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Supplements - 10 Health Reasons Why You Need Them And how to choose one that meets your daily nutritional needs
Fact: over-the-counter health supplements can be imported & sold in Singapore without a license from the Health Sciences Authority [source: https://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/hsa/en/Health_Products_Regulation/Complementary_Health_Products/Health_Supplements.html]. Yet, sales of vitamin supplements continue to increase as more people in Singapore use them to support their busy lifestyles. [source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/more-in-spore-popping-vitamins-supplements]
While there is generally no harm in taking health supplements, it is challenging to know whether you will need supplements, much less which ones are most suitable for you.
10 Reasons to Supplement
Here's our handy guide on why you do need vitamin supplements to support your nutrition needs, as well as what are the supplementation you may need.
- Poor Eating Habits: Many people unconsciously develop poor eating habits as a result of their fast paced or hectic lives. They either eat too little or too much at meal times, and use food to manage their feelings. This can result in deficiencies of essential nutrients and minerals due to the limited variety of food.
- Poor Food Choices: This is a consequence of the above, as most people end up consuming packaged or processed foods, or even a meal from a fast food joint due to the ease and speed of obtaining the meal. However, processed foods are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars. They may also be low in essential vitamins and minerals, which can be lost when the ingredients are refined.
- Nutrient Deficiencies: Even if we eat fresh food, most of the nutrients in food will have been lost by the time it reaches our mouth. This is due to two factors, storage time and soil deficiencies. The latter is a consequence of modern farming methods, the intensity of which have depleted soil of its nutrients - the soil is not given ample time to replenish its mineral content between each harvest & sowing. As soil quality decreases, so does the nutritional value of the crop grown. As for the former, food begins to lose its nutrients the moment that it is harvested - the longer it takes to get from the farm to supermarket shelf to the kitchen, the more nutrients are lost.
- Stress: The demands of life in Singapore places a huge physical, mental, and emotional stress on its inhabitants. This leaves little energy or time for meal preparation. The situation can be improved by supplementing with vitamins B, C and zinc.
- Poor Digestion: This is a result of many factors, including stress and medication. Singaporean's love of spicy food is also a contributing factor to poor digestion. These can cause inflammation within the GI tract, which may lead to poor absorption of nutrients from the food we eat.
- Medications: Medications can affect our body's ability to digest and absorb food well. For example, antibiotics can disrupt the balance of friendly gut flora, which is important for immune and digestive health. In this instance, adding a daily serving of probiotics will help with balancing your gut health.
- Bad Lifestyle Habits: It's common to hit the bar for happy hour drinks after work. However, the liver is the only place where alcohol can be processed by the body. Too many drinks over too many nights in a week places a huge strain on the liver. And while smoking is another way of relieving stress, it causes free radical damage in the body. One way of supporting the body is to increase your antioxidant intake.
- Sports Nutrition: More Singaporeans are taking up sports and exercise to lose weight and keep fit. However, an active lifestyle creates higher demands of nutrients that support the immune, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Health supplements of vitamins B and C, as well as minerals of zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants, will provide support for these areas.
- Hormone changes: As we age, the hormone levels in our body changes, which result in changing nutritional demands from our body. For example, females who experience Pre-Menstrual Tension will benefit from a higher intake of vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc.
- Insufficient Daily Intake: According to Singapore's Health Promotion Board, adults should be consuming two servings of vegetables and fruit each on a daily basis. [source: https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/56/fruits-and-veggies] However, most people don't manage to meet that. Thus, vitamin supplementation will help to support this need.
With so many nutritional needs to support, it can seem overwhelming. However, nutrition supplements can be kept easy.
Begin with taking a general multivitamin each day. While it may not address specific systems, it will provide an added boost to your daily nutrition intake. After which, you may look at supplementing specific vitamins and minerals.
A convenient way of supplementing dietary fibre and nutrients from fruit and vegetables is with Nuzest's Just Fruit & Veg plant-based protein smoothie. This blend of five fruit - strawberry, apple, acai, banana, raspberry - and five vegetables - kale, beetroot, spinach, broccoli, carrot - with golden peas will flood your body with sufficient support for your daily nutrition needs.
For an added nutrient boost, include a serving of Nuzest's Good Green Stuff in your daily supplements. It is a superblend of more than 75 ingredients including essential vitamins and minerals, dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics, and herbs such as ginger rhizome, slippery elm inner bark, and green tea leaf extract.
Since the Nuzest range is all natural, gluten free, GMO free, dairy free, soy free, and allergen free, there is nothing processed or artificial being introduced into your body. All it receives is natural goodness to boost its physical well-being.
Article by Patricea Chow