Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eating Health supplements

Health supplements building blocks

Taking health supplements is quite complex and costly if not cautious. It is no doubt that we need health supplements to augment our daily intake of food. It is sad that modem times have depleted the value of nutrients, minerals and properties in the everyday food that we eat. This is due to morden agricultural and food processing practices.

I have always been asked what health supplements to take and how much to take. My first advice is always know your body. Know if you have any ailments and symptoms of early stages of any dieseases. It would be best to do a full blood test and other medical examinations to determine what are the shorfalls of nutrients, minerals and level of stresses in our body. Or what are the excesses due to malfunctions of our organs. One can safely then access what health supplements to take for long term remedies. Drugs and medication of course does quick fixes but would be bad for the body in the long term. Health supplements are basically food, only that they are processed, concentrated and handy. Again, whenever I was asked when do we have to stop taking health supplements? My answer is always very curt, when we want to stop eating.

So what health supplements and how much do we have to take daily? There is no answer, but as a rule of thumb we can follow the building block shown above.

The American Institute for Optimum Nutrition does propose Daily Allowances of nutrients, minerals and vitamins for our bodies.
Following essential building blocks as shown, we should
start with a High Potency Multivitamin and Mineral programme. This should provide the following nutrients:

Good multivitamin should contain at least 7,500iu of A, 10mcg (400iu) of D, 100iu of E, 250mg of C, and 25mg each of B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, 10mcg of B12, 200mcg of folic acid and 50mcg of biotin.

This should provide at least 300mg of calcium, 150mg of magnesium, 10mg of iron, 10mg of zinc, 2.5mg of manganese, 20mcg of chromium and 25mcg of selenium, and, ideally some molybdenum, vanadium and boron.

1. You simply can’t fit all of the above vitamins and minerals into one tablet. So good, combined multivitamin and mineral formulas recommend two or more tablets a day to meet these kind of levels. The bulkiest nutrients are vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. These are often insufficiently supplied in multivitamin and mineral formulas. Vitamin C, in particular is best taken separately simply because you’ll never get 1,000mg (the ideal daily dose) into a multi.

2. Add Extra Vitamin C and Other Immune Boosting Nutrients
VITAMIN C This is worth taking separately because the amount you need won’t fit in a multi. The supplement should provide around 1,800mg of Vitamin C. Some vitamin C formulas also provide other key immune boosting nutrients such as bioflavonoids or anthocyanidins in the form of black elderberry and bilberry and zinc.

3. Add Extra Antioxidant Nutrients
The evidence is now very conclusive that an optimal intake of antioxidant nutrients slows down the ageing process and prevents a variety of diseases. For this reason it is well worth supplementing extra antioxidant nutrients – on top of those in a good multivitamin – to ensure you are achieving the best possible ageing protection. The kind of nutrients that are provided in an antioxidant supplement are vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene, zinc and selenium, possibly iron, copper and manganese, the amino acids glutathione or cysteine, plus phytonutrients such as bilberry extract, elderberry extract, pycnogenol and grape seed extract. These plant chemicals, rich in bioflavonoids and anthocyanidins, are also often supplied in more comprehensive vitamin C formulas.

4. Are You Getting Enough Fat?
There are two ways of meeting your essential fat requirements: one is from diet, either by eating a heaped tablespoon of ground seeds every day, having a tablespoon of special cold-pressed seed oils and/or eating oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, anchovies) three times a week; the other is to supplement concentrated oils. For omega 3 this means either flax seed oil capsules or the more concentrated fish oil capsules providing EPA and DHA. For omega 6 this means supplementing a source of GLA such as evening primrose oil or borage oil. Even better is a combination of all three – EPA, DHA and GLA.

These are the basic building blocks of a good supplement programme.

Extracts curtesy of www.totallynourish.com

Take care

Allen Lai

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