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5 Common Types of Food Supplements

Even if you are already living a healthy lifestyle, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to support healthy habits. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can go a long way in optimizing your health, but many people also turn to food supplements to help them support their daily routines.

Here are some of the most common types of food supplements that people use to help maintain their overall wellness.

  1. Probiotics

If you want to introduce supportive bacteria and microorganisms to your body, you may be interested in trying a probiotic food supplement. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body.”

The words “bacteria” and “microorganisms” tend to have negative connotations in general. After all, harmful bacterial infections are quite common. However, some types of bacteria in your body are actually helpful. They assist with important tasks, such as breaking down harmful cells, creating vitamins, and digesting food.

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  1. Vitamins

Vitamins are essential to supporting the body’s most important functions. Different vitamins are responsible for different tasks in the body. Here are some of the crucial vitamins your body uses every day:

Vitamin D

  • Helps the gut absorb calcium
  • Helps with bone growth and mineralization
  • Helps older adults avoid osteoporosis
  • Obtained through sun exposure and certain foods, such as fatty fish and fish liver oils

Vitamin B-12

  • Assists in the production of DNA
  • Helps fortify nerve cells and blood cells
  • Obtained through a variety of non-plant foods, such as meat, fish, milk, and eggs

Vitamin C

  • Has antioxidant properties and helps ward off free radicals
  • Helps in the production of collagen, which helps wounds recover
  • Helps fight disease
  • Obtained from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
  1. Minerals

Minerals are inorganic substances that come from the earth. Many of them support important bodily functions. Calcium, for example, is vital to the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It also supports movement functions throughout the body, such as the messages carried by nerves and the transportation of blood by blood vessels.

Another popular mineral supplement is iron. Iron is used in the production of hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen away from the lungs and out to other body parts. Iron also helps to make myoglobin, which helps your body supply oxygen to your muscles.

  1. Herbs

Herbs include a wide range of plant materials that are commonly used in cooking and food supplements. One of the most common herbs is echinacea, which is native to North America. You can find echinacea supplements available in extracts, tablets, teas, and tinctures. Echinacea is loaded with antioxidants and other compounds such as alkamides and caffeic acid.

Another popular herb known to contain high levels of antioxidants is ginkgo biloba. The antioxidants present in ginkgo leaves are terpenoids and flavonoids. These compounds are associated with fighting free radicals that can harm the body’s cells.

Elderberry is another herb used all over the world. Indigenous people have used it in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.

  1. Fish Oil

Some people who do not consume much fish in their regular diets choose to take fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are known to have health benefits such as supporting healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels.

In addition to supporting heart health, consuming an adequate amount of fish oil may be helpful in supporting mental health. This is because omega-3 fatty acids make up a significant portion of the fat that is present in the brain. In fact, the human brain is composed of almost 60% fat.

Nutrition is a fundamental part of any wellness plan at any age. By consulting your doctor and learning about the supplements that are available, you can build a wellness plan that meets your needs.