While it is ideal to get all your nutrients through whole foods, sometimes that is not possible. Supplements are the perfect way to fill in those nutritional gaps so that your body has the vitamins and minerals that it needs to operate at optimal levels. Here are three things to look at when choosing supplements:

How Much of Each Vitamin/Mineral it Has

When choosing your supplement regimen, it is important to examine the number of vitamins and minerals in each product. Too much of a good thing is sometimes a bad thing. With so many foods being fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, it is easier than you think to give your body too much. For example, Meritage Medical Network warns that too much vitamin C can lead to nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps. A general guideline to follow is to stick with supplements that provide the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals that you are looking to deliver to your body.

Natural vs Synthetic

There continues to be debate over the use of synthetic supplements as an alternative to natural supplements. Natural supplements are derived from whole food sources while synthetic nutrients are generally made artificially through an industrial process. ASEA explains that whole food sources are better than synthetic sources. They allow for better absorption and greater health and wellness benefits. Checking the labels can help you to discern if your multivitamin or supplement is natural or synthetic. Natural supplements usually indicate that they are plant- or animal-based. They will also list food sources as ingredients.

Know What You Need

No supplement plan will be effective if it is not tailored to your specific needs. Knowing what your body needs will help you to devise a supplement plan that is specific to your individual needs. The Clubs at Charles River Park talks about how each individual’s supplement needs are based on factors such as their age, specific medical conditions, current diet and propensity to develop health problems. For example, if you are genetically disposed to developing heart disease, your doctor might recommend supplements that are high in heart-healthy omega 3s. Or, if you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, you should look into supplements that are high in calcium and vitamin D.

With the right research and planning, you can ensure that your supplement plan is suited to meet the needs of your specific circumstances. The correct supplement protocol can pay off big dividends for your overall health and well-being when executed properly.

Some of the best ways to take care of your body is by eating the right kinds of foods and getting your nutrients from your diet. Let Lionheart APF’s habit based nutrition coaching help you!