Women’s Health and Supplements: Myths and Facts by Caitlin Evans
While our bodies are well-oiled machines they can’t produce all the nutrients we need to function properly. Most nutritionists agree that whole foods are the best sources of essential nutrients because they provide you with everything from vitamins to healthy fats. However, it is often difficult to combine all the ingredients you need to fend off symtoms of deficiency. That shortage can be compensated with quality supplements, and since a girl’s gotta take care of her health, here are some myths and facts about supplements you need to know.
Myth: Supplements make up for a poor diet
While there are some disagreements in the scientific community about the benefits of supplements, one thing is sure: there is no way that dietary additions can compensate for bad diet choices. The best way to get the nutrients you need is through healthy food, and vitamins and minerals in bottles and capsules can only work with your diet not instead of it.
Fact: Taking supplements can make a positive difference for women over 50
Aging is a natural process and it can be beautiful, but there are some things that will be more difficult than they were in your twenties. One of them is definitely getting a sufficient amount of nutrients to remain healthy. Some of the things you might find missing as you age are calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and collagen. All of these ingredients can be found in natural herb-based supplements.
Myth: Supplements are just another type of drugs
Supplements are not regulated or tested as drugs, which can be a bad thing because you don’t have full insight into their safety and potential side effects. Herbal supplements don’t have to be FDA approved, but it is always useful to search the ones that have the stamp of this or another trustworthy health agency.
Fact: Supplements can help you cope with stress
There is a plentitude of ways stress can affect your health, including reduced sex drive, irregular periods, acne breakouts, hair loss, poor digestion, depression, insomnia, weight gain, decreased fertility, and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Since the simplified definition of stress includes rising levels of cortisol, you can find a useful ally in a natural fast-acting stress support supplement which reduces the cortisol levels to a healthy range.
Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t take supplements
Getting the right nutrients is particularly important during pregnancy because you need to have enough of them for your baby and yourself. In this period you need proteins, fats, and carbohydrates the most. It is useful to do a blood test to figure out if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiency in case you need another type of supplement. There are some products that need to be avoided, though. Herbal supplements should be taken exclusively in consultation with your doctor. Once you start breastfeeding you can try lactation supplements to maintain good breast milk supply.
Fact: Supplements are sometimes necessary
In a discussion on supplements, there will always be at least one person to claim that supplements are always unnecessary and that you can get everything you need from food. Well, that’s not the case. Women on a vegan diet need supplements to compensate for the lack of vitamin B, lactose-intolerant ladies need vitamin D and calcium, women suffering anemia require iron supplements, poor vision calls for vitamin A supplements, etc.
So, what’s the bottom line? Supplements can be both good and bad for you. You can make the most out of these products if you do your research, check their ingredients, and choose the ones that are natural and harmless. As a woman, you need to take special care of your health, so make sure you take this choice seriously.
About the Author
Caitlin is a bookworm and medical student. She enjoys researching and writing about health-related topics. Caitlin is happily addicted to science, grilled tofu, and long walks. To see what she is up to next or to contact her, feel free to check out her Twitter dashboard: twitter.com/cate_b_evans.