What are supplements anyway and how do we know the difference between the good, the bad and the just useless?
We need to go back to basics and work out what our bodies need to be supplied with in order to keep them working efficiently. I mean we wouldn’t put petrol into a diesel car, would we? Well, I’m sure most of us wouldn’t but it’s not unheard of in my experience. Anyhow let’s not rake all that up again now. Let’s just concentrate on the discussion at hand.
Carbohydrates, protein and fat
First, we need our macronutrients; carbohydrates, protein and fat. As we all know macro means large and these are the main building blocks of our healthy eating which we need every day for growth, repair and energy. Water is also essential for health and well-being.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are our micronutrients which we need in small amounts. These are essential for warding off disease and staying healthy. The body needs these micronutrients to support its functions like healthy vision, skin and bones. Vitamin C can boost the immune system and help the body to heal.
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and zinc
Minerals are specific kinds of nutrients that our bodies need such as; calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. When these minerals are lacking we may need to add suitable supplements.
Do we plan a weekly menu, or not?
We do eat more junk food these days. Realistically, most of us are not going to plan a weekly menu of healthy, balanced meals and shop carefully using the outer aisles of the grocery store. We are more likely to suddenly remember, ‘What are we having for dinner today?’ and try to think of something that’s quick, not too expensive and that everyone will be willing to eat.
Eating more processed food reduces our intake of essential vitamins and minerals. As we get older, we are less able to absorb the nutrients from our food. Increasing levels of stress may also reduce our ability to absorb our vitamins and minerals.
Take Care of Our Own Health
One of our first duties is to take care of our own health. When we have responsibilities for caring for people who depend on us we need to stay fit and strong so that we can be reliable.
Let’s take our health seriously. We need to establish good habits to protect our immune system which will protect us from infection and illness. There are some things that we can make part of our regular routine;
- drink enough water every day, 8-10 glasses
- get enough sleep, between 7-9 hours a night
- avoid sugar in all its forms
- avoid daily alcohol, an occasional glass of red, yes
- total ban on smoking, including second-hand smoke
- make exercise a regular, daily habit
- enjoy regular social contact, community involvement, volunteering
- avoid junk food
- enjoy a varied diet with lots of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals