Vitamins and Minerals For Optimal Health
In this era of processed, pre-packaged, “fast food,” developed nations are encountering an ever-growing habit of bad eating practices. Quality nutrients are lost in the processing of foods. In addition, processed foods can cause a lot of distress in the gut, and even contribute to digestive disorders. We’ve outlined our picks of vitamins and minerals for optimal health below.
Fibre is a substance found in some fruits, vegetables, and grains. Although fibre itself does not get digested in your body as much, but it certainly helps in the digestion of other food substances and is very vital to your regular bowel movements. There are mainly two types of dietary fibre, soluble fibre found in fruits, oats, barley, beans, and peas, and insoluble fibre found in rye, wheat, and a variety of other grains. It, in a sense, allows for bowels to run smoothly for optimal absorption of key vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Adding fibre reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke, and help to maintain sugar level if you have diabetes. The recommended dosage of fibre is 20 to 35 grams per day. Ideally, you should get your fibre from fruits, vegetables, and grains. For some people, adding a fibre supplement to their diet if due to some condition, you are not able to get enough fibre, you can get it from supplements as well.
The body is always working and sometimes in times of stress, oxidative stress is a result. This process makes the body generate certain chemicals called, “free radicals”. When they get accumulated in the body more than the body can excrete them, they start affecting the body in negative ways.
Specific substances known as antioxidants can reverse their effects. Some common dietary antioxidants include Vitamin A, C, and E. These come from fruits and vegetables, but also available in capsule or liquid form.
A healthy person can fulfil their daily requirement through food. Some people, however, may require additional supplements. Some examples of these populations are below:
- Adults age 65 and older– They might benefit from taking 600 to 800 units of vitamin D a day. Vitamin D strengthens bones and prevent falls, which are very common in old age.
- People with vitamin deficiencies– People with vitamin deficiencies sometimes need to take vitamin supplements. If you have a vitamin deficiency, your doctor will tell you which supplements to take and at what dose. Appropriate dosing is crucial as vitamins can be harmful at high doses as well. Dosages are adjusted according to the requirement and conditions of the individual.
- People who have had weight loss surgery– People who have had weight loss surgery often can’t get all the vitamins they require from food, as their metabolism is slow, or they are not getting enough food. If you have had weight loss surgery, ask your doctor if you need supplements. He or she can tell you which ones are best for you.
- Vegetarians (aka “vegans”)– People who do not eat meat, eggs, milk, or other foods that come from animals sometimes need supplements. If you follow a vegan diet, ask the health care professional if you should take any vitamin supplements.
Protein is one of the primary nutrients found in food, which acts as building blocks of bone, muscle, and skin. The body needs protein to produce hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals. Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement, especially among health-conscious adults. It has a variety of benefits, and as with other supplements, should be taken only after a physician’s consult. Eating protein-rich foods and taking protein supplements may help with increased satiety. Consequently, it results in smaller portion sizes and less frequent snacking, which can help a person maintain a healthy body weight or lose weight if necessary.
As you may already be aware of, protein is mandatory for muscle growth. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts incorporate protein shakes in their daily routine because these drinks will help them recovery and build muscle after resistance training.
Common types of protein powder include:
- Whey: This water-soluble milk protein is most popular among fitness enthusiasts. It contains all of the amino acids that the human body requires from food. The best part is that the body absorbs whey protein very efficiently.
- Casein: This type of protein is rich in glutamine, an amino acid that may speed up muscle recovery after physical stress. It comes from milk and milk products, making it unsuitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance. As opposed to whey, the body digests this protein more slowly, so it may be best to take it at night. No wonder, it is a common practice in some cultures to drink a glass of milk at night.
- Soy: Soy protein is an excellent alternative for people who do not consume dairy due to milk allergy. It also contains all the essential amino acids, although it may not be absorbed as efficiently as whey.
- Pea: Many plant-based protein powders contain pea protein, which is a high-quality alternative to soy- and dairy-based proteins. Pea protein is a good source of the amino acid arginine.
- Hemp: Hemp seeds are a source of complete proteins that also contain essential fatty acids. This makes hemp an excellent choice for vegans or those with dairy or soy allergies. Hemp protein helps you in looking good! It stimulates brain and hair growth and maintains brain function and bone health.
It is important to note that protein shakes vary in price and quality a lot. As the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate protein powders; they need to be taken carefully after a nutritional consultation.
Greens powders are a kind of dietary supplement that you can mix into water and other liquids. Natural substitutes of sugars are often added to make them taste good.
Greens powders are generally low in calories but rich in some vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, K, Selenium, Chromium, and Iodine, as well as plant compounds including polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions.
Greens powders have been tested in a few small studies, but results can vary by brand and by their formulation. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which helps to prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease. They also enhance general wellbeing and support immune function.
Probiotics are popularly known as “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria.” They are bacteria that live in the body, and instead of harming the body, help it work well. Often, probiotics help protect the body from infections caused by harmful bacteria or other germs.
Probiotics are essentially, “beneficial bacteria”. Some people take capsules containing probiotics because some studies have shown that supplementation with probiotics improves immunity, aids digestion, and enhances overall wellbeing.
OMEGA 3-6-9 SUPPLEMENTS
Omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids can be easily obtained from your diet. However, it is essential to get the right balance of each. Western food contains far more omega-6 fats than necessary, and not enough omega-3 fats.
The three most common omega-3 fatty acids include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are an essential part of human cell membranes, which means they are required in every nook and corner of your body. They support brain and heart health and help in reducing waist size. They have a variety of other benefits as well, which include decreasing liver fat (and hence reducing chances of getting diabetes), supporting infant brain development, fighting inflammation, preventing dementia, promoting bone health and preventing asthma.
The best dietary source of omega-3 EPA and DHA is oily fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken in many forms and supplementation is associated with improvements of overall wellbeing.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, which means you need to obtain them from your diet. These fats are primarily used for energy. The most common omega-6 fat is linoleic acid, which can be converted into longer omega-6 fats such as arachidonic acid (ARA). The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is 4:1 or less. However, the western diet has a ratio between 10:1 and 50:1. So, although omega-6 fats are essential in the right quantities, their supplements may not be required. Some may even need to cut down these in their diet. Omega-6 fatty acids, do have a benefit of treating symptoms of chronic diseases. Omega-6 fats are found in adequate amounts in refined vegetable oils and foods cooked in vegetable oils.
Omega-9 fatty acids are not that “essential,” which means they can be made in our body. Oleic acid is the most common of these, and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet. Omega-9 fats are also common in vegetable and seed oils, as well as nuts and seeds. There are no adequate intake recommendations for omega-9s, as they are not essential.
If you have tried any of our vitamins, minerals, and wellness products, or, if you’re considering whether or not to add some into your regime, tell us about it on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to tag @reflexsupplements and use the hashtag #ReflexNation.