What is a dietary supplement?

According to Biobest Wellness, dietary supplements are substances that can be used to increase the nutritional content of the diet or reduce the possibility of contracting diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis. Different forms of dietary supplements include pills, capsules, powders, gel tablets, extracts and liquids. These may include vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, herbs or other plants, enzymes or other nutrients. Nutritional supplement ingredients are occasionally added to foods, including beverages. You do not need a prescription to buy nutritional supplements, but before taking them you should go to a physician.

Will a dietary supplement help me?

Eating a variety of nutritious foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need.. However, some people do not regularly consume enough vitamins and minerals in their food, in which case their doctors may advise them to take a supplement. Nutritional deficiencies in your diet can be made up with dietary supplements.

Before taking any supplements, consult your physician, as some dietary supplements may alter the way your current medications work. If your doctor suggests a dietary supplement, be sure to follow the instructions.

Are nutritional supplements safe?

This question is still being investigated by researchers. Prescription drugs, such as antibiotics and blood pressure medications, are scrutinized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their safety and effectiveness. The same is true for over-the-counter medications, including those used for colds and pain.

The FDA does not have the same level of control over dietary supplements as it does over prescription drugs. Dietary supplement ingredients are not routinely evaluated by the federal government, and companies are not required to report the safety of a supplement to the FDA before marketing it. Companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of supplements, but the FDA does not inspect supplements before they are marketed. This implies that just because a dietary supplement is displayed on a store shelf does not imply that it is safe, that it works as claimed, or that it contains the ingredients listed on the label.

The FDA will issue warnings on items that are obviously dangerous if it learns of potential problems with a supplement. The FDA could also order a recall of these supplements. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission investigates complaints about advertisements that may overstate the benefits of dietary supplements.

Tips to improve your eating habits

  • Consume a variety of foods

Except for breast milk for babies, which includes all the nutrients we need to function optimally, our bodies are extraordinarily complicated. Therefore, to stay strong, our diet should include a wide variety of fresh, nutritious foods.

Try to include in your daily diet a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, animal foods and staples such as wheat, corn, rice and potatoes.

  • Reduce salt

Blood pressure can increase due to excess salt, as it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Most people in the world consume twice as much salt as recommended by the WHO, i.e. 5 grams (or one teaspoon) per day.

  • Limit consumption of certain fats and oils

Consuming too many fats, especially the wrong ones, increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and stroke, something we all need in our diet. The most harmful trans fats are those manufactured industrially. This type of fat has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease by almost 30% in diets high in trans fats.

  • Eating less sugar

In addition to being harmful to our teeth, eating too much sugar increases the risk of obesity and unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to serious and long-lasting health problems.

Be aware of the amount of "hidden" sugars that can be found in processed foods and beverages, as well as the amount of salt they contain.

  • Avoid inappropriate or unsafe alcohol consumption

Alcohol is not a necessary component of a balanced diet, but in many cultures New Year's celebrations are linked to binge-drinking. In general, excessive or frequent alcohol consumption increases the risk of immediate harm and long-term consequences, such as liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness.

According to OMS, there is no safe level of alcohol intake, and for many people, even moderate alcohol consumption can have serious negative effects on their health.

Always remember that drinking less alcohol is healthier for your health, and that it's okay not to drink.