There are so many pills on the market. They are marketed to us to fix all our health problems. Are supplements good or bad? I will say there are some that are bad for us. I am not a fan of most diet pills. Especially those loaded with stimulants. I believe the best way to help the body is through whole foods. Supplements are not a cure. They are not to be used to replace proper nutrition. Our food contains most of the nutrition we need. If you have not seen Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, it’s a great documentary on how whole foods help to heal the human body.
Before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor. Do not just run out and take whatever is on the shelf or on this list. Many supplements can cause adverse side effects and interfere with prescription medications. I am not a physician nor am I here to give medical advice.
Here are some you may have heard of:
Acai is a berry found naturally in South America. If you ever get the chance to go to Brazil, you will find acai in fruit smoothies, drinks, in many places. Eating the fruit and drinking the juice are the most beneficial. Acai berries may be a good source of antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats. People have claimed acai is a miracle superfood. Before you spend copious amounts of money on buying supplements, do some research. The best sources are natural sources.
Conjugated linoleic acids naturally occur in meats and dairy products. They are also found in safflower oil. CLA has received lots of good press for its ability to aid in the reduction of abdominal fat/body fat and increase in muscle tissue. CLA has been reported to reduce cancer risks, help with heart health, and much more. Should you run out and by some? I tried it and found it helpful with reducing body fat. However, once I stopped taking it, I gained fat back. My recommendation is to buy 100% safflower oil and use it in replacement of vegetable oil. It’s great for making salad dressing, to bake with, cook with, etc…I no longer take the supplement and use the oil. Safflower oil is high in fat, yet it’s a good fat.
Creatine is a compound synthesized (made) in the body and transported to muscle tissues where it fuels short bouts of intense energy production. To meet the demands of a high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or power sports, muscles generate energy from chemical reactions involving adenosine triphosphate (ATP), phosphocreatine (PCr), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and creatine. Stored PCr can fuel the first 4-5 seconds of a high intensity effort, but after that, another source of energy is needed. Source http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/performanceenhancingdrugs/a/Creatine.htm
Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. One of garlic’s most potent health benefits includes the ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity.
The active component in garlic is the sulfur compound called allicin. Allicin is the chemical produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin is quite powerful as an antibiotic and a potent agent that helps the body to inhibit the ability of germs to grow and reproduce. Source http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/garlic-benefit.shtml#ixzz2IS93KgdU
Biotin is a coenzyme and a B vitamin, also known as vitamin H. As a supplement, biotin is sometimes used for diabetes, brittle nails, and other conditions (WebMD). It’s been used to deal with brittle nails, skin problems, hair growth, and much more. Biotin naturally occurs in food. here is some information from WebMD.
Biotin occurs naturally in many foods. Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken are all sources of biotin. The biotin in food is usually attached to protein and has relatively poor absorption. Source http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-biotin.
Many body builders take glutamine.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. The body can make enough glutamine for its regular needs, but extreme stress (the kind you would experience after very heavy exercise or an injury), your body may need more glutamine than it can make. Most glutamine is stored in muscles followed by the lungs, where much of the glutamine is made.
Glutamine is important for removing excess ammonia (a common waste product in the body). It also helps your immune system function and appears to be needed for normal brain function and digestion. Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/glutamine-000307.htm
Some people pop pills instead of eating healthy. I am not against vitamins. I take multivitamins. However, many of the over the counter vitamins are not fully absorbed to provide maximum benefits. There are so many on the market and it’s best to do some research and find vitamins that dissolve easily within the body.
There are several forms of protein supplements; whey protein, soy protein, pea protein, and other vegetable proteins. Some people cannot tolerate whey protein and therefore choose vegetable protein. Protein is important for building lean muscle. Protein also keeps us full longer. Protein helps us to ward off cravings. We need to use caution when adhering to a high protein diet. High protein diets can lead to dehydration, and kidney problems. You can read more online if you search for high protein diets online. Also read the labels on your protein. Some contain additives, and preservatives that are not good for you.
Lastly, I will say it’s best to get nutrients from whole foods. If you choose to use supplements, talk to your doctor. Make sure if you are taking any prescriptions some supplements will cause adverse side effects. Supplements are not a quick fix nor a replacement for a healthy diet.