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Vitamins and You

Thursday, May 21, 2015

There is a lot of debate as to whether vitamin or mineral supplements are actually of any use to the majority of us. The aisles at pharmacies and department stores are usually lined with a great deal of bottles with names that may or may not be recognizable to you.  So do you need to take a daily multivitamin or singular supplement? That answer can vary drastically based on your usual diet and other factors.

The first thing to remember is that the majority of your vitamin and mineral needs should be coming from your food intake. It is important to note that vitamin and/or mineral supplements are not a replacement for a healthy and balanced diet. If you are already taking in the recommended amount of a nutrient, you will most likely not get any further health benefit from taking an over the counter supplement. By not monitoring your intake, there is always a chance that you may actually exceed what are considered safe levels of nutrients.

Depending on your health and the circumstances surrounding it, a supplement may be a must. For example, pregnant women have needs that may be hard to meet with their diet alone. The same goes for those with various ailments or natural deficiencies. In these cases, your doctor will usually prescribe or advise you of what supplements to take. However, if you are looking to take vitamins for any reason and have not been advised by a doctor, it is always a great idea to connect with them before doing so.

The Food and Drug Administration have a few questions that they recommend asking yourself and/or your doctor before starting any supplement.
  • Do you eat fewer than 2 meals per day?
  • Is your diet restricted? For example, do you not eat meat, or milk or milk products, or eat fewer than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day?
  • Do you eat alone most of the time?
  • Has your weight recently fluctuated one way or the other without you wanting to?
  • Do you take 3 or more prescription or over-the-counter medicines a day?
  • Do you have 3 or more drinks of alcohol a day?

By really taking a look at your lifestyle and the supplements you want to take, you can do your best to avoid any complications that may occur. You will also have a better understanding of what your body needs to function at the best of its ability.  After starting a supplement, if you experience any odd side effects, discontinue its use immediately and get with your doctor. You may simply need a lower dosage or to avoid it all together.

So, in short, the best way to determine if a multi-vitamin or supplement is good for you is to speak with your trusted medical team and analyze your lifestyle. The phrase “too much of a good thing” is particularly something to remember. After consulting with your doctor and coming up with a plan on what you should take, check out available Your Discount Benefit plans that offer options to help you save money on all your vitamin and nutritional supplement needs and much more. Stay healthy while saving money! Head over to www.yourdiscountbenefits.com to get started today.

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