Taking supplements to maintain a long and healthy life is no longer considered a strange fad done only by those people who exclusively eat vegetables and granola. Rather, supplements taken for health and wellness have become quite accepted by the mainstream population as a very good idea to ensure that you are meeting more than your daily requirements for optimal nutrition. Doctors and health practitioners everywhere suggest that people increase their consumption of vitamins and minerals, and it is not always possible to do this with food alone. The best source of natural nutrients still comes from whole grains, vegetables in their raw form, other greens and whole fruits.
Which supplements are the best for overall, long-term wellness? There are a few that a person just shouldn’t do without. All of the following supplements should be taken over a long period of time, not just once or twice. Smart, effective supplementing requires long term planning.
Extra vitamin C is one of the best supplements you can take for long term health and wellness, and it is an important addition to a healthy diet and exercise program as well. Vitamin C is very easily depleted from the body, and cannot readily be made without supplementation. Although it is found in a number of citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges and vegetables such as broccoli and tomato, many toxins in our environment and chemicals, pollutants and bad habits such as smoking cigarettes depletes the stores of vitamin C in our bodies. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects against the ever-growing level of free radicals in our environment, which free radicals increase our chances of cancer and other illnesses. Because vitamin C is so easily robbed from our systems, it is a very good idea to increase your intake by supplementing.
Some vitamin C supplements are available in powder form that tastes delicious and can be mixed with water for an effervescent drink, or in lozenge form that dissolves under the tongue and tastes fruity. If you prefer swallowing capsules or tablets, you can easily meet your supplementation requirements in this form too. More good news about vitamin C is that it is almost impossible to take too much of it.
Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs, have the word “essential” in their name for a reason! They are actually quite essential for optimum brain functioning, heart health, and glowing skin. They contain necessary omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. Some food sources of essential fatty acids are salmon, almonds and flax. However, many people do not eat these foods in very high quantities if at all. They do not eat fish because they find the taste unpleasant, or they have no idea how to incorporate flax seed into the diet. With a supplement taken one to three times a day, you can easily get the levels of essential fatty acids needed to protect your heart and brain function, and to help the look of your skin, hair and nails. EFA supplements can contain fish oil, flax seed oil, borage oil, or evening primrose oil, and taking a mix of these various oils will provide you with all of the various 3, 6 and 9 EFAs needed.
A good multivitamin is always a safe and good bet to ensure that you are meeting all of the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for long-term wellness. You can find a good multivitamin in natural tablet or capsule form, in vegetarian or vegan form and it will usually provide over 100% of each daily vitamin and mineral requirement. These supplements are fairly reasonably priced, and easily found in supermarkets, health food stores, or online vitamin retailers. These special vitamins often have higher concentrations of certain important nutrients, and are available without a prescription. If you know you are deficient in certain nutrients available in these vitamins, you may want to supplement with a prenatal vitamin instead of a regular one. Believe it or not, prenatal vitamins that have historically been taken by pregnant women only are now often being taken by men and women alike.
Calcium and magnesium are two minerals that are a great daily addition for long term wellness. Most people know that calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, but the delicate balance of calcium and magnesium is critical. While calcium is found in fortified milk products, other dairy, and some fortified cereals and grains, it is often not consumed in high enough quantity to be truly beneficial to the body. Moreover, when calcium is consumed in at levels high enough to be beneficial, it sometimes upsets the stores of magnesium in our body. A calcium/magnesium supplement will keep this balance intact, which is important because magnesium helps to keep our nervous systems calm and helps regulate other important bodily functions.
Proper supplementation is critical for maintaining long term health and wellness. It may require some planning, but it will be worth it.