What is a dietary supplement?
Dietary supplements provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to complement or enhance the nutritional content of the food we consume.
They are used for various purposes:
• to boost overall health and energy
• to support the immune system and reduce the risk of age-related diseases
• to improve physical and mental performance
• to assist in nutrient consumption during the times of reduced food intake
• to assist with regularity
How does supplementation influence a human body?
We need nutrients every day to feed and fuel the cells in our bodies. Every cell needs them to function and perform its role in the body. Combined, the cells make up tissues, organs, systems and the entire human organism.
If our body does not get the essential nutrients, its performance will be suboptimal or may even deteriorate over time. If we do not obtain the recommended daily intake of essential nutrients for months on end, we run the risk of developing deficiency conditions and also increase our risk of developing long-term illness.
Do I need supplements every day?
If you want to know the answer, first you need to ask yourself these questions:
• Do you eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, a minimum of 5 every day?
• Do you consume at least 6 servings of whole grain foods a day? (e.g. a slice of whole grain bread, a handful of brown rice)
• Do you consume high-quality protein (low-fat, low-cholesterol, high in amino acids) every day, approximately the size of the palm of your hand (more specifically, 1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight)
• Do you consume at least 3 servings of calcium-rich foods a day? (e.g. 240 ml of dairy milk, a thumb size of cheese, 2 handfuls of dark green leafy vegetables). Apart from the foods that we are supposed to consume every day to obtain vital nutrients, our lifestyle also has an impact on nutrients in our bodies.
• Do you consume coffee or tea every day?
• Do you eat fried and high-fat foods more than 3 times a week?
• Do you consume carbonated beverages more than 5 times a week?
• Do you smoke?
• Do you take prescription medication?
• Are you exposed to more than 10 minutes of intense sun a day?
• Are you exposed to air pollution regularly?
• Do you consume more than 1 alcoholic beverage a day?
• Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night?
• Are you under stress, positive or negative?
• Do you exercise regularly, at least 3 days a week?
These are the lifestyle activities we either choose to do, have to do, like to do, or we are exposed to by our jobs or environment. Each of them creates nutritional challenges. Some inhibit the absorption of essential nutrients; some use up nutrients quickly and most create free radicals. To sum up, a diet that doesn’t provide enough recommended nutrients, combined with a challenging lifestyle means that the vast majority of us can benefit from consuming dietary supplements every day in addition to eating healthy, fresh food.
Heather Livingston, M.Sc.
Director of Global Wellness Training
Dietary supplements versus medication
People are often seeking a new quick fix that they think might help them. In this quest there is often a confusion between nutritional supplements and medication. In many countries around the world, even in the ones where consuming dietary supplements is common, there is still a misconception that dietary supplements are formulated to treat or reduce body ailments and conditions. Such misconception is justified as there is some false advertising regarding nutritional supplements and many misleading and over-promising claims.
What we need to remember is that nutritional supplements, also called dietary supplements, are part of our food. They supplement our diet, our daily food intake. They should not be recommended as treatment or cure to any medical condition. They are not medication.
Why do we think nutritional supplements are a solution to all our medical problems?
So here comes the tricky part:
When people start taking a nutritional supplement, after some time they usually notice that they feel better or that the body part that was bothering them feels better. So naturally they think that the supplement helped/treated/cured this part of their body.
What really happened is:
People often live their lives in a suboptimal, or even poor state of nutritional well-being. When they start taking supplements and feel a difference, it is not the supplement that cured them but the fact that they provided their body with nutrients that may have been missing from their nutritional intake and their body rewarded them by feeling better. Our body needs a broad selection of essential and valuable nutrients every day. Every cell in our body needs them to function properly. If the cells do not obtain the nutrients they need, then their performance deteriorates. So, when we provide the nutrients our body needs, it feels better: we may have more energy, better focus, we are more relaxed and less stressed, sleep better, we may feel an improvement in some parts of the body. Again, the nutritional supplement did not fix that part of the body, but it did provide valuable nutrients that the body needed and benefited from.
So nutritional supplements are just that – a part of our daily dietary intake – along with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.
Variety of supplements
There are many types of nutritional supplements:
a. Some supplements provide a broad spectrum of essential nutrients,
b. Some provide ingredients that are targeted for specific areas,
c. Some provide a group of nutrients (antioxidants) that combat free radicals,
d. Some provide single nutrients,
e. Some combine plant material, herbs, and nutrients.
This list could go on and on as there are a myriad of ingredients and nutrient combinations out there to choose from.
The key is to find a high-quality brand that supplies valuable and validated nutrients that fit your needs, lifestyle, and life stage.
With Wellness by Oriflame, we provide just that – products that are backed by Swedish science and supported by nature. Each of our ingredients is carefully selected and tested for quality, safety and purity. Every product we offer helps you fill nutritional gaps. All so that you can truly trust all of the Wellness by Oriflame products.
Here’s to your nutritional well-being with Wellness by Oriflame!