There are a number of vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people in the market. Correctly choosing what you need is the key to making sure that these supplements contribute to your well-being – not take away from it. Too much vitamins may hurt you, and too little may make you prone to diseases. How do you strike a balance? Here are two very important tips.
1. Eat right and complement
An ideal diet will provide you with enough critical vitamins such as vitamin A, beta carotene, B-vitamins, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iodine, and many others. Unfortunately, a study* of the characteristic ‘Western diet’ shows that most people get insufficient essential vitamins and minerals. The same study shows that most Americans do not get enough magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron, among other essential nutrients. This is where vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people come in.
Keep in mind, however, that vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people are not substitutes to healthy food. You still need to take your daily servings of vegetables and fruits, and then take vitamins to complement your regular diet. Supplements serve as add-ons that prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies when your diet does not give you enough nutrients.
2. Read the supplement labels carefully
Labels can say a lot about the supplements - what active ingredients go into them, what primary nutrients they serve, the ideal dosage or serving size and how much nutrients go into a serving, etc.
Many health experts say that it is better to go for multivitamin-mineral supplements because they provide 100% of the recommended daily value of micronutrients. Unless you are in a special condition (if you are pregnant or have special nutrient needs, for example), it is best to avoid supplements with mega doses – those that provide 300% of the recommended daily value of a certain vitamin, for example, and only 20% of the recommended value for another.
Look for two important things on the label before buying any vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people. First, see to it that the supplements have 'USP' on the label, which indicates that it has passed the standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP). Second, make sure that its expiration date is clear and readable. To get your money’s worth, buy only supplements that can last way longer than the period of time it would take for you to consume them. Remember that supplements may eventually lose their potency especially when kept in humid climates.
Jean Helmet is one of the editors at a collection of nutritional web sites, We offer a free health book for subscribers to our websites newsletter.
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