Nutrition supplements: Good or bad?

You can very well improve your health with a supplement, but you ought to know what suits your needs best

hand full of pills

It is true that a daily nutritional plan can go a long way in keeping us healthy and fit. It ain’t as easy, in reality.

In our world of fast-paced lifestyles and take-home-food, it is not always possible to derive appropriate nutritional “fit” though our eating habits and/or on a regular basis.

One simple and practical option, which most of us know, or practice, is the incorporation of nutritional supplements in our daily diet. This is a useful way to keep our vitality and energy at peak levels – and, meet the various needs of our demanding life.

When food does not provide necessary nutrition – blame it on our own indiscretions or improper habits – supplements go a long way in helping us meet our essential requirements without making us worried.

Okay, okay! Nutritional and vitamin needs that cannot be met by consuming large quantities of nutritious food can be addressed by way of a small magic pill. We are not using a cliche!

Essential facts

As most of us know, it is not only easy, but practical, to get our optimal nutritional needs through supplements- to keep us healthy and energetic. But, the big point is: supplements are also an essential component of our anti-oxidant tool-kit.

What’s more, as we move into more hectic lifestyles that bring with them unhealthy practices, such as fast-food and unearthly work hours, supplements provide us the most flexible means to take care of our body and mind, without the need to pressurising ourselves or making complicated calculations of our daily nutritional intake and consumption.

Now, a word of caution: any overdose of supplements can sometimes be dangerous for our body. While vitamins and supplements work well for us, reliance solely on a supplement to produce palpable results is risky business, as far as health in the long-term is concerned. Vitamins A, D and E, for example, can ring alarm-bells when consumed in excess over a period of time. In addition, certain vitamins and minerals, in excess, can affect the absorption of other essential nutrients and hinder the health benefits that would otherwise accrue.

You would also do well to be aware of supplements and dietary pills that promise to do wonders in a short span of time with less effort on the part of the individual. Despite the temptation to go the easy way, you should remember there are no short-cuts to good health.

No quick-fix

Remember: a supplement that may seem instantly beneficial can also be harmful in the long-run. What is obviously depicted as tantalisingly fabulous can sometimes lead to devastating side-effects leaving the person with more problems than when s/he started. Also, the more obvious side-effects one often encounters with certain supplemental quick-fixes are heart and nervous system dysfunctions.

In view of this, it is only imperative that we take supplements under the guidance of a therapist, without neglecting the simple, if slow and steady, traditional way of keeping fit and staying in shape. A multivitamin, for example, is sure one of the best daily prescriptions we can all use, in our frenzied world, although keeping a count of vitamins to be consumed on a daily basis is best left to the discretion of a nutritionist.

This is, indeed, our first, best step towards leading a life of enhanced vitality and sparkling health.

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Sreelata Yellamrazu
Sreelata S Yellamrazu, a management graduate, is a sports columnist. She hopes her writing proves liberating for her, and also provides a voice for important life issues - especially young minds.


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