To Supplement or Not to Supplement

Whether your goal is to look good, feel good, or both, you likely already know how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet full of a variety of nutrients. In an ideal world, we would all be eating the proper amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish that provide our body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. But in reality, how balanced is your diet? 

Even if you are following all the diet guidelines to a T, chances are you’re still missing out on a few key nutrients, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your health. This poses the question: Do you need to fill the gaps by adding a nutritional supplement to your routine? It’s possible. But before you make that decision, let’s talk about a few things to consider.  

Start with Your Diet

First thing first–the most ideal way to get the nutrients your body needs is through the food you eat. Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is the best way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function. However, this has become more difficult over the years, mostly due to the Standard American Diet. 

The Standard American Diet is exactly what it sounds like–the standard diet of the average American. Essentially, it is composed of foods that are high in carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats. Things like pizza, french fries, hamburgers, sugary cereals, and other packaged and processed foods. While these types of food may taste good and be widely available, they are often lacking in things like calcium, potassium, fiber, vitamin D, and other vital nutrients. 

With that in mind, adding more whole foods like fruits and vegetables to your diet can make a world of difference. However, these foods still may not be able to provide everything your body needs. Why? Because research has shown that the amount of nutrients that these whole foods contain has been gradually declining. It gets worse–even when you’re eating fruits and veggies daily, the amount of nutrients you’re getting is on a gradual decline. Plant researchers observing nutritional variations over the past few decades have discovered that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the environment have actually led to a reduction in plant mineral content. Basically, a serving of fruits and vegetables in the 50s would have had more nutritional value than a serving of those same foods today. This goes to show that even those who eat a perfectly well-balanced diet may be lacking some key nutrients. That’s where nutritional supplements become useful. 

The Role of Nutritional Supplements

Let us start by saying that nutritional supplements are no substitute for a balanced diet. However, for those who are already eating a healthy, balanced diet, nutritional supplements are a great way to complement your meals and provide your body with nutrients that it may be lacking.

Think of it this way-supplements are nutritional insurance for your body. They won’t provide your body with everything it needs, but they are there to give a little extra support on those occasions when your diet may not be enough. 

Take the vegan diet for example. While this diet can lead to an increase in the intake of certain nutrients, the removal of animal products can lead to decreases elsewhere. For instance, studies have shown that those who follow the vegan diet are more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, which is important for things like protein metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. This is because many of the foods that contain high levels of this vitamin are animal products like red meat, fatty fish, and eggs. 

Nutritional supplements can also be extremely useful for those on the keto diet. With its high fat and low carb approach, those on this diet often eat fewer fruits and vegetables. For example, toning down on your beans and fruits consumption because of its carb content means you could be missing out on the magnesium that they provide. Magnesium is needed for things like regulating your blood sugar and supporting your immune system. 

Beyond following a specific diet, there are other reasons you may consider taking a nutritional supplement. For example, those who cannot eat certain foods due to allergies may opt to fill in the gap with a nutritional supplement. Furthermore, certain lifestyle factors such as how active you are or where you live may also influence your decision. Those who live an active life may choose to use supplements to increase their intake of minerals like calcium and potassium which are important for muscle support. If you live in a climate that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight or is prone to extreme weather that keeps you inside, you may consider taking a supplement to ensure your body is getting enough vitamin D.  

Choosing a Nutritional Supplement

If you feel like your body could benefit from a nutritional supplement, you may be ready to head to the nearest store to pick one up. Hold on for just a minute longer though. There is one more thing you should know about supplements before you head out—not all supplements are created equal. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a new nutritional supplement. 

1. Avoid Synthetic Ingredients. Many nutritional supplements on the market contain synthetic nutrients, which are created artificially through an industrial process using chemicals. Because of this, these ingredients only mimic natural vitamins though, which means they aren’t as beneficial to your body. With that, it’s important to choose a supplement made with all-natural ingredients. 

2. Choose Quality over Savings. While there are all-natural nutritional supplements on the market at different price points, be wary of products that seem suspiciously cheap. While the lower price may be easy on your wallet, it may also be an indicator that the ingredients were poorly sourced, highly processed, or full of fillers. 

3. Read the Label. The best way to know if a supplement contains what you are looking for is to read the label. This should provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. You’ll be able to see a list of ingredients, dosage recommendations, and a breakout of the nutrients that a particular supplement provides. 

4. Skip the Additives. It’s common to see supplements that contain added ingredients that provide no nutritional benefit. More often than not, ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and saccharin are to enhance the flavor of the supplement. After all, let’s face it—sometimes the healthiest items are not always the tastiest. While we would all prefer for our supplements to taste delicious, the fact of the matter is that these added ingredients often do more harm than good. Thankfully, supplements that come in capsule form are a great way to avoid worrying about taste, as they can easily be taken with water or juice. 

5. Check for Certifications. When it comes to supplement quality and safety, the proof is in the pudding. Anyone can say their product is made of safe, high-quality ingredients, but that doesn’t mean much if they don’t have the proof to back it up. That’s where certifications come in. A brand that invests in certifications is dedicated to producing a safe, high-quality product. Look for certifications like USDA Organic, NSF International, and the Food and Drug Administrations Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), all of which require yearly audits to test and verify processes and products. 

Turn To New Earth For Your Supplement Needs

At New Earth, we believe that everyone deserves to be their happiest, healthiest self, and for many people, all-natural supplements can help with that. That’s why we have dedicated ourselves to creating high-quality food-based supplements with a not-so-secret ingredient, organic Wild Microalgae®. This single ingredient is loaded with nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, which makes it the perfect addition to any diet or lifestyle. So whether you are looking to improve your digestive health, support your immune system, or bolster your nutrient intake, look no further than New Earth. 

The best part is you can put any of our supplements to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee

At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.