Herbs have magnificent healing powers and can be used to treat many serious yet common ailments and to boost your health.

Get the Truth About Vitamins and Minerals Supplements

vitamins And Minerals > > Get the Truth About Vitamins and Minerals Supplements

You are barraged every day with ads on the television, in magazines, and on the Internet for vitamins, minerals, and other health supplements. They always promise better health, revitalized energy levels, disease prevention, and any number of other wonderful benefits.

Can you trust them, though? The sad truth is that many nutrient and herbal supplements are not regulated by the government. In certain cases in Europe, these supplements may be governed by rules and regulations. But in the United States, for instance, these pills often have no oversight.

That means they don’t necessarily contain the nutrients that they promise in the amount they state. At worst, these supplements could contain harmful substances other than the promised vitamins and minerals.

A Conundrum for Consumers?

That leaves you, the consumer, with a guessing game. Sure, you could buy vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and other common supplements at your local supermarket and rest assured you’re getting what you want. But buy other supplements, like glucosamine or omega-3 fatty acids, and you can never be certain you’re getting what’s advertises.

And even if you buy the more common, and more trustable, supplements, these may not even be benefiting your health. As most doctors and health experts will tell you, your best bet for getting vitamins and minerals is to take them in naturally—in food.

Whole foods come loaded with a wealth of nutrients. They are virtual multivitamins. Oranges, for example, not only have vitamin C in them. They also contain folate, a much need B vitamin. Broccoli not only has folate in it. It’s packed with beta carotene.

What’s more, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other natural foods have other disease-fighting compounds in them. With such far-out names as isothiocyanates, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, these compounds may be hard to pronounce. But they have been shown to prevent and fight such chronic disease as arthritis, cancer, and heart disease.

When Supplements are Saviors

Of course, some people should take supplements with their regular balanced diet. They may have a certain condition that leads to a problem digesting a certain nutrient, or makes them need high levels of another

People who are on special diets, such as a vegan diet, could use supplements to get nutrients they otherwise lack in their foods. To use vegans as an example, they do not consume any animal products, and so need vitamin B12 from a supplement. Vitamin B12, as you can guess, only comes naturally in foods from animals, such as meat or dairy.

Seniors may also need supplements. As you get older, your gastrointestinal system is less able to breakdown certain foods for nutrients. (Again, B12 is one of the culprits!) This makes supplements are great way for seniors, even those who eat a balanced diet, to ensure that they load up on all their needed nutrients.

If you meet these criterion, the first step to using supplements is talking with your doctor. He or she can tell you which supplements you may need. More importantly, your doctor can warn you whether one or more supplements may interact with your prescription medications.

Next, go shopping. Don’t just buy the cheapest brand at the pharmacy or the supermarket. Shop around. Compare labels carefully. Look for the supplement’s active ingredients, the amount included per serving size, and the instructions for safe use.

Again, you’ll want to talk with your doctor about exactly what sized dose you want to take of a particular nutrient. But as a general rule, never “megadose” on vitamins and minerals. In some cases, such as vitamin C, high doses of a nutrient will pass through your body without doing any good. That’s a waste of your paycheck.

Worse still, some nutrients, such as vitamin A, can be toxic in high doses. If anything, this underscores the respect that ought to be paid to supplements. They are more like medicine than they are magic candy pills. You should never just “pop” them without taking the right precautions first.

vitamins And Minerals > > Get the Truth About Vitamins and Minerals Supplements