Page updated 19. February 2019.
First published on the 15th. May 2018.
Top Supplements/Ingredients Even Experts Use And Why: Search online or browse social media and you’ll find countless supplements full of magical ingredients that can help you manage stress, improve sleep quality, build muscle mass and even lose tons of fat. Unfortunately, losing weight or getting rid of accumulated stress is not as simple as popping pills every day.
Many of these so-called magic pills are just gimmicks, but it is interesting to note that some of them are actually effective, especially when they contain ingredients that are used even by experts. If you want to use a dietary supplement, look for the following ingredients.
Turmeric is a key ingredient in South Asian cuisine, it adds earthy warmth to your dishes. Interestingly, it offers such amazing health benefits that even experts have included it in their diets. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for healing wounds. It contains a substance called curcumin, which can protect against diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and even some cancers.
- It turns out that curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory effects, it is so strong that it rivals the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (source). A number of studies have compared its efficacy with that of anti-inflammatory drugs, except for the absence of side effects (source; source).
Magnesium is important for many of the body’s enzyme reactions, including fatty acid synthesis, food metabolism, and transmission of nerve impulses, and is incredibly effective in helping you cope with stress. Managing stress better will help you sleep better. Improving sleep quality has many health benefits and reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.
- Some experts believe that low magnesium content in modern foods may be responsible for many cases of depression and mental illness (source).
You also have an increased risk of developing diabetes if you don’t get enough magnesium. For example:
- Studies show that people with low magnesium intake have a higher risk of developing diabetes (source, source).
Your need for magnesium increases with your activity level. For example:
- Depending on your activity, you need 10 to 20% more magnesium during exercise than at rest (source).
Almonds, edamame, quinoa, spinach, and dark leafy vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium. You may even benefit from a high-quality magnesium supplement.
Since protein is found in meat and plant foods, you usually eat enough of it. If you are physically active, you may benefit from protein supplements. Athletes with an intense training program should increase their protein intake. Not only does it help build muscle, but it also suppresses appetite and helps you lose weight more effectively. Your body takes longer to process protein, which means you’re less likely to get hungry after eating high-protein foods. It also boosts your metabolism, which contributes to weight loss.
Eating the right amount of protein can also protect against chronic diseases caused by inflammation. For example:
- A large synthetic study showed that high doses of serum protein supplements significantly reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), an important marker of inflammation in the body (source).
Again, it’s best to get protein from food, but experts think it’s a good idea to include a protein supplement in your diet to gain and maintain muscle mass.
You can become vitamin D deficient if you spend a lot of time indoors or if you live in a cold country – your body needs sunlight to make vitamin D. Many experts take and recommend vitamin D supplements because, contrary to popular belief, it is not only vitamin for healthy bones, but also for your immune system and muscle function. By preventing its absence, you can prevent and manage depression much better.
Even experts believe that probiotic supplements have a number of benefits. Maintaining an adequate amount of healthy bacteria in the gut ensures good mental and physical health. Poor nutrition, overuse of antibiotics, and chronic stress can upset the balance of bacterial species.
Healthy bacteria can be obtained from foods like kefir, yogurt, and kombucha. However, a probiotic supplement can also be added to the diet to achieve good results.
- A recent study found that taking a probiotic at night with meals for 12 weeks of training reduced gastrointestinal problems in aspiring triathletes.
Many other studies have also confirmed that probiotics are beneficial for people recovering from illness. For example:
- A 2014 study by Cochrane, an independent network of experts who strictly oversee medical research, found that probiotics can be particularly helpful in hospital neonatal intensive care units. The addition of beneficial bacteria to the diet appears to significantly reduce the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis. It is a devastating, poorly understood, and often fatal intestinal disease that particularly affects premature babies – especially the youngest and earliest among them.
As with probiotics, experts believe there is still a place for a prebiotic supplement in the diet.
Prebiotics are essentially non-digestible carbohydrates that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria. Some supplements give you certain types of fiber that feed healthy bacteria in your gut and reduce your risk of developing health problems, including metabolic syndrome. Reduces inflammation and improves symptoms of allergies and eczema.
Fish oil has always been a popular supplement among experts. It is beneficial because it provides you with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. There are several studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids are good for the brain and heart.
- It is interesting to note that a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the main causes of irreversible eye damage and blindness in the world (source, source).
Since your body cannot make these fatty acids itself, you must get them from your diet or take an omega-3 supplement. It is interesting to note that omega-3 supplements can also be beneficial for children. For example:
- Several studies have shown that children with ADHD have lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids than their healthy peers (source, source).
Obese people may benefit from omega-3 supplements because they control insulin resistance. For example:
- Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and improve risk factors for heart disease in people with metabolic syndrome (Source, Source).
What to look out for
While supplements certainly help, nothing beats a balanced diet.
Instead of looking for specific ingredients in supplements, you can also try to get these ingredients through food.
According to the respected nutritionists at Biting Truth, the first and best way to get nutrients is through food.
- As nutritionists who focus on whole foods for optimal nutrition and wellness, vitamins and micronutrient supplements are generally not our first recommendation, the expert told The Huffington Post Australia.
The best way to get vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients is to follow a balanced diet because when you choose raw foods, you get the vitamins in the most bioavailable form. The availability of many additional nutrients is another reason why your body can process vitamins and minerals better when it gets them from food sources. When you eat fresh fruit, you not only get important vitamins, but also phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, and many other nutrients.
You need to understand that you usually don’t need supplements if you’re healthy – you just need to pay more attention to your diet, and that’s enough. On the other hand, you won’t feel any health benefits if you eat, smoke, and drink poorly, and think you’ll be fine if you take a supplement. If you wish to take vitamin supplements, make sure you do not exceed your daily requirements.
When should I consider taking supplements?
You may consider taking supplements if food alone is not enough to meet your nutritional needs. Here are some situations where even experts recommend taking supplements:
- If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, you should add a multivitamin to your diet. It is important to increase your intake of folic acid because it reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
- If you follow a strict vegan diet, you may need to take supplements. You may be missing out on important nutrients from animals and dairy products – you won’t get enough vitamin B12 and iron if your diet only includes vegetables. In that case, nutritional supplements can help supplement nutrient deficiencies.
- You may need to take supplements if you have an autoimmune disease, such as cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease. In this case, nutritional supplements can help correct nutrient deficiencies.
- You can take probiotics or prebiotic supplements after you finish your course of antibiotics, as these medications can directly affect the number of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Outside of these situations, you can include a supplement in your diet if you exercise vigorously or if your food options are limited. You may benefit from supplements if you feel tired all the time. If you must take supplements, start with the low-dose recommendations.
At the same time, make sure that the supplement you choose does not contain artificial colors, fillers or other unnecessary ingredients. And even if you take supplements, make sure you keep eating real food.
About the Author: Rachel Butler.
Rachel has been with us since we started in 2012.
Rachel has tested countless products over the years and written many articles with sound advice. Their professional opinion is widely respected.
Rachel holds a BSc in Clinical Sciences from the University of Leicester, UK.
She lives in York with her husband and her young daughter and their dog, a small terrier named Betsy.
Disclaimer: Our evaluations and surveys are based on extensive research using information that was publicly available to us and to consumers at the time the report was first published. The information is based on our personal opinion and while we make every effort to keep the information current, manufacturers occasionally make changes to their products and future research may not agree with our conclusions. If you believe that any information is incorrect, please contact us and we will verify the information.
frequently asked questions
What is the most commonly used food additive?
Among supplement users, multivitamins were used most frequently (71%), followed by omega-3 or fish oil (33%), calcium (32%), vitamin D (32%), and vitamin C (32%). The most frequently cited reasons for using supplements are general health and well-being (58%) and supplementing nutrient deficiencies in the diet (42%).
What is the number one food additive in the world?
USANA Philippines named the world’s largest vitamin and supplement brand as the best research company in the world.
What is the most important addition?
Top 5 supplements for optimal health – Stamford Spine
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