From fad diets to superfoods, tea-toxes and supplements, we are constantly receiving an overload of information about what we should and shouldn’t be putting into our bodies.
Bondi Beauty spoke to Sydney nutritionist and dietician Jaime Rose Chambers to get the down-low on nutritional supplements.
While it’s hard to give general advice when every person and product is different, Jaime did say that a quality multivitamin is a safe option for most.
“Anyone can take a good quality multivitamin and that really shouldn’t hurt. A multivitamin can be helpful as a ‘nutrition insurance policy,’” Jaime said.
However, we all have different bodies, diets and lifestyles, so there’s no miracle product that works for everyone. Here are some things to consider before going wild with supplements:
You might not really need them
“Generally, if you have a normal, healthy diet that meets your nutritional requirements, you really don’t need a supplement. Going above and beyond for most nutrients than your body requires is not a good idea – fat soluble vitamins can be toxic at high levels, and if they’re water soluble, your body only takes what it needs and gets rid of the rest, so that can be a waste of money,” Jaime said.
What works for others might not work for you
Remember that miracle health product some lady on the bus told you about? Just because it worked for her, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you too.
“Everything is absolutely tailored to the individual,” Jaime said, “Even if you’re eating a very healthy diet, one woman might need more iron than the next, or let’s say you’re training for a marathon, you might be churning through more iron than your body is able to get from food, so a supplement might be essential – it’s very personal.”
It’s always advisable to seek a professional opinion:
Shockingly, your mates, Google doctor and that lady on the bus are not actually qualified to diagnose your nutritional needs – go and see someone who knows what they’re doing.
“The bottom line is to make sure you see a dietician or a really good GP who knows what they’re talking about. When you go see a practitioner they should streamline the supplements you’re taking specifically for what you’re trying to achieve,” Jaime said.
“If you think your zinc is too low, have it tested, if you think your vitamin B12 is too low, have it tested. Some people just can’t get their nutritional requirements from food – a lot of vegans especially can’t meet their nutritional requirements through diet – nutritional supplements are essential in that moment.”
I know we all want to hear that there is one miracle product that will provide all our nutritional needs. But the fact is that we are all different.
We all need a healthy, vitamin rich diet, but beyond that, nutritional advice needs to be personalised, so seek a professional opinion before investing in products that may not work for you.
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