To keep your body healthy, it is important to eat a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables so you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, too many people eat processed foods or takeout because they are rushed for time. In order to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs, you can take supplements, but you have to make sure to take them correctly.
Check with Doctor
Before adding any supplements to your diet, you need to check with a doctor to make sure they are actually needed. Vitamin and mineral supplements should only be added to your diet if you are deficient in certain ones. While you may feel you need more vitamin D or magnesium, you should consult with your doctor to make sure.
Just as being deficient in vitamins and minerals can adversely affect your health, over supplementation can as well. Discuss any symptoms you may have with your doctor if you suspect a deficiency in any vitamin or mineral. For instance, some of the signs of magnesium deficiency are:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Irregular heartbeats
Of course, some of these symptoms can be caused by other deficiencies or medical conditions, which is why you need to discuss them with a doctor before taking supplements on your own. With a simple blood test, your doctor can check your vitamin and mineral levels to find out if a deficiency is causing your symptoms.
How to Take Supplements
Unless you are seriously deficient in a vitamin or mineral, your doctor may recommend eating more foods known for having the vitamins or minerals your body needs. If you are deficient in magnesium, you could add certain types of fish to your diet, such as halibut or mackerel, eat more dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. However, if you are seriously deficient in this mineral, then your doctor many recommend you take magnesium tablets to supplement your diet.
When supplements are recommended, you should take them only as directed and if you miss a dose, do not double up on the dosage. Simply take it as you would normally. It is best to take supplements with water or juice, but never hot drinks as they can sometimes interfere with the absorption of the supplement and actually increase the loss of some minerals in the body. Knowing the correct time of day to take supplements can help your body properly absorb and utilise those you take.
For instance, if you are taking magnesium supplements, you should take them at bedtime. Studies have shown that magnesium can have a calming effect on the nervous system and can help you sleep better. It is important to know if you actually need supplementation as overdosing on a vitamin or mineral can have severe consequences.
Taking too much magnesium can cause irregular heartbeats, slow your breathing, cause confusion, and lower your blood pressure. Always take supplements under the direction of your doctor to get the most benefit from them.