Dietary or nutritional supplements are, as their name suggests, a way to supplement the diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. The Food Standards Agency found that in 2008 nearly a third of UK people take some form of a supplement (FSA, 2008). A healthy, balanced diet should provide all the macro- and micronutrients we need but some people may need to take extra supplements.
Supplements for Maintaining General Health
Vitamin B12 is involved in making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from food and using folic acid. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria in the soil around grasses and in the colon of animals which is then stored in their muscles and liver. Therefore, those who are vegan or don’t consume any animal products will need to supplement. There are many ways to supplement vitamin B12, but the BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray is a delicious and convenient way to get 1500% of your recommended daily dose of Vitamin B12 in four quick sprays.
Vitamin C is necessary for the body to protect cells, maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage as well as helping with wound healing. Regular supplementation of vitamin C has been linked to reducing the duration of common colds, especially in children!
Ener-C 1000mg Vitamin C sachets are a delicious way to get a high-dose of vitamin C as well as 24 other vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which are essential for keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy. The body should be able to synthesise enough vitamin D from sunlight from April to the end of September but from October to March or if you don’t see much sun, you should be supplementing with vitamin D as it is hard to get enough through food. Terranova Vitamin D3 2000iu & K2 100µg is a high dose vitamin D supplement which is combined with vitamin K. Vitamin K supports vitamin D’s role of calcium regulation in the body.
Supplements for Children
Growing children, especially those who are fussy with food, may struggle to get enough vitamin A and C. It is also hard to get enough vitamin D through food. Therefore, the NHS recommends all children aged 6 months to 5 years should take vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day. Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Gummies are a great way to get children to reach the recommended daily vitamin and mineral intake as they are easy-to-chew, orange, grape and cherry flavour gummies.
Supplements for Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant then a folic acid supplement is recommended by the NHS. Folic acid is important for the development of a healthy foetus and can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida. It is recommended that women take 400ug of folic acid before they’re pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Viridian Organic Folic Acid 400ug offers your daily dose of folic acid from organic lemons to increase absorption.
Supplements for Sports Performance
Nutrition aids performance and recovery in elite and recreational athletes. Protein is required for building and repairing muscle and plays an important role in how the body responds to exercise. 15-25g of protein post-workout has been seen to boost glycogen storage, reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle repair. Pulsin Premium Whey Protein (Isolate) is a high-quality protein powder made from hormone-free milk or if you would prefer a vegan supplement, Fit Delis The Power Protein Shake is a fast-absorbing protein made from 100% natural ingredients.
Supplements for Sleep
The Sleep Council found 33% of people in the UK sleep for 5-6 hours a night – significantly less than the 7-9 hours we are recommended to have (sleepcouncil.org.uk, 2016). A supplement like magnesium can promote relaxation and improve sleep. Magnesium regulates the neurotransmitters in the brain and calms your nervous system in readiness for sleep. It also works alongside melatonin to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles. Mag365 Magnesium is a highly bioavailable magnesium supplement which helps you achieve a better night sleep with its natural calming effect.
We hope with the information above you can make the right choice on what supplements you should take, and if you should be supplementing your diet in the first place.