Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Everybody needs to have a healthy mind and body to live their best lives. To become physically and mentally well, you need to eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly, and sleep well.
Everybody would have a balanced life in an ideal world, where they could prioritize their health while keeping up with other matters. Sadly, very few people get enough sleep in reality, much less have the opportunity to eat at all!
Having a balanced diet is crucial to have a well-functioning body, as it supplies the nutrients your body needs to function well. Fortunately, there are different ways to get the necessary nutrients without relying solely on the food you eat. Besides eating right, you can also receive your much-needed nutrient supply by taking vitamins and supplements!
Vitamins and Supplements for Improved Health
Nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C are greatly needed by the body to work correctly. Many people can get the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy and balanced diet, but supplements are an excellent alternative for those who can’t.
Some vitamins are harder to come by, especially for people with particular diets, such as vegans and vegetarians, making supplements a perfect choice to ensure good health. When your body receives the right amount of vitamins and minerals it needs, you will immediately notice the changes.
Taking Vitamins the Right Way
However, keep in mind that vitamins are not magic pills! Supplements are neither a substitute for a healthy diet nor are they your shortcut for better health. You can’t supplement your way to a healthy body. Taking too many supplements or taking them for too long can be harmful as well.
For the vitamins and supplements to do their work, you need to know how and when to take them. The duty is in your hands—make sure that you take your vitamins responsibly and have the necessary knowledge about them instead of blindly taking them.
Supplements to Take with Food
Vitamins and supplements must always be taken with other food and never alone. Some supplements can cause stomach aches, nausea, and other gastrointestinal side effects when you take them alone. Pairing them with food, specifically fat-rich dishes, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D, multivitamins, and omega-3.
Supplements to Take Alone
Not all supplements have to be taken along with your meals, though. Supplements such as vitamin C and B are readily absorbed with water and don’t interact, so you can take them 30 minutes before eating or 2-3 hours after eating.
Supplements to Take Before Bed
Magnesium supplements can make you sleepy; some people even take them to improve their sleep. As such, it’s best to take this before you get some shuteye so that you don’t feel tired or drowsy during the day.
You can also take those supplements that make you nauseous, such as prenatal vitamins, before you go to sleep so that you can sleep through any side effects.
The Exceptions to the Rule
Some supplements, such as calcium and probiotics, don’t need to be taken according to the guide above. If your daily supplement need for calcium exceeds 500 mg, it’s best to spread out your doses throughout the day.
Taking calcium supplements with every meal can relieve gas and other gastrointestinal side effects. Meanwhile, if you are iron-deficient, you can take calcium citrate between meals so as not to interact as much with your iron’s absorption.
You can take probiotics with or without a meal. When taken 30 minutes before a meal, they can survive much longer as compared to other supplements. If you’re taking antibiotics, you should take them a few hours apart from probiotics.
Vitamins and supplements are good for your health, but you can’t depend on them alone—you should also do your part! Make sure to take your vitamins responsibly, have a balanced diet, and live a healthy lifestyle for optimal well-being. Remember to consult your doctor if you have any questions regarding the supplements you’re taking so as to avoid any complications.
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