Dieticians recommend you consume the nutrients required by your body through diet and not through nutritional supplements. Nutrients are important for the health and wellness of your body. Nutrition supplements may at once seem like an easy way to provide the body with the essential nutrients; they might not be suited for you. Before you go out shopping for your nutrition supplements, you should know whether they are suited for you or not. While supplements may be recommended for those with a medical condition, deficiency or for the older aged, they might not be that beneficial for you. You should know what exactly the benefits of whole foods are over supplements. Supplements are supposed to be substitutes in case they are extremely necessary, not supposed to be alternatives. They cannot replicate all the benefits of whole foods. Here are some of the benefits of whole foods over nutrient supplements:
- Whole foods contain a number of nutrients and micronutrients, not just one. A supplement on the other hand is supposed to provide you only with one nutrient. An orange for example is not only a good source of vitamin C, but also provides your body with beta carotenes and calcium.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of dietary fiber which is essential for digestion and hence adds to the health and wellness of the body. Fiber as a part of whole foods is known to reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
- Whole foods also contain other protective substances in addition to essential nutrients. Fruits and vegetables for example contain phytochemicals which help protect against high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Many whole foods also contain considerable amount of antioxidants which slow down the process of oxidation which is a natural process leading to tissue and cell damage.
Since supplements are not actually like whole foods, they are not really recommended for everyone. In some cases though, consumption of nutrition supplements may become more a necessity than a need. Nutrition supplements may be recommended for people from the following category:
- Pregnant women should consume folic acid as supplements apart from whole foods containing folates. Pregnant women should also consume iron supplements
- People aged over 50 may consume vitamin B12 supplements apart from foods fortified in vitamin B12 and multivitamins.
- A vegetarian or a vegan
- Females experiencing unusually high bleeding during their menstrual periods
- People suffering from medical conditions which inhibit the absorption of nutrients by your body
- People who have had surgery in the digestive tract as a result of which the body suffers from reduced potential of absorbing nutrients.
Talk to a professional dietician or your doctor before you start consuming nutrition supplements. Make sure that you inform your doctor or dietician of any medical conditions you have been suffering from and all medications you are currently taking in order to reduce the risk of your supplements reacting with your current medication.