Are you taking any nutrition supplements?
Many of us, in our quest for better health/wellness, find ourselves inundated with the number of nutritional products on the market promising us things like better health, skin, nails, energy, & focus. But, how do you know what nutritional supplements are the right ones for you?
Before we can help you answer that question, we want you to consider this. The supplement industry is a $20 billion dollar industry. According to research data, 7 in 10 Americans are taking some type of vitamin and supplement on the promise that it will improve health, performance, longevity, sex, hair, or something else. What you may also be surprised to know is in one recent test, nearly 30% of multivitamins on the market had contamination problems or ingredient shortfalls.
Of course, one would assume this industry was being regulated. Well, it’s not.
“…The federal regulators who would normally be all over poor-quality supplements had their hands tied by a piece of legislation signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The bill was intended to make dietary supplements — including vitamins, minerals, and herbs — more widely available by classifying them not as drugs, like aspirin or ibuprofen, but as foods. In practice, that means supplements not only don’t have to do what they promise (such as protect against disease) but don’t even have to be safe.” (Fitness Magazine)
As the consumer, it is important for you to do your homework & consult with your physician(s) before adding any supplements to your diet.
In the mean time, we want to share with you these tips to help you decide which nutritional supplements are right for you.
Supplements are not substitutes. Vitamins & minerals are not meant to substitute whole foods. Whole foods are actual food items such as grains, fruit, vegetables, and beans. These are the BEST sources of vitamins and minerals.
Multivitamins are dietary supplements. Multivitamins are dietary supplements because they “supplement” current diet. Some doctors or registered dieticians may recommend that you take a multivitamin when you cannot or do not eat enough healthy whole foods.
Check the label. Read labels carefully. Product labels reveal active ingredients, nutrients, serving size, and the amount of nutrients in each serving.
Look for “USP” on the label. This ensures that the supplement meets the stands for strength, purity, disintegration, and dissolution established by the U.S. Pharacopeia (USP) testing organization.
Look for an expiration date. Dietary supplements can lose potency over time, especially in hot & humid climates.
Avoid supplements that provide “mega-doses”. These are multivitamins/mineral supplements that provide 100% of the daily value (DV) or more.
Store supplements properly. Dietary supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place. Hot, humid storage locations should always be avoided.
Beware of complicated ingredient lists. The more complex a product is, the more likely it is to have problems. Side eye any product that expresses a “proprietary formula” or a “uniquely formulated blend.” These are what are referred to as “wiggle words” or terms which allows them to put all kinds of things in their products without having to explain what they are or why they are in the product.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. Leave us a comment & share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.