“Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t put on your plate.” It’s an adage that has been translated and rewritten over time and in different places.The premise is simple, eat healthy, balanced, home-cooked meals, and you’ll get all the nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life.But how many of us take the time to prep meals and ensure we’re getting the right balances of foods?.The fast-food industry rakes in a few hundred billion dollars each year in the United States alone. That number could be in the trillions worldwide when you take into consideration snacks such as chips and chocolate bars, and not only fast-food restaurants.So it would come as no surprise that we as a species are looking for a faster way to satisfy our hunger and nutritional needs. Maybe that’s why the supplement industry pulled in a whopping 30 billion dollars last year in the US.That raises a lot of questions regarding the necessity of these supplements. Are they effective? And if they are effective, is there a limit we should be taking?There are thousands of different types of supplements sold in health food stores and supermarkets across the world. While it would be impossible to analyze them all, there are, in fact, some staples that are found in most households.Let’s take a look at some of the most common supplements sold and see if they belong in your cupboard or not.
Vitamins and Multivitamins
These supplements are by far the most popular among those sold across the world. You can go into almost any household across any first-world country and find some vitamin bottle in the home.Multivitamins are a key favourite among consumers simply because the concept sells itself. With one small pill, you can fill your basic vitamin needs.Other people choose to buy vitamin pills separately as they come in much higher doses than those found in a multivitamin. For example, the average amount of Vitamin C in a multivitamin pill is anywhere between 70mg — 200mg. Vitamin C tablets, on the other hand, range from 500mg up to 1000mg.How does your body react to these vitamins?. Well, that mostly depends on what you eat and how much of these nutrients you’re getting from your food intake.Someone following a strict vegan diet would have to go much further than just taking a multivitamin every day.Due to the omittance of animal food products. It is strongly recommended that vegans supplement with a variety of essential vitamins they no longer consume through meat, eggs, and dairy.The two main vitamins are B12 and D3. Vegans who ignore recommendations to supplement with these two vitamins could end up with serious health consequences.But what about someone who eats a healthy and balanced diet?. Is it necessary to supplement with 1000mg of vitamin C per day? The answer is no.One orange alone gives you all the vitamin C you need in one day. Along with fibre, which helps with digestion, something not found in a vitamin C pill.If you’re eating lean cuts of meat and fish, you do not need supplementing vitamin B12 or D3. A healthy and balanced diet usually does the trick.If you find you’re not able to eat healthy meals regularly. Analyze your routine and see where changes in your scheduling can be made. Prioritize your time towards preparing healthy food options before you reach for a bottle of pills.
Greens Plus Products
This particular item has taken the supplement industry by storm over the last two decades. Its popularity has sky-rocketed with several brands offering their version of a “Greens” supplement.Due to its high nutrient content, The “green-line” of supplements is considered to be a superfood.Is it completely necessary to have in your diet? The short answer is no.Is it beneficial to include in your daily diet? The fact of the matter is yes; it is. These supplements contain vitamins and minerals that are not usually consumed in a regular diet such as barley grass, spirulina, and other disease-fighting antioxidants.If you’re searching for a brand to purchase, and you find that you’re overwhelmed with the options available. Stick with the products that are NON-GMO, organic, and low-heat processed. The low heat processing prevents and nutrients from being destroyed if they were produced in higher temperatures. Protein powders also advertise low heat processing for this same reason.
While glutamine has always been considered an athlete supplement, it does have some practical uses for the average person.Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in protein and is responsible for the reparation of muscle tissue as well as energy during intense exercise.But how necessary is it for an average person to consume? Does it provide any benefits to a non-athlete?Well, the fact is that glutamine does a lot more than help to repair muscle. Glutamine helps to fuel our immune cells and keep our immune system running properly.If you have digestive issues, glutamine may also be a supplement you’d want to consider. Someone who suffers from “leaky gut,” a condition in which the intestinal walls develop weakness and permeability. Would benefit greatly from supplementing from glutamine as it helps to strengthen our intestinal cells.It’s important to keep your intestinal walls strong and unwanted bacteria out.For healthy adults, glutamine is most likely not going to be necessary since your body does produce some amounts, and the rest can be obtained through proper dietary choices.But if you suffer from immune deficiencies and intestinal problems, glutamine supplementation is something you should strongly consider.
Protein Powder/Meal Replacement Shakes
Whether you’re an active person who devotes a few hours each day to training, or someone who simply doesn’t have time to eat while working, protein powders and meal replacements make for a convenient way to hit your macros.Usually, all it takes is to add some water or juice to the powder in a shaker cup and voila!In mere seconds you have your ready-to-drink meal all set.Generally speaking, protein powders tend to be lower in carbs and fats and higher in protein, whereas meal replacements are a healthy dose of carbs and proteins and may even contain some levels of fat (although not much).Protein powders are available in many different forms for faster (Isolates, Hydrolyzed) and slower absorption (Concentrates, caseins).Generally speaking, the faster absorbing proteins should be consumed when the body is in the utmost need of replenishing, i.e., immediately after training.The slower absorbing proteins are typically taken before periods of fasting, i.e., before bedtime, to provide the body with a time-released source of protein while the body rests and repairs.So how necessary are these shakes for the average person? The fact is not very necessary at all.A semi-active person who trains with moderate intensity a few times a week can get all the nutritional requirements they need from a balanced diet.A couple of hours of meal preparation a few times a week should be more than enough time for someone to prepare the food they need for the next 2–3 days. Combine that with some servings of fruits and maybe a few healthy take-out options, and you’re all set.A more active person, on the other hand, may want to consider keeping a protein shake in their daily nutrition plan. If you’re the type of person who trains intensely every day, having a shake after a hard workout is a fast way to get muscle-building protein into your system.Furthermore, an athlete’s protein needs are much higher than the average person. And getting all your protein from animal sources might be a little tiring for your digestive system.Protein shakes have come a long way from their originally chalky-tasting days. They digest a lot more easily due to low heat processing and added enzymes. Now there are high-quality vegan protein sources on the market that give you more variety and less dependence on animal protein powders (whey, bovine blood sources).
Supplements should be consumed as a way to supplement the nutrients and macros you’re missing when scheduling issues or health problems that make it necessary to take them.If your daily routine makes it complicated for you to prepare healthy meals, analyze how you spend each day and try to devote some time to meal preparation.If health issues are the problem you’re facing, be sure to consult with your physician before starting with any supplement regimen.In this article, we touched on just a few of the most popular items sold over the counter. There are many more supplements out there that can benefit or harm you depending on the doses you take, and some will have no effect whatsoever and be a total waste of money.Before buying into the hype and throwing your money away, do a bit of research on the supplements you’re interested in taking. And always do your best to find the nutrients you need in Grandma’s home cooking. 😉