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Who Needs Nutritional Supplements?

It has been noted that affluent nations are over-fed, as food is affordable and plentiful to the point of intoxication, yet as far as healthy eating is concerned, the general population are somewhat undernourished, as food often lacks essential nutrients, namely antioxidant nutrients. However, this could be overcome through the use of food supplements which encompass vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes, herb, fibre, bee products, pro-biotic and phytoeostrogens. Nutritional supplements come in various forms and formulations including tablets, capsules, powder, liquids and herb extracts.Many of us think that we eat a healthy diet that provides plenty of vitamins and minerals, but modern methods of animal farming, food production and cooking methods may significantly influence the nutritive value of food we finally have in the plate. In addition, canning, freezing, chopping, peeling, boiling and the use of food preservatives are known to deplete some essential nutrients. In turns, air pollution from car exhaust and chemical plants as well toxicants in food may put extra demand on nutrient needs especially for micronutrients.There is a question of efficacy, safety and risk of toxicity surrounding the area of dietary supplements. All these factors are related, at least in part, to the supplement source, purity, dosage and the possible interaction between different supplements / ingredients, and / or elements in the diet and most importantly prescribed medication. This is compounded by the availability of enormous range of supplements from various sources.To avoid such drawbacks one should ask the following questions: What supplements to take? Why and what for? Which brand name? How long to take them for? How best to take them? How much and how long a supplement should be taken for? Is there any interaction with any medications currently been taken? And what are the contraindications if any?Self-prescription of nutritional supplements is a common phenomenal of our modern age. Friends or relative recommendations is good enough evidence for the majority of the population for taking a supplement without any attention being given to individual differences, nutritional status, physiological needs or medical history. This is a dangerous practice, despite the fact that most of the dietary supplements available in the market today are controlled by stringent procedures. It is the consumer non-intentional duplication or over dosing, which is a cause of concern, especially if a supplement is taken on large dosages and/or for a prolonged period of time without any input or direction of a healthcare professional.People should be aware of the fact that the need for supplements is usually governed by a multitude of factors; among them are: poor dietary habits, frequent dieting, modern methods of farming & production, reliance on convenience food, level of stress, the degree of environmental pollutants, over-dependence on certain medications e.g. antibiotics and steroids, dietary restrictions brought about by moral and religious beliefs, cultural / ideological factors and the presence of chronic or debilitating diseases. In addition, habitual diet, exercise routine, alcohol over consumption, smoking, social and work environment all have direct or indirect influence on vitamin and mineral requirements. As already stated, preparation and cooking methods, storage, refining / processing, additives, toxicants, pesticides and other chemical are all factors affecting the nutrient values of foods.It is now well known that the main causes of nutritional deficiencies are poor dietary habits, inadequate dietary intakes, mal-absorption, increase losses and/or increase requirement for nutrients. To some extend we no longer suffer from classical symptoms of vitamin deficiencies such as scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency, beriberi brought about by a lack of vitamin B1, pellagra which is caused by lack of vitamin B2, rickets caused by deficiency of vitamin D and Keratomalacia caused by vitamin A deficiency. However, there is a wide spread of mild nutritional deficiencies at blood or tissue level often referred to as sub-clinical nutritional deficiencies. In my opinion these are the major contributory factors to many of the chronic illnesses of today including coronary heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and arthritis.The main symptoms of sub-clinical deficiencies may include headache, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, digestive problems and susceptibility to infections. But, some of these are often confused with symptoms of food allergies and intolerances which appears to be quite fashionable nowadays especially among those who consider themselves to be health conscious. The groups most vulnerable to vitamin and mineral deficiencies are pregnant and lactating women, children, adolescents, elderly and dieters due to increased physiological demands as well as those with long term chronic or debilitating illnesses.At present the need for supplements can easily be assessed by a number of techniques including computerised ‘Nutritional analyses. This is based on diet history and a food record diary over several days, typically one week. Blood testing is another technique for assessing the need for individual supplements in a more accurate fashion. Above all what is more important is a prior evaluation by a healthcare professional with specialist knowledge and expertise in the area of nutritional supplements.

The 5 Natural Supplements for Holistic Nutrition that Count the Most

Let’s start with your overall health and wellness. Have you achieved your holistic nutrition threshold? The first step starts with you and your attitude. The next step is gaining knowledge, which you are doing by reading about these natural resources that are available to you. Lastly implementing these changes will help you to achieve the results you desire. Any improvements to your health have to start somewhere and by reading this and making changes to your eating habits and lifestyle you are on your way to achieving an optimum level of nutrition to maintain your health for a long time to come.For overall health and holistic nutrition start with a greens supplement-I like the ones by Nature’s First Food or Green Vibrance. This is actually not a supplement, but a food. It consists of powdered food and over 40 probiotics (friendly bacteria). Probiotics are important for achieving your holistic nutrition goals as they support the immune system and create an environment which is antagonistic to Candida, and other harmful molds and fungi; as well as improve digestion. It is also high in silicon, making it helpful in building strong bones. This food is to be used daily. It contains 100% raw, organic and/or wildcrafted super foods. It is designed as a neutral-tasting, whole-food, green powder which contains no fillers. One suggestion for using this product is to mix it with smoothies or juices.The most recognized certified organic ingredients used in this formula include; Ginger, Whole Leaf Wheat and Barley Grass, Alfalfa, Dandelion; Kale, Spinach, and Parsley Juice as well as five Wildcrafted ingredients.If you are you concerned about preventing hair loss; healthy teeth and gums; protecting your skin and organs against premature aging; a strong immune system; preventing frequent colds and infections; and alleviating pain and swelling in joints then you should supplement with natural Vitamin C derived from Acerola Berry or Camu Camu Berry. Vitamin C levels derived from these plants are at least 65% higher than the levels of Vitamin C derived from an orange.In addition to these healthy and holistic nutrition benefits, the Vitamin C derived from Acerola Berry or Camu Camu Berry also contains amino acids valine, leucine and serine, and is also rich in flavonoids. It also plays a major role in the formation of collagen; amino acid metabolism and hormone synthesis, and the utilization of many nutrients such as folic acid and iron.If you are concerned about the risk of heart attack; reducing your cholesterol; reducing the risk of cancer; removing iron and other toxic heavy metals from the body; boosting your immunity; and lowering blood pressure, then you should supplement with Kyolic Aged Garlic to achieve holistic nutrition for your bodyThis supplement helps to achieve holistic nutrition by being a natural blood circulation booster. It can replace the aspirin a day that is advocated by doctors to reduce your risk of heart attack. Studies have shown it to be effective in reducing cholesterol by an average of 9 percent, significantly thinning blood, and inhibiting your body’s absorption of LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels.If you are concerned about relieving muscle and/or joint pain; arthritis; skin fungus including dandruff and other skin problems; lice; intestinal worms; colds and flu; digestive problems, migraine headaches, breathing problems, you should be supplementing your diet with Oregano Oil to achieve holistic nutrition. Oregano Oil is a supplement that is nature’s own antibiotic and antiseptic while containing antifungal properties.Oregano essential oil may also be used externally as an analgesic and anti-rheumatic agent. It can even be used to relieve the pain of a toothache, or to reduce the discomfort associated with insect bites. It has also been used to treat skin fungi such as athlete’s foot as well as to eliminate lice infestations and intestinal worms. Proponents of using this supplement also advocate its use especially during cold and flu season to assist your body in fighting off these nasty and sometimes debilitating illnesses. Oregano oil may also be used in the treatment of digestive problems, migraine headaches, and sore throats, breathing problems, dandruff and other skin problems.If you are concerned about osteoarthritis; allergy symptoms; interstitial cystitis; snoring; healthy joints; cartilage; healthy skin, hair, and nails then you should supplement with MSM to achieve holistic nutrition. Methylsulfonylmethane (METH-al-sul-FON-il-METH-ane) known as MSM provides sulfur to your body which is vital for healthy joints, cartilage, skin, hair, and nails. Studies have shown the use of MSM to be instrumental particularly in the treatment of osteoarthritis and in same cases is combined with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin supplements. It has also been shown to help in alleviating some allergy symptoms, interstitial cystitis, and snoring. Which make it great for holistic nutrition.Although many foods contain minute amounts of sulfur, supplementing this mineral to your diet can help you achieve your holistic nutrition needs as well as provide you with glowing skin, strong nails, greater flexibility and muscle. To achieve the best results for holistic nutrition by supplementing with MSM it is important to do a little research. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that users of MSM make sure that your powder or tablet supplement is made by a “name brand” as dollar or discount store brands may not be of the best quality or provide reliable results. MSM is not a natural or organic supplement so quality is especially important in choosing your brand.It is best when attempting to achieve your holistic nutrition needs to consider your overall well being. While many of these supplements may assist you in alleviating or eliminating certain symptoms from your life, it is more important to try to achieve overall wellness and incorporate as many of these items as possible in your everyday nutritional plan. By doing so you can not only achieve the healthy lifestyle that is your goal; but make sure that there are not “gaps” in your treatment of certain illnesses or symptoms. Don’t limit yourself to just one supplement, but try to combine them to increase your overall health and well being as well as increase the supplements ability to help you in reaching your wellness goals and supplement your holistic nutrition program.