You’ve decided to get serious about getting healthy. You do your best to eat right. You exercise regularly. You avoid stressors and bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking. What else could you do to improve your already healthy lifestyle?
If you aren’t yet, consider taking health supplements to further boost your health and increase your well-being.
Here are my top health tips for beginning a health supplement regimen.
Decide on which supplements you want to take.
Vitamin C, one of the safest and most commonly available antioxidants boosts immune function, and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, combat allergies and prevent infections.
Resveratrol, a substance found in red wine and other plant sources, is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer attributes.
A calcium-and-vitamin D combo is great for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis and keeping fractures at bay.
Read the label.
Vitamin C should come from a natural source and not be synthetic or laboratory-produced. The best form is derived from fruits and vegetables, real food we eat. Vitamin C is available as a chewable tablet or a regular tablet, so pick the formulation you’d rather take.
Resveratrol supplements should be the more stable trans-resveratrol form, which is more readily absorbed by the body. It is also best to choose micronized resveratrol, because the small particle size leads to an increased rate of absorption.
Calcium and vitamin D may be taken separately, but try to find a formulation that contains both. It would even be better if you use a supplement that has both, plus zinc and magnesium as well. Vitamin D helps your body effectively utilize calcium, and zinc and magnesium contribute to bone health as well.
If you are considering taking many health supplements, add them to your routine one at a time. This will help you identify possible side effects caused by any of them.
Take your supplements regularly. This usually means taking them at least once a day, everyday. It is important to be consistent to ensure that your body has the necessary supply of nutrients it needs to function well.
If the instructions say “Take on an empty stomach” then don’t eat before, and up to 30 minutes after taking the supplement. If you find that this upsets your stomach, it would be fine to take a bit of food with your health supplement, but know that this would probably decrease absorption. You might not achieve the maximum effect, but you would still get benefits.
It is also best not to take health supplements right before bedtime, because lying down immediately after taking them might lead to heartburn or nausea. Allow a bit of time to elapse between taking the supplements and going to bed.
And finally, remember that taking supplements is not a substitute for a healthy diet. So please continue to eat healthy foods with lots of whole grains, lean meat, and fruit and vegetables.
It is always a good idea to consult your doctor or health care practitioner before starting on any supplement.