Step into any pharmacy or health food store and you will most likely be amazed to see the hundreds of different bottles of supplements out there. For women, for men, for senior citizens and children. The question that remains is why do we really need them to begin with? According to Dr. Negin Afshar, a Family Medicine Specialist at the Wellbeing Medical Centre in Dubai, over the years, lives have become busier in general and finding the time to prepare well balanced and nutritious meals is becoming more challenging for families. “Also the products we are cooking with are not grown locally and are often genetically modified using hormones or other dangerous chemicals,” she says as well as the glaring fact that a number of us are turning to ready meals or fast foods.
“We like to buy whatever we want anytime, no matter where it is grown, or whether it is in season,” she explains and this can involve freezing, canning and transporting, all of which can affect the nutritional value, as can different types of cooking and storing of food.
When adhering to the regimen of balanced and healthy eating, Dr. Afshar explains that we must consider certain aspects of our food, such as how it is processed, how it is prepared, and how it is cooked. Dr. Afshar advises top key supplements for people who are in reasonably good health include the following:
A high-quality multi-vitamin: This is essential because a multi-vitamin fills in the spaces in your diet, so you’re not running dangerously low on the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal functioning, says Dr. Afshar.
Fish oil is today’s bestselling supplement, tells Dr. Afshar and with good reason. “The EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA in omega-3 fish oil have profoundly positive effects on human health,” she explains as DHA slows your liver’s production of undesirable triglycerides, making it extremely protective against heart disease and diabetes. “In addition, fish oil is incredibly effective at reducing inflammation and in fact, the benefits of omega-3 are endless,” she states. “Other highlights include healing blood vessel walls, keeping the blood thin, thus minimizing clotting, lowering blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar as well as brightening your mood.”
Magnesium: According to Safah, magnesium is a pivotal nutrient in over 325 enzyme reactions in the body ranging from energy production to cholesterol control. Adults who consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium are more likely to have elevated inflammation markers which have been associated with major health conditions.
Probiotics: These are naturally found in yogurt and fermented foods and these bacteria are similar to the friendly bacteria normally found in your digestive system. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements and can help in cases of diarrhea as well as individuals suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C, indicates Safah, plays an important role of the health and function of immune cells, production of collagen, among many other properties. This antioxidant is believed to boost your immune system and helps boost your body’s collagen production to help reduce wrinkles and can also firm up and moisturize your skin.