Here's to Your Health: Supplements and Balanced Diets Image

Eating a balanced diet is of paramount importance for our health, but actually consuming this mythical “balanced diet” is often easier said than done. Mass-produced foods are often heavily processed, losing essential nutrients in the process. Agricultural techniques for generating the greatest possible yields can mean that even fresh foods may not contain all the vitamins and minerals they should. Add to this the time required to prepare food and the allure of fast food restaurants, and it’s a struggle for most of us to get all the nutrients our bodies need.

This doesn’t mean we should just toss the notion of eating well out of the window. Even with the challenges involved, a balanced diet is still the best way to maintain health, energy and an appropriate weight. Health supplements won’t replace a balanced diet, but they will make up for the missing vitamins and minerals in our often-inadequate diets.

Uses for Health Supplements

Supplements have a number of uses in a healthy living program. They can

  • replace missing nutrients in our diets
  • provide extra nutrients in times of need (high stress, pregnancy, etc.)
  • improve physical performance and increase muscle mass
  • enhance a weight loss program
  • contribute to a preventive health program.

Health Effects of Supplementation

Mounting evidence appears to indicate that some supplements can reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis, some eye disorders, heart disease and even some types of cancer. As medical research continues to examine and define the role nutrients and a balanced diet play in health, the importance of supplements will likely increase.

Before beginning a new diet or health supplement regimen talk with a health care professional. Generally, if the supplement or diet seems to promise too much, be suspicious.