When it comes to providing your body with the essential nutrition that it needs, there’s no denying that a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to go. However, even the most carefully planned diets can be missing certain essential nutrients, making supplements a valuable addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
With a recent survey finding that almost 90% of respondents reported taking supplements[i], it’s apparent that many of us recognise their value. However, if you’re still undecided on supplements, read on to find out how they could benefit you.
In the survey, conducted by Food Supplements Europe, 52% of respondents reported taking supplements to benefit their overall health. While this is a great reason to supplement, it’s also a vague one, and may lead you to opt for a generic multivitamin in the hope that this will do the trick. However, multivitamins often contain a huge range of synthetic nutrients – many of which you’re probably already getting enough of.
When hoping to improve overall health, it’s a good idea to think about certain nutrients you may be missing out on that have a big impact within the body. For instance, iodine is an essential nutrient which has many impacts on health, thanks to its critical role in the production of thyroid hormones. This means that if you are low in iodine, you might be experiencing symptoms such as tiredness, weight gain, dry skin and even hair loss. Despite its vital role in our health, many people are deficient in iodine and could improve their overall health with supplementation – click here to take our 20 second test and find out if you’re getting enough iodine.
Unsurprisingly, immune support is an area which we’ve all become more interested in over recent years, with 45% of respondents saying that this is a reason why they take supplements. When it comes to immunity, there are certain nutrients which are essential for optimal immune function. These include Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D – both of which play a critical role in our immune system.
Without Vitamin B12, our bodies cannot produce red blood cells, which are the cells that transport oxygen to our immune system. This means if we aren’t getting enough in our diets, our immune system can’t get the energy that it needs to work properly. Vitamin D is needed for multiple processes within immunity, from activating our immune system defences, to enhancing the function of immune cells. In fact, it is so important for the function of our immune system, that low levels of Vitamin D are linked to increased susceptibility to infection and disease[ii].
Since enough Vitamin B12 can be difficult to obtain through dietary sources, it’s often a good idea to supplement your intake of it. The government also recommend that we supplement our diets with Vitamin D, as we sadly don’t get enough sunlight throughout the year in the UK to ensure that our bodies can make enough of it.
Juggling work, socialising, family, and all the other aspects of life can leave us feeling exhausted – especially if we didn’t feel like we had the energy to begin with. So, it comes as no surprise that over a quarter of people supplement to help with their energy levels.
We get our energy from the food that we eat, and we need to have a well-functioning metabolism in order for our bodies to convert this into energy that our cells can use. There are certain nutrients that our critical for the function of our metabolism, such as iodine. Without iodine, our bodies cannot make thyroid hormones, which go on to regulate our energy-yielding metabolism. Therefore, it’s no surprise that iodine deficiency is associated with tiredness and fatigue, or that many people feel a huge boost in their energy levels when supplementing with this essential energising nutrient.
Should you supplement?
While it is possible to get all the vitamins and minerals that you need from a varied and balanced diet, there are certain essential nutrients that we need to ensure our bodies can function properly and remain healthy. Some of these nutrients such as iodine, vitamin B12 and omega-3 DHA are found primarily in animal food sources, and it can be difficult to get enough from diet alone, especially if you try to eat more plant-based.
Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful® range of seaweed supplements provide a natural, plant-based and wholefood source of iodine, carefully blended with specially selected ingredients to benefit specific areas of health. View the full range here and discover the wonder of seaweed for yourself.