The Best Dietary Supplements

As part of maintaining a healthy diet, the question that many people ask is whether it is necessary to add special vitamins or mineral supplements to their usual diet.
You may ask - Who should take multi-vitamins and mineral pills?  A good many people should take these supplements - Anyone who is looking for a little extra nutritional insurance, people who are haphazard eaters, dieters, those who want extra iron, people above 50 years old could all benefit from the tablets.
For dieters it is especially important that you do not fall short of any of these multivitamins and supplements in order to lose weight healthily and effectively.
While it is true that a healthy diet is better than a handful of supplements, there are several reasons why it is sometimes necessary to consume supplements.
Despite the best of intention to keep to a balanced and healthy meal, many people would struggle to keep up with eating wisely due to busy lifestyle.   This will result in deficiency of certain important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, iron and folic acid.
What are some of the necessary nutrients to focus on to keep you healthy, whether you get them from the foods that you eat or from vitamins and supplements?
*  Calcium. It keeps our bones healthy and once you have achieved your peak bone mass in our youth, natural bone loss begins. If we do not meet our calcium requirements throughout life, we can suffer from osteoporosis, especially amongst women.  Calcium also helps our muscles to contract and relax, supports nerve function and aids in blood clotting.  It also eases PMS, lowers high blood pressure and prevents colon cancers.
*  Iron. A lack of iron is a common deficiency amongst women who are trying to lose weight.  They tend to stay away from red meat and animal foods, while engaging in heavy exercise.  Iron makes hemoglobin, the component of red blood cells that carries oxygen to all your tissues.  Iron deficiency eventually leads to anemia. Female runners are at risk of iron deficiency because during heavy exercise, iron is lost through sweat.  Any woman who reduces her calorie intake to lose weight is also at risk especially for a 1200-calorie weight-loss diet.
* Folic acid. Folate or folic acid can protect our health at all stages in life, from preconception to old age.  It helps to reduce heart disease and for women, it reduces the risk of neural tube defects - birth defects that involve the spinal cord and brain.  You also need folate to make DNA, the genetic blueprint inside every single cell, the lack of which would not allow your cells to properly grow and divide.
When you are buying multivitamins and nutrition supplements, look for products that contain beta-carotene, vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12 and folic acid. All these are important nutrients that help to body to maintain its peak condition.
Do remember that nutritional supplements are meant to support and reinforce your healthy diet. That means you cannot just eat supplements and have junk food all day long. You must first eat right and then take your multivitamins and mineral supplements.

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About The Author, Shafir Ahmad
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