What Health Supplements Should You Take?

What Health Supplements Should You Take?

So, you have decided to try health supplements. The question is, how do you pick which one? 

With several kinds of health supplements available on the market, the process of selecting the best one can be overwhelming. Which is why even if you know that there is a way to improve your health with supplements like vitamins and minerals, you still wonder how you can be sure you are taking the right one? Or maybe, it's not your first time buying health supplements, but the last ones you took were the colourful, chewable, candy-like, and cartoon-shaped vitamins.

The key to finding what vitamins and supplements to take 

Here's the most crucial thing to remember when choosing a supplement to take: Supplements are not meant to replace regular diet and health habits. Also, keep in mind that what's best for others may not be the best for you. Why? Because health is personal. And healthcare is not a one size fits all approach. Each individual is unique; that is why it is important to take precautions all the time.

Beyond what shapes us, including the genes we inherited from our parents, our environment, and lifestyle choices, there are general recommendations that we can follow. But, ultimately, our best action to take is to go to the doctor and receive appropriate advice after thorough health assessment and diagnosis as necessary.

Tips on choosing which health supplements to take

Indeed, there are numerous health supplements available in various forms such as syrup, gummies, capsules, tablets, chewable and extracts. Given these vast options, choosing the right supplement can be confusing. To help you decide, here is a list to act as a guide in picking the high quality health supplement that your body needs.

Consult a doctor.

doctor holding red stethoscope

As if we can reiterate it enough, consulting with a physician is the most important advice you could get. Taking just about any pill or supplement in any form without directions from your family doctor may do more harm to your body than good. So do not just pop any vitamins into your mouth without consulting a doctor. Besides being qualified to do the job, physicians can evaluate your health by performing physical assessments and thorough history checks. Knowing these will let your doctor know if there are indications as well as contraindications for any health supplement. Your doctor can also give you requests for laboratory examinations such as complete blood profile, sugar or hormone levels, and various blood profiles to see whether you lack something in your body or not. He or she can then identify and prescribe the specific vitamins and minerals that your body needs, or if there is no need for you to take any supplement at all.

Once you are ready to take supplements, the doctor can also educate you about the potential side effects that you might experience once you start taking them, if there is any to expect at all.

By consulting a physician, you'll know what supplements you should be taking, what dosage, as well as how to take them or until when. 

Check the labels.

Make checking the supplement labels a habit, including ingredients, expiry dates, and instructions. See to it that you pay attention to the supplement's components, especially if you have known allergies. Although rare, some supplements may contain something that you are allergic or sensitive to. So that you can avoid if there are things that can trigger or worsen your allergy.

Depending on your food preference, religion, or lifestyle, reading the list of ingredients beforehand can also prevent accidental consumption of any component or extract that you are prohibited or not supposed to take. Reading the ingredients prior to purchase will not only help you save money but help prevent other concerns.

Know about the regulation of supplements.

It is important to know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate the ingredients, safety, effectiveness, and quality of dietary supplements before they go on sale on the marketplace. This is important to realize. So when you choose a health supplement, check the credibility of the company, or even try searching who owns them to ensure that you will be receiving the product and taking a genuine one. Counterfeit health supplements are almost everywhere, so don't buy a supplement if you suspect that they came from suspicious manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Be sure to check customer ratings and check the website. Always purchase your supplement directly from the seller or authorized distributors. Last but not least, read the disclaimers and take time to understand them. 

Know which supplements are appropriate for your general health.

People always say that "age is just a number," but when it comes to health, age is not something to be dismissed. Why? Because body processes react differently to whatever we take in depending on age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at the biological level, ageing is an outcome of the impact of the accumulation of various molecular and cellular damage over time. This means that we can expect significant age differences when it comes to objective health status based on cumulative experiences our bodies receive, as well as the index of chronic conditions an individual has.

So, make sure to assess if the supplement you are about to take is appropriate for your age range, body built, nutritional status, and current health condition. Surely you wouldn't want to take something which is intended for kids if you are an adult. Or say, drink a slimming pill when what you need is to gain weight.

In choosing health supplements, make sure to pick something that is suitable to your needs to reap its full and utmost benefits.

Know the right amount of dosage you need.

assorted medication tables and capsules

Getting the correct dose of the supplement is necessary so your body can absorb the exact amount it needs. Check the dosage of the supplement and compare it to the dosage that you need. For example, if you need 500mg of Vitamin C a day, get a supplement with 500mg of Vitamin C or take two 250mg in case. Buying and taking a supplement with a lower dose will not meet what is being required by your body. On the other hand, getting a higher dose might result in unforeseen problems or unpleasant side effects; it might lead to toxicity on rare occasions.

Verify user reviews.

Take your time and do your homework before buying supplements. By looking at the different user reviews, you can learn something about the supplements. But, like we previously mentioned, health is personal, and healthcare is not a one size fits all approach. This concept applies to supplements too. What's helpful for an individual may have no effect on another. Each individual is unique, which is why it is vital to take precautions all the time.

User reviews, both positive and negative ones, are very informative and helpful. They are based on the actual experience of people who were able to try the supplements themselves. It will give ideas that can help you in deciding which product to buy.

Consider quality over costs.

Choose a supplement that you can afford most, especially if you are about to take it daily or for long-term use. Supplements with the highest quality can be costly due to the cost of production, research, and development requirements. If you have the extra money in your pocket and if you value your health knowing that you need whatever supplement it is, then the price won't be an issue. You can settle for lower-price ones but be sure not to sacrifice product quality. Nevertheless, there are genuine and effective supplements that are still affordable and won't break your bank. It is up to you to find the right balance between cost and quality, and which one is most suitable to you and your budget.

Know that there are different kinds of supplements.

Supplements are available in various forms such as capsules, chewable, extracts, gummies, syrup, tablet, and even powder form. It is important to choose the right form of supplement for you, so you do not have to face any difficulties or inconvenience in taking them. Some people have difficulty taking tablet forms, especially when they have concerns about swallowing or if they are at risk for choking. Others prefer drinking supplements such as turmeric powders or greens supplements. The key is to choose the right form of supplement that you are most comfortable with.

Check out natural supplements.

Nothing beats the efficacy of pure and natural supplements. Supplements that are made from natural ingredients are generally healthier since they do not contain, or at least have less sugar, preservatives, additives, artificial flavourings, and colourings. These synthetic ingredients are linked with unwanted effects, so better yet, avoid them as much as possible. 

Know how to store health supplements.

Last but definitely not the least, take into consideration the manner of storing the products you want to buy. Some supplement requires special storage like refrigeration. Purchase a supplement that you can store conveniently, especially if you have a frantic schedule and are always on the go. 

Know before you buy

woman in white coat sitting on black chair

The things mentioned in this article is only a guide to give ideas and hopefully help you in choosing the right supplement suitable for you and your needs. At the end of the day, the decision on what product to purchase is your sole discretion. There might be some things that were not mentioned in this article that you might consider for yourself, so don't hesitate to do your own readings as well. 

Trust your instincts, judgement, and the information that you gathered. Furthermore, be aware and be reminded that our bodies differ from each other. Our bodies' reactions and responses to any supplement will vary from one another.

Moreover, keep in mind that health supplements are only meant to provide an extra boost to your nutrition and not replace an actual healthy and balanced diet. These products are not intended for curing any illness, disability or deficiency hence the term 'supplements.' Always be cautious in using them and make sure that you are only taking what your body needs. Anything in excess may cause unwanted effects. Do not solely rely on the supplement that you are taking. Health supplements will work effectively if combined with the right diet, regular exercise, and constant self-care.