Multivitamins And Supplements: To Take Or Not To Take?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should meet your nutritional needs primarily through diet. For some people, however, taking certain supplements may be the best way to get nutrients they may be lacking through diet. So, Harguth cautions it’s important to understand the exact impact supplements will have on your body before getting out your wallet,

Whole food is not to be replaced by supplements, as supplements cannot replicate all the health benefits of whole foods. For example, fruits and vegetables carry many different nutrients that provide health benefits to the human body. So, depending on your diet and current physical state, spending money on supplements may not be necessary. Listed below are Mayo Clinic’s three main benefits to whole foods vs. supplements:

Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs — not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C plus some beta-carotene, calcium and other nutrients. It’s likely these compounds work together to produce their beneficial effect.

Protective substances. Whole foods contain other substances necessary for good health. For example, fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals, which may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Many are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.

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