In the U.S., consumers can choose from over 29,000 nutrient supplementation products. And each year, about a thousand new dietary supplements get added to the list.
If you're also considering taking supplements, you must first know if you need to and which ones to take. Doing so can help you get the most out of these products (and your money).
Read on as we've shared tips on how to pick your supplements wisely.
Test for Inadequacies or Deficiencies First
One of the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) used in the U.S. is the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). It's a list of estimated nutrient intake values believed to meet the requirement of at least 50% of people.
People who don't meet EAR values can develop micronutrient inadequacies. The longer this goes on, the higher one's risk of becoming nutrient deficient. That can then lead to undernourishment and the development of chronic diseases.
In the U.S., vitamin D inadequacy is the most common. Over 94% of the population doesn't meet the EAR for this nutrient. Other common inadequacies are vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
However, just because inadequacies are prevalent doesn't guarantee you have one, either. The only way to confirm micronutrient inadequacies and deficiencies is through testing.
Please confirm if you are inadequate or deficient before you take nutrient supplements. Over-supplementing is just as harmful (e.g., too much vitamin A can cause liver damage).
You can get an at-home testing kit or have your doctor run tests on you.
Try Improving Your Diet
One of the reasons Americans don't satisfy EAR values is that only about 12% eat enough fruits daily. Even fewer consume enough veggies; only about 10%. The thing is, these foods are among the best sources of essential vitamins and minerals.
So once you know your inadequacies or deficiencies, the next step is to consider what you consume.
For example, if you lack iron and have low energy levels, you can eat more red meat, poultry, offal, fish, or eggs. But if you don't eat animal products, you can incorporate more nuts and tofu into your diet.
Take Supplements for What You Lack
If dietary improvements aren't enough, that's the time you can consider supplementation. For instance, you can take a multimineral if you have iron and calcium inadequacies.
Consider talking to your doctor about taking one or more types of kratom, too. Users claim that the best kratom leaves and capsules help boost their energy levels. Here's a link you can click for kratom powders and reviews.
Remember That Some Nutrients Need Other Nutrients
A perfect example is vitamin D; if you lack this nutrient, your calcium levels may also drop. So can phosphorus and magnesium, as the body needs vitamin D to absorb all these minerals.
Another example is Niacin (vitamin B3). It's crucial in converting the nutrients carbohydrates and fat into energy. Therefore, if you lack this vitamin, you may fall short on carbs and fat, which, in turn, can lead to low energy levels.
That's another reason to get a nutrient test, as it tells you which nutrient combinations to take.
Follow These Tips for Safe Nutrient Supplementation
Please remember that nutrient supplementation is best for people with inadequacies or deficiencies. That's why you must first determine if you lack nutrients to get the most out of supplements. If you do, base your choice on what you lack, and avoid over-supplementing.
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