Health » Food Supplements. Do We Need Them

Food Supplements. Do We Need Them

Alva2 gifMost doctors and nutritionists will say that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet and you are in good health, then you do not need to take supplements. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to know whether or not you are in good health, and many of us take supplements as a kind of insurance policy.

 

Doctors will advise taking vitamins when they think our immune system requires a boost. For example, if we are anaemic, they may suggest iron tablets. The consensus is that if you have a simple diet of fresh food then taking extra vitamins is a waste of time. However, many doctors in the Gulf recommend that people take a good quality daily multivitamin to supplement vitamins lost by fruit and vegetables when they have been transported over long distances in order to reach the grocery stores or markets. Permea Plus is a good quality vitamin and if you would like more information about it contact me alvacarpenter@ardenhealth.com.

 

Much research has gone into the value of vitamin C supplements as it is believed to help clear up colds and there is also evidence that vitamin B6 can help with menstrual problems. Calcium should not be taken if you have kidney stones as it may only exacerbate the problem. Many multivitamin and mineral supplements are sold under proprietary names and you should look for recommended, quality brands in your pharmacy. 

 

Some of the most popular natural supplements include –

 

Aloe Vera

This plant has been used since ancient times as helps to relieve skin complaints, rashes, and allergies. It is often included as an ingredient in after-sun lotions because of its soothing effect. Aloe Vera is also said to help with other conditions, including Candida, ME, and arthritis. It can be taken in capsule form but should not be used during pregnancy.

 

Black Cohosh

Menopausal symptoms are often treated with this herb, but evidence of effective treatment seems anecdotal.

 

Cod Liver Oil

This fish oil is rich in vitamins A and D and also contains essential fatty acids. Recent researches suggest that cod liver oil is good for the brain as it aids learning processes. If you do not eat eggs or oily fish, it may well be worth taking a cod liver oil capsule to ward off joint pain and arthritis.

 

Co-enzyme Q10

Helping the body to convert food to energy is just one of the properties of this versatile supplement, which also strengthens the heart, acts as an antioxidant, and fights gum disease. The body produces its own Co-enzyme Q10 but as we grow older the natural levels present start to drop and so it is often advisable to supplement the body’s natural resources. 

 

Echinacea

The benefits of Echinacea have been well documented and many people take it to boost their immune systems, but it should only be taken as directed for brief periods at a time to prevent colds, influenza, and bacterial infections.

 

Evening Primrose Oil

The body needs Omega-6 to control vital processes including fluid balance and the reproductive system, and Evening Primrose Oil provides a natural source. It is thought to minimise pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as helping those who suffer from arthritis and eczema.

 

Ginkgo Biloba

The leaves from Ginkgo Biloba are said to help maintain the supply of blood to the brain and to oxygenate it. It is also held to maintain good blood circulation to the hands and feet and some research indicates that it can minimise the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. If you decide to take Ginkgo Biloba, look for a good quality product that contains 40 mg of standardised extract. This supplement should be avoided during pregnancy.

 

Ginseng

For thousands of years, Ginseng has been used as a general tonic, originating in the Far East. Athletes and the elderly favour it as it is said to help us to cope with physical and mental stress and recent trials have shown that it has antibiotic properties as well.

 

Royal Jelly

Worker bees feed this famous supplement to their queen and it helps her to live for up to five years, whereas her workers live for only a matter of weeks. What it does for humans is as yet unproven, yet many endow it with almost miraculous properties. It is also held to give you more energy.

 

St John’s Wort

The common name for Hypericum perforatum, the yellow flowered St John’s Wort is a perennial plant found throughout southern Europe. It has been demonstrated to help with mild cases of depression and is widely used. St John’s Wort does interact with some medical drugs and so a doctor should always be consulted before use.


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