If you lead a busy life, it can sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. And when it comes to eating right and staying fit, most of us could use some help. There are so many things to consider when shopping for supplements: cost, quantity per serving, quality, and even taste. With so many options out there, how do you know which ones are right for you? Here are some helpful tips on shopping for nutritional supplements.
Know the basics of a healthy diet
You may not want to eat your vegetables, but if you want to take advantage of the benefits of supplements, the first thing you’re going to want to do is eat healthy. For example, if you’re looking to get more fiber in your diet, you could try taking a fiber supplement. But if you don’t make a conscious effort to increase your fiber intake from whole foods, you may not get the full health benefits of the supplement. That’s not to say you have to eat perfectly, but you should be aware of what’s in a healthy diet and which vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients your body needs.
Shop based on your dietary needs
Different people have different dietary needs based on their age, gender, health, and fitness goals. Once you figure out the basics of a healthy diet, you can start to shop for the dietary supplements you need. If you lead a particularly active lifestyle, you may want to try taking an energy supplement. If you’re a woman over 40, you may want to take a calcium supplement to help prevent osteoporosis. If you suffer from chronic conditions like allergies, asthma, arthritis, or diabetes, you may want to look into taking supplements that can help manage your symptoms.
Find out what is in your chosen supplements
When you start to shop around for supplements, one of the first things you’ll want to do is look at the ingredients list. Make sure you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. If you’re shopping for multivitamins, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. You’ll also want to make sure there are no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. If you’re shopping for fish oil, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes omega-3 fatty acids. For a calcium supplement, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, or calcium phosphate.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
At the end of the day, you’re the one consuming the supplements. You have a right to know how they are made and what is inside of them. And while the ingredients list will give you an idea of what’s inside of your chosen supplements, you may have additional questions. Ask where the ingredients come from and how they are processed. If you’re shopping for supplements that are grown organically, it’s a good idea to ask whether the farmer follows organic practices. You may want to ask about the harvesting process, how many times the plants are grown, and how long each batch is fermented.
Check the listed serving sizes
At the beginning of this article, we discussed how serving sizes are based on adult males. But if you’re shopping for nutritional supplements in particular, you may want to pay extra attention to the listed serving sizes. Women may need fewer servings of certain nutrients than men do, which is why it’s important to make sure the listed serving size is correct for your gender. If you’re shopping for a product with a specific recommendation for women, make sure the listed serving size is for women.
Watch out for added sugars and fats
Some nutritional supplements are made from whole foods. If you’re shopping for a supplement that’s made from whole foods, you don’t have to worry about added sugars or fats. However, some supplements are made from concentrated extracts. If you’re shopping for a supplement made from concentrated extracts, you’ll want to be especially careful. Some concentrated extracts have added sugars and fats that can increase your total daily intake of calories, which can lead to weight gain.
Be aware of expiration dates
If you’re shopping for a supplement that has an expiration date, make sure to read it. You’ll want to look for a date that indicates when the supplement was made and packaged, not a date that indicates when the supplement should be used by. You should also make sure the date is printed on the bottle. If it’s written on a sticker, it may be more difficult to find. Some vitamins and minerals don’t have expiration dates because they don’t break down as quickly as other ingredients. But if you’re shopping for a supplement that does have an expiration date, make sure you use it before the date passes.
The tips we’ve covered in this article can help you shop for nutritional supplements no matter what your dietary needs are. If you’re shopping for multivitamins, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. If you’re shopping for fish oil, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re shopping for a calcium supplement, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients list includes calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, or calcium phosphate. And remember, vitamins and minerals aren’t the only thing you can take to help improve your health and wellness. There are other supplements out there that can help with everything from joint pain to improving your sleep. With so many options out there, you can really make your health a priority.
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