%, and 44.1%, respectively.
The tricky part is most people do not know they’re deficient till the symptoms become more severe. They’ll put their constant fatigue or loss of appetite to other reasons like “I’ve been busy.” When in fact, the chief cause is being deficient in one or more nutrients.
Taking supplements helps you stay ahead of the curve and helps avoid symptoms that affect your quality of life.
2. Nutrient absorption in your body declines with age
The body declines with age, especially as it concerns the digestive system.
Approximately 20% of the elderly population suffer from atrophic gastritis. The bottom line of this condition is that it impairs the person’s ability to produce stomach acid.
The presence of stomach acid provides the best environment for the body to absorb nutrients. Some nutrients affected by low stomach acid conditions include iron, folic acid, vitamin B-12, calcium, and beta-carotene.
Since the body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs, it becomes necessary to supplement with non-food sources of nutrients.
Each Dietary supplement from Why Not Natural is in its bioavailable form, which means an older person’s body can easily absorb the nutrients despite low stomach acid conditions.
3. Food is losing nutrients due to soil depletion and cooking
Farming methods have had long-lasting effects on soil nutrients. For example, the Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur content in soils has reduced by 42%, 27%, and 33%, respectively.
Consequently, the nutritional content of many fruits, vegetables, and crops has declined. Some nutrients like iron, vitamin B2, and calcium declined by 6-38% compared to their values in 1950.
You will have to consume more nutritious foods to get the desired amount of daily nutrients and maintain health. That's without considering the additional nutrients you lose during food preparation.
Steaming (less than 180°F or 82°C) broccoli, spinach, and lettuce reduce their vitamin C content by 14.3%, 11.1%, and 8.6%, respectively. Boiling (212°F or 100°C) these vegetables more than triple the amount of nutrients you lose, as much as 54.6% in broccoli.
4. Minimize the risk of chronic disease
According to research by Robert H Fletcher and Kathleen M Fairfield, not taking enough vitamins, particularly below levels that cause a deficiency, has proven to be a risk factor for chronic diseases.
For instance, vitamins B9, B6, and B12 deficiencies are a “risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer.” A deficiency in vitamin D also puts you at risk of bone fracture.
It’s, therefore, wise to deal with what’s within your sphere of control - taking in the required level of nutrients - to reduce exposure to these risks.
5. Meet nutrient needs above the recommended dietary allowance
The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) provide the average level of nutrients you need from healthy foods to live a healthy life. However, some situations necessitate going above the RDAs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that “the RDAs for some nutrients increase while breastfeeding.”
Health care providers advise pregnant women (and women of child-bearing age) to take iron and folic acid supplements to help the baby develop optimally. Women who use prescription medication like anti-epilepsy drugs are advised to take higher doses of folic acid.
If you have issues digesting your meals, you may need to take nutritional supplements in addition to your diet. Digestive conditions such as ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis are common culprits. These conditions cause malabsorption or suboptimal absorption of nutrients.
Why are vitamins so important?
Vitamins are critical to your body’s overall health. Every single function in your body is tied to one or more vitamins. All these functions can be categorized into five broad health benefits, including:
Metabolism and energy production
B-complex vitamins help the body release energy from food. B vitamins like Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin also help the body to produce energy.
So without these vitamins, you cannot convert food to the type of energy (ATP) the body needs. ATP kicks in when moving your muscles (to eat, exercise, run, and more).
Build and maintain strong bones
Maintaining bone health is impossible without the help of vitamins A, D, and K.
For example, vitamin D is necessary to help the body absorb calcium. Calcium is the primary mineral for building healthy bones.
Some nutrients require other vitamins to thrive and work well. For example, vitamin E deficiency will affect how the body absorbs and stores vitamin A.
Immunity and disease prevention
Antioxidants like vitamin E and C mop up unstable molecules and toxins that can cause tremendous damage to the body. The latter is known as one of the biggest immune system boosters.
Vitamin B6 helps the body produce white blood cells and regulatory T-cells, the cells that defend the body against viruses and bacteria.
Build proteins and cells
About 300 million cells die per minute. Most of these cells need replacing.
Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid help the body process amino acids to multiply cells.
Takeaway: Practice proactive nutrient intake to maintain health
Dietary supplement use is a prudent way to maintain your health in addition to eating a balanced diet. Many factors make it a necessity rather than a luxury.
These factors include old age, lost nutrients during cooking, foods containing fewer nutrients than before, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and meeting nutrients requirements for conditions like pregnancy, malabsorption, and stress.Get clean and natural supplements that work and are easily absorbed by your body from Why Not Natural.