Choosing the best supplements to take for general health isn’t all that easy. A “simple” shopping errand to pick up vitamins has turned into a confusing visit to decipher the difference between a myriad of brands, supplements and herbal remedies.
More than half of Americans—68 percent—take some type of dietary supplement, according to the Council for Professional Nutrition.
But how do you decide on the best supplements to take when there are so many options available? The dietitian here at Raleigh Medical Group is here to help.
“We are always available to answer any questions you have about taking nutrition supplements. It’s important to know you’re taking what you specifically need, that you purchase a good quality supplement, and that there will be no medication interactions,” said Nicole Matala, our dietitian.
In a perfect world, our daily diet would provide all the nutrients we need. However, because most Americans don’t follow an ideal diet plan, supplements can help you get needed nutrients. This is particularly important if you have certain food allergies or follow a vegan diet.
Nutritional Supplements You Should Take Regularly
There is a lot of research that suggests that fish oil and its Omega 3 fatty acids can go a long way toward promoting a healthy heart.
Inflammation can damage blood vessels, putting you at greater risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce this inflammation, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.
In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids also:
Decrease triglycerides, the amount of fat in your blood
Reduce blood clotting
Decrease your risk of developing heart disease
Reduce irregular heartbeats
Vitamin D is important because it helps your body absorb calcium, reduces the risk of cancer, decreases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and helps strengthen your immune system. However, more than 50 percent of the world’s population has some type of vitamin D deficiency.
Few foods contain as much vitamin D as needed for daily dietary needs. In addition, most people do not get enough exposure to sunlight to get the necessary vitamin D, and sunscreen blocks our ability to make vitamin D. Therefore, this vitamin is important to add to your supplement list.
Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure by supporting several different types of biochemical reactions in your body.
It’s typically found in legumes, seeds and whole grains. It’s also found in green, leafy vegetables and avocados. Foods that are high in dietary fiber are also a source of magnesium.
Magnesium is also helps sleep and bone health. Almost half of all Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets.
The nutrient vitamin B12 keeps blood cells healthy and assists your body in creating DNA. It’s also important in preventing types of anemia, according to information from the National Institute of Health.
B12 can be found in dairy foods, fish such as salmon, poultry and eggs. However, as people age, it becomes more challenging to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets.
If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet, speak with us and we can provide the information that you need.
B12 is also an important supplement to take if you’re a vegan since B12 is found almost entirely in animal foods.
Pregnant women need to receive 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. In fact, this is an important supplement for all women of child-bearing age.
It’s particularly vital for those who are trying to get pregnant because folic acid reduces the risk of certain birth defects, according to information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Folic acid works by helping your tissues grow and ensuring your cells are working at optimum efficiency. It also helps the body create new proteins and red blood cells.
In addition, folic acid helps produce DNA, which carries genetic information, according to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Ideally, you should get folic acid from foods such as nuts, leafy vegetables and seeds. It can also be found in lettuce, broccoli, peanuts and avocado.
Your Complete Guide to Nutrition
Interested in learning the truth about what you should eat and what you shouldn’t? We’re fortunate to have the insight of our incredible dietitian, Nicole Matala, who welcomes the chance to speak with you about taking charge of your health.
“The most rewarding experiences as a dietitian happen when I see patients make healthy changes that they didn’t think they could make,” she said. “I’ve seen patients lose weight, reduce their blood sugar numbers and increase their physical stamina. Seeing those changes and the benefits they provide to my patients are what I find rewarding.”
Let Raleigh Medical Group Become Your Medical Home
We’ve helped hundreds of Triangle residents transform their lives, whether by helping them control their diabetes or assisting them in losing weight. Our Raleigh internists are perfect for annual well visits because they are experts in every aspect of health and physiology.
If you have multiple chronic health conditions, internal medicine physicians are in a unique position to help you, and many patients use one of our Raleigh internists as their primary care physician. Schedule an appointment with our dietitian or one of our physicians today and start your journey to a healthier life.