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Health 11 February 2017
By: Natasha Tanga

5 things to consider before buying supplements

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Have you ever reached for a tub of your fish oil soft gels and wonder why you needed to take them? Or have you ever wondered if you actually need supplements at all? Here are some pointers to help you make smart choices when making the decision to consume supplements

1. Know what purpose supplements will serve you

A healthy diet and daily exercise are mandatory to keep your health in check. Often times, people rely on supplements to compensate their poorly managed lifestyle and then wonder what went wrong if their health goes down the drain. It is very important to keep in mind that supplements are not meant to replace your proper diet of useful nutrients or exercise. After all, they are called supplements for a reason. With that being said, these are two of the most common reasons why you should take supplements:

a. As a complement to your daily nutritional intake

As we tend to live our busy lives these days, often times we have no time to keep track of the foods we eat, let alone paying attention to how much fruits and vegetables we consume each day. Taking supplements makes perfect sense in this case as you are opting for convenience to go in line with your healthy lifestyle

b. To patch up your nutritional deficiency gaps

Some people have conditions in which their bodies can't fulfill certain amount of needed nutrients. For instance, people with anemia have iron deficiencies, therefore they need to take iron supplements. However, bear in mind that taking many supplements in combination all at once or getting too much of a given mineral or vitamin can be harmful and may impose problems for your health.

2. Consider taking Herbal/plant-based supplements

Botanicals or herbal supplements, have been around for centuries. They are considered to have medicinal value and have been used to treat diseases before the advancement of modern medications. Plants and herbs have sustained the health and well-being of human kind for tens of thousands of years.  Lots of people have found herbal supplements to be a viable alternative to synthetic ones. For most people, when taken properly, herbal supplements have little to no long term side effects.
However, if you suffer from existing health problems or are already taking prescription medications, consult your doctor before taking any supplements as they can interact with prescription drugs in negative ways.

3. Take supplements that contribute to your overall holistic health

As supplements are meant to be used as a complement to your daily intake of nutrition, it shouldn't be temporarily solving your problem. Rather, it should be as an long-term aid to take care of your entire system. Think of it as a maintaining agent in order for you to achieve better health in the long run. Bear in mind that this won't be achieveable instantly. Patience is always key, as natural changes takes time.

4. Invest in quality products

Before buying supplements, you might want to do a background check about the manufacturer as well. A lot of good brands always have their products approved by BPOM and is even better if the product label carries the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) seal; a proof that the product is manufactured in a facility with good standards.

5. Curiosity and sensibility about health goes a long way

As we are constantly bombarded by health articles on the interwebs, sometimes discerning one wise-man advice from the other professional health guru can be a hassle, especially if you're new and wanting to learn about the issue itself. However, that reasoning shouldn't hinder you from doing your research and homework about certain plants or active ingredients that may help you improve your well-being. You can also discover risks and side effects about certain supplements when you do thorough research beforehand, as well as discussing supplements that will be better for your overall health with your doctor. Most, if not all the time, common sense is your best friend; weigh your options and be sensible.

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