In today’s day and age, claims and opinions regarding nutritional supplements are a dime a dozen. Doctor Oz says to take this, your brother-in-law says to take that, and supplement ads everywhere promise energy, strength and nutritional bliss if you will just cough up the $29.99 for their particular product.
While it is vital to do your own research and to tailor your nutritional supplementation to your own needs and goals, here are three supplements that are basic and necessary to add to any diet.
Ah yes, the Floridian lifestyle; the beach, the sun, the weather. Nice, right? Of course, yet the majority of the South Florida population is not taking advantage of the beaches. It is the sun that provides the best quality Vitamin D and it’s free. In reality, it is the body’s reaction to the sun that produces the hormone we call Vitamin D. Researchers at Oregon State University estimate that 70 percent of Americans have less than optimal levels of Vitamin D and that nearly a billion people worldwide are Vitamin D deficient, indicating the need for attention to adequate education and supplementation of Vitamin D.
There are a multitude of great reasons to take Vitamin D. The following are some of the top: bone health, muscle strength, better skin, blood level regulation, cardio-vascular health, anti-depression, immune function, and even prevention of cancer.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that 4 in 10 Americans will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime. This, an eye-opening statement. In the same website, they also state that cancer is preventable, but requires a lifestyle change.
In a fact sheet regarding Vitamin D, the NCI states, “Vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer.” A list of these cancer-related studies can be found on their website.
Recommendations on dosages of Vitamin D3 can depend on various factors. The typical dose can range from 3,000 IU to 5,000 IU per day. You can consult your physician and request a Vitamin D level test.
Protein is one of three macronutrients used by the body for energy. These macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates and fats. The typical American diet is full of carbs and fats, but lacks protein.
Protein is not only for weightlifters or post-exercise. Our bodies are in a constant mode of repair and use protein for that purpose. Not providing the body with enough repair material will confuse the body and make it use any source necessary to complete repairs. These actions can create muscle loss or compromise other bodily functions.
So how much protein is enough? The recommended grams of protein are approximately .30 grams per pound of bodyweight. Using this formula, a 150lb. person should be consuming 50-55 grams of protein throughout their diet. For those in rigorous activities, this recommendation increases to 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. In this case, a 150lb. person should consume 150-225 grams of protein per day.
A greens supplement
Do you know what the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables is? The latest dietary guidelines call for 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day), depending on personal activity. The average American eats approximately 3 servings a day. We come up a bit short.
There is compelling evidence that a diet full of rich vegetable nutrients can lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and even cancer.
A great way to make sure you are getting enough greens is by adding a good greens supplement to your diet. However, please do not cut back on the real, fresh greens you consume just because you are now taking a great supplement.
Vegetables and fruits are clearly an important part of a good diet. Everyone can benefit from eating more of them, but variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. The key lies in the variety of different vegetables and fruits that you eat.
Edwin Morales is an ex-military and law enforcement officer and the owner of Crossfit CVI in Pompano Beach. For more information, visit crossfitcvi.com, call 954-972-4284 or email at [email protected].