Foods Vs. Supplements - Where To Get The Nutrients You Need?
As you know, to be able to maintain a healthy life, you need to have a healthy diet. In fact, you need many different nutrients that include vitamins A and C, calcium, and magnesium. While most fresh foods tend to include a lot of nutrients, the reality is that not all adults get a good dosage daily. And all you need to do is to take a closer look at most American's diet. There are no questions that most Americans tend to have a diet that is based on processed foods, added sugars, and refined grains. And all these tend to be quite poor in terms of nutrients. Besides, all these foods that tend to be the base for most Americans diets are all linked to chronic disease and inflammation. However, one of the things that you may not know is that even if you have a diet that is rich in nutrients, these may not be enough. And this is just something that tends to happen as you grow older. According to Dr. Howard Sesso, an epidemiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, "As we get older, our ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases. Also, our energy needs aren't the same, and we tend to eat less." When asked about if we should add a supplement, Dr. Sesso doesn't really give us a straight answer. Instead, he says "It's a touchy subject, and you need to look at your individual needs first."
Should You Take Supplements?
While supplements are seen by many as a powerful way to add the nutrients that are missing on your diet, you need to be careful. The truth is that while they are a good option, you shouldn't take too much or they may harm you. According to Dr. Clifford Lo, an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, you may be getting too much of a specific nutrient and you don't even realize it. "Extra vitamin A supplements can lead to dangerous, toxic levels if taken too frequently.", for example. One of the things that you need to understand about supplements is that they usually come in the form of multivitamins. Well, the evidence about them is still a bit mixed. Dr. Sesso, for example, was a lead researcher on one of the largest studies made about this topic. According to their findings, the intake of multivitamins was linked to the reduction of cataracts and the risk of cancer in men. But it didn't reduce the deaths from heart disease. On the other hand, there was a different study that was published in The Journal of Nutrition back in 2015. According to the researchers, they concluded that the intake of a multivitamin with minerals could lower the risk of death from heart disease in women but not in men.
Foods Vs. Supplements - What Should You Do?
Noth Dr. Lo and Dr. Sesso share the same opinion. According to them, you should first try to improve your diet. And only then, if you really have a deficiency in some nutrient, then you should go for a supplement.