Supplements should never take the place of a well balanced diet, but with that being said they definitely have their place.
Supplements are meant to ‘supplement’ our diets, fill in any nutritional gaps we may have, and help prevent us from becoming deficient in important nutrients.
There are times when taking a supplement becomes important eg. Supplementing with vitamin D in the winter months to prevent deficiency. Or taking a pre natal supplement to ensure that the growing baby and expectant mother are getting all the required nutrients to flourish.
When taking a supplement you need to make sure you are taking it correctly and regularly to get the most benefit. I always recommend speaking to a nutritionists or GP before starting a new supplement, especially if you are any other medications.
Supplements come in many forms - powders, capsules and tablets. Choosing ones that are made by a reputable company is always advised. Always read the label.
CoQ10 is short for Coenzyme Q10 is a compound that our body produces naturally and found in some of the foods we eat. In its active form it goes by the name ubiquinol and it is in every cell of our body with the most concentrated forms in our heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas.
Coenzyme Q10 works as an antioxidant protecting our bodies from oxidative stress which can lead to many health conditions and ageing. It also is required for our cells to generate ATP energy from the foods we eat. ATP energy is crucial to every cell in our body so that they can maintain energy production and do their job efficiently. The more active the muscle or cell the more coenzyme Q10 it needs to produce.
CoQ10 has many other health benefits including
Our main source of vitamin D is the sun, so as we move into winter where we tend to cover up more with warm clothing and spend less time outdoors it is important to make sure we are getting our vitamin D through supplement form. Vitamin D can be found in a few foods, but we don’t get nearly enough of it. So supplementing with it is the best way to prevent a deficiency. Being deficient in vitamin D can make you more susceptible to illness - we need it to help keep our immune system balanced. Studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory track infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Something we definitely want to be avoiding right now!
Iron is an essential mineral found in every cell of our body and is used in the production of red blood cells. Its important in the formation of haemoglobin which is the part of the red blood cell responsible for carrying oxygen from our lungs to our brain, tissue and muscles and enables the oxygen to move freely between cells. This is why one of the symptoms of an iron deficiency is fatigue as our organs struggle to receive the oxygen required to function optimally.
Our body is able to store about 25% of the iron we need, but we need to make that we are getting the rest though diet or supplement form. Including iron rich foods from the list below with every meal is the best way to prevent iron deficient anaemia.
Now that the days are getting shorter and the sun getting further away from the earth - it couldn't be a better time to start supplementing with Vitamin D. During the warm summer months we are able to produce Vitamin D through sun exposure making it not necessary to supplement with it. I would always recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor once a year. This is done by doing a simple blood test.