Our health is shaped by how we execute our daily activities such as eating, drinking, working out, and setting goals. If we fail to do these things right, we run the risk of acquiring lifestyle-related diseases.
While it may look like a simple task, keeping yourself healthy amid a fast-paced, often-busy life is easier said than done. So, what can you do to optimize your health in this rapidly changing world?
We all know that arming ourselves with proper nutrition, sufficient exercise, and adequate sleep will contribute greatly to our overall health and wellness. But, how else can you optimize your health?
We've discovered that you can improve your health further with the help of superfoods and supplements! Take a look at the amazing things they can do for you so your health can be further optimized!
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are foods that are known to be loaded with high doses of vitamins and minerals. While most of them are plant-based, they also include dairy and fish.
There are no standardized criteria to brand a food a “superfood”. They are just basically foods that are rich with benefits for your health.
These superfoods also contain healthy fats and antioxidants, which are found to prevent diabetes and cancer. Some superfoods are also rich with fiber that helps reduce the risk of digestive problems.
Why Should You Optimize Your Health with Superfoods?
The generous content of minerals and vitamins found in superfoods can be beneficial for your health and can even help you prevent a number of diseases.
Adding these superfoods to a well-balanced diet can promote weight loss and heart health, reduce the signs of aging, and boost your energy levels!
How to Add Superfoods to Your Diet:
The good news is, you can add these foods to your diet whenever available. There’s no need to break the bank or travel globally just to find superfoods worthy to be added to your diet!
In fact, many of the leafy greens and berries you can find in your local grocery store can give you the same benefits as those of premium-priced superfoods.
Take note, though:
It’s best to purchase produce in season and get them from local sources. This way, you can be assured that the nutrients they contain are of highest value.
Also, do not downplay common veggies and fruits such as carrots and apples. All vegetables and fruits are great sources of essential vitamins and minerals.
Remember that the more whole foods you consume in place of processed foods, the better for your health!
Some tips to keep in mind:
Notice that your food looks pale? Why not add colors to your plate? Beige or brown foods are likely low in antioxidants. You can add colored foods to your meals such as beets, berries, and kale.
Sprinkle your soups with shredded greens.
You may also want to consider replacing your poultry or beef with tofu or salmon.
Put some color on your baked goods, salads, and cereals by adding berries.
It’s best to have a vegetable or a fruit in your meals.
Drink green or matcha tea daily.
Spice up your meals! You can add ginger, turmeric, clove, cumin, cinnamon or oregano to your meals so you can also increase its antioxidant content.
Instead of snacking on junk foods and chips, consume nuts, dried fruits, and seeds like sunflower seeds.
This is important:
While you can optimize your health with superfoods, health experts say the best way to be properly nourished is to consume nutritious foods in appropriate portions.
What are Supplements?
Dietary supplements come as a bar, capsule, chewy gummy, melt-away, soft gel, tablet, pill or powder that should be ingested through your mouth.
The ingredients they contain are wide-ranging, too. But, the basic types of ingredients that can be found in supplements are regulated by law. They are the following:
Your body needs these organic compounds for metabolism and normal growth. They are the “letter” vitamins like vitamin A and B.
Minerals are essential for your body’s normal health. They are inorganic elements such as magnesium and calcium. Since your body can’t produce these, you need to add them to your diet.
Amino acids are known as the building blocks of proteins. While there are hundreds of them, only 20 are in the human body, eight of which cannot be produced by your body’s cells. This is why it is also important to get them through your diet.
Enzymes are macromolecular catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions such as cellular metabolism and digestive functions.
Botanicals contain ingredients from roots, seeds, bark, flowers, and plant leaves.
Why Should You Optimize Your Health with Supplements?
You may find supplements particularly beneficial if you are not eating nutritious foods as often as you should.
It's because supplements help you to get enough nutrient content. According to scientific evidence, some supplements can help manage certain health conditions.
For instance, vitamin D and calcium are essential for preventing bone loss, folic acid can reduce the risk of some birth defects, and omega-3 fatty acids can promote heart health.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, does not determine the supplements’ effectivity before they are released in the market.
And, take note of this:
While you can optimize your health with supplements, experts believe that they still cannot take the place of nutritious foods.
How to Add Supplements to Your Diet
All supplemental products come with a list of contents and their active ingredients’ amount per serving. They also include a list of other additional ingredients such as flavorings, binders, and fillers.
Manufacturers suggest you take supplemental products according to their suggested serving size. But, your healthcare provider may decide a more appropriate amount for you.
Keep this in mind:
Many supplemental products include active ingredients that can have powerful effects on your body. Be cautious about possible side effects, especially if you’re going to take a new product.
Also, unlike prescribed medicines, there’s a higher chance that supplements will cause side effects or even harm, especially when combined with other supplements or prescription drugs.
So, be more cautious:
Some supplements can have an effect on a person’s response to anesthesia, increasing the risk of bleeding if taken before or after surgery.
They might also cause other problems if they interact with certain medications, so talk with your physician or healthcare provider first before adding supplements to your diet.
Some tips to keep in mind:
Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not meant to treat a health condition or symptom.
Unless approved by your physician, never take supplements in place of prescription medicines or combine them.
If you are scheduled to undergo a medical procedure, remember to inform your physician about the supplements that you take.
“Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean safe. The safety of a supplemental product depends on various factors including its chemical makeup, its preparation, the dose used, and its effect in your body. For instance, certain herbs such as kava and comfrey can harm the liver.
Before taking supplements, it is essential to ask yourself a number of questions. Such include the following:
- How can I benefit from this supplemental product?
- Does this dietary supplement come with safety risks?
- What is the ideal dose of consumption?
- How long do I need to take it?
It is best to learn facts about dietary supplements through non-commercial sites like the FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Only take supplements that are approved by the FDA.
Beware of claims saying that the product “is totally safe” or “works better than prescribed medicines”.
It is best to take high-quality supplemental products that have been tested and proven effective by a third party.
Always (and this cannot be emphasized enough) check with your doctor or physician first before taking any type of dietary supplement.
Supplements must not be used as a permanent substitute for real foods containing high nutritional content
There are many ways by which you can optimize your health. And, it is important to remember that it takes more than just one effort.
In order to achieve a healthy life, you must combine several efforts such as eating healthy, keeping yourself active regularly, and sleeping adequately.
While these superfoods and supplements can be added to your diet to help optimize your health, it is best to take them in moderation, too. And, never take your doctor out of the equation especially if you are uncertain about anything.
Deciding for yourself, whether something is good or bad for you, can be potentially dangerous without the approval of a health expert. It is best not to take matters into your own hands, especially if it concerns your health and well-being.
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