Your healthy diet should provide you with the majority of your nutritional needs, but sometimes you need a little help filling in any nutrient gaps. Luckily, there are vitamins, minerals and supplements to help you when you need it.
The supplements section in your pharmacy or grocery store shouldn't freak you out — provided you know what to consider and what to avoid.
Which Supplements Should You Add?
To get you started, here's a sampling of supplements:
- Omega-3 fats help lower cholesterol and may positively impact learning and brain health as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Glutamine is an amino acid that supports digestive health and may help strengthen the immune system.
- Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) supports heart health, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Probiotics boost the immune system and promote intestinal health.
- Vitamin D reduces inflammation, promotes bone health and boosts immunity — and the majority of Americans aren't getting enough.
When shopping for supplements, keep in mind that they aren't as strictly regulated as regular food, so it's vital that you scrutinize the labels. Any product worth your money should be certified by a trusted third party, such as the United States Pharmacopeia or NSF International.
Look for the approval symbol from either of these when supplement shopping. As with any supplement, you'll want to check with your doctor first before taking because they can interact with different medications.
Figure Out Your Supplement Needs
Track your micronutrients in the LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Calorie Tracker —available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — so you'll know how supplements impact your health and what vitamins or minerals you might need.
We want you to be well — and well-informed — so you can be smart about your supplements, maximize your transformation and get the results you desire.
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Read More on Which Supplements to Take
- The 12 Most Overrated Supplements
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Food Supplements
- Keep Calm with These 10 Natural Herbs and Supplements
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