We all have supplement bottles on our night stands or our dining tables. Leading a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise has indeed become the new cool. While many of us strive to be our fittest selves, we often tend to follow certain things merely because we hear they are good. Consuming supplements may work for your friend’s body, but it is really necessary to take them?
What are dietary supplements?
Dietary supplements are consumed to make up for the deficiencies in your body. These are the vitamins, omega- 3, calcium tablets or multivitamin tablets which are often prescribed by your doctor. They can be vitamins, minerals, iron, amino acids, or even herbs. Dietary supplements often come in capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form which can be consumed after or before your meal.
In recent years, since the health market has boomed, dietary supplements have become a habit. With many brands bringing in supplements that promise to cure you, it is important to understand the function of a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements are not drugs but food items that cannot claim to cure, treat or prevent any kind of disease. Their sole purpose is to take care of the deficiency in your body. Hence, it is safe to say that they are not medicines that will help you get rid of any disease.
Who should consume dietary supplements?
Dietary supplements are ideally meant for people who have any kind of deficiency which their food habits are not able to fulfill. There can be various factors for the same; these can range from age, stressful life or simply bad eating habits.
Many marketing strategies have, however, made us believe that everyone needs supplements in today’s age.
Experts feel that if one is consuming dietary supplements then it should not be as a substitute or shortcut for a healthy diet. “It is required to take dietary supplements as our modern day diets are not able to meet all nutrition requirements. However, you should not consume them without a doctor’s prescription,” says nutritionist Dr Sonia Narang.
According to nutritionist Dr Madhvi Sharma, even supplements would fail to work in your body if you do not set your diet right. “There is no point in popping pills if your diet is not in place. Moreover, your sleep pattern, eating pattern, lifestyle pattern everything makes a huge impact on how supplements would work on your body,” she adds.
Similarly, Dr Narang agrees that consumption of a rainbow diet, wherein you include vegetables and fruits in your diet on a daily basis is necessary for a healthy body.
For Dr Renu Garg, a homeopathic practitioner and a nutritionist, those suffering with a deficiency would definitely need supplements. She says, “If you do not eat the right kinds of food, deficiency is bound to happen. Hence, supplements are needed. Having said that, I would rather have my patient treat their deficiency with food than with supplements.”
Dr Garg gives two reasons as to why food would work better than a supplement for inadequate nutrients in the body. Firstly, food will not give you allergies which supplements might and secondly, absorption of food is better than that of supplements.
“We do not need dietary supplements until and unless specified under medical guidance. This is because supplements do not suit every body and we are never assured of the quality of the product we will be consuming,” says nutritionist Dr Mansi Chatrath.
Dr Chatrath also talks about how our body naturally does not need supplements and should get its absorption power from the foods we consume. She mentions about the capacity levels of our body and how they can differ from person to person.
Buying supplements off the shelf is a big no-no according to experts and should always be started with proper medical guidance.
Dr Sharma gives the added reason of stress which is the sole origin of such nutrient deficiencies today. She says, “Stress can add to all sorts of problems. At times like this, it is important to consume things such as antioxidants, which can help a great deal. Always consult a clinical practitioner before starting any supplements.”
You wink, it’s raining; you wink again and it’s sunny outside. Such a weather wreaks havoc on our health, with most around us sneezing and coughing. You might rely on ginger syrup and your tulsi-ginger tea cuppas to get rid of your bouts of cold. However, studies now claim for an ingredient which can help to get rid of your cold and flu faster than anything else: Zinc!
Zinc is now being proclaimed to be a very effective way to fight common cold. Taking zinc within 24 hours of starting of cold symptoms helps to shorten the duration of the cold. A study was conducted at University of Helsinki where a bunch of sniffling people were divided into two. One bunch was given zinc lozenges (diamond-shaped zinc tablet for cold) while the other bunch was given some other form of medication. The ones who took zinc had their cold’s duration shortened by 40 per cent.
How does it work?
Cold is caused by rhinovirus and according to a research, zinc works by stopping this virus from multiplying. It also helps to stop the rhinovirus from lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose.
How much do you need?
80 mg of zinc is required to reduce the symptoms of a cold. Spinach, kidney beans, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds are sources of zinc but you will have to eat a lot of these to get the required amount of zinc during cold, so opting for supplements is easier. Though the upper safe limit for zinc consumption in a day is 40 mg but the amount can be exceeded over 40 mg till the time you have cold. One zinc tablet every three hours is safe as more than that can depress your immune system.
Including zinc in your everyday diet might reduce the number of colds every year. On a regular basis, we need 8 mg of it per day.
The above has been tested true by various studies, however, there can be side effects of taking zinc tablets, such as follows.
– Some unpleasant side effects can be vomiting, foul taste in your mouth, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
– Zinc can interact with your other medicines.
– Using zinc in the form of nasal spray may make you lose your sense of smell.
– Zinc can only shorten the duration and not ease or prevent the symptoms.
Disclaimer: The safest thing is to talk to your doctor before taking zinc to prevent or reduce the length of your colds.
If you regularly wear makeup, it is only too necessary to remove it without fail in the night. Finding the perfect make up remover can be quite a task, since you may find one of it is too oily or some might leave dark smudges from your eye makeup.
At times like this you want an all-natural make up removing solution which is also good news for extra sensitive skin. Here are some options for you to try out –
Olive oil: Just dab a bit of olive oil on cotton and wipe it all over your face and neck. It takes away all the traces of dirt and leaves your face all cleansed up.
Cucumber paste: We all know cucumber has cooling properties. So just pull out a cucumber from the fridge, grate it and blend it into a paste along with a teaspoon of almond oil. Rub it all over your face and wash off any residue with luke warm water.
Grapeseed oil: A slightly light oil which is also less sticky, it is an option when you want to first remove your make up and then apply a moisturiser before you tuck in into bed.