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The Holistic Lifestyle

May 26, 2008
Health supplements are preparations made to supply additional nutrients to our body. Even though one has consumed a complete set of meal per deal, the actual meal in itself may be lacking some of the essential nutrients of the body. With this, by taking in health supplements, the body is insured of its proper body maintenance.

What is health? As defined by the World Heal Organization (WHO) Health is defined as "a state of full and complete mental, physical, as well as social well-being, not only infirmity or the so-called absence of certain diseases".

In 1986, this definition of health was updated and stated by the "Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion" to say that health is known as the "resource for everyday life, not the objective of living", as well as "health is generated as a positive kind of concept that emphasizes the personal and social resources, including the physical capacities".

With these definitions, it is said that to be healthy, the physical outlook of our body should not be the gauged on whether we are healthy or not. It should comprise of the whole aspect of the person, which are physical, mental, emotional, as well as spiritual. Just like in our daily intake of food, it does not mean that by completing the set meal per day, it would mean that you have achieved the optimum nutritional needs of your body. With this in mind, taking in health supplements is the key.

What are health supplements? Health supplements are preparations made in order to supply additional nutrients in our body. Even though one has consumed a complete set of meal per day, the actual meal in itself may be lacking some of the essential nutrients for the body. With this, by taking in health supplements, the body insured of its proper body maintenance. Health supplements comprise of the following: minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, as well as herbs. For it to be a supplement, it should be in a form of a capsule, pill, tablet or liquid form. It should not also be taken as a replacement of a meal, for the word supplement in itself is just to be added to your daily meal intake.

It has been proven that the consistent use of such health supplements do promote overall good health. Aside from this, it also aids in the prevention of diseases. This is a research done by the Council for Responsible Nutrition or CRN. With such use, it shows that it provides positive impact on several areas, in terms of health. Moreover, if health supplements were a part of your daily routine, and the fact that they have been used for a long time, they can give you the greatest benefits, instead of just starting late or never taking them at all.

Some of the advantages of taking dietary supplements are listed below:

1. Women that have reached childbearing age who used multivitamins and folic acid reduced the occurrence of neural tube birth defects (spina bifida).

2. By routinely using multivitamins as well as mineral supplements when reaching the elderly years, it can improve the immune functions, which will result to fewer occurrences of infectious diseases. Thus, this cuts the illness period in half.

3. By taking supplements that have calcium as well as vitamin D, it can reduce hip fracture rate of older people. This results to lesser costs and bills for hospitalizations and surgeries.

4. The probable cost savings in the preventive approach to our health is tremendous.

Through proper health management such as taking in health supplements, this vastly lessens the chances of getting debilitating diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, and fractures, among others, which would result to fewer future bills as one gets older.

In addition, to achieve an optimum level of heath, you can follow these guidelines:

1. Eat a well balanced meal such as vegetables and fruits.

2. Drink 8 or more glasses of water per day.

3. Try to achieve 8 hours of sleep in order for your body to recuperate totally.

4. Practice time and stress management in order to be more productive in your daily activities. This is without the hassle of going through unnecessary undertakings.

5. Find time for recreational activities with your family and friends.

6. It is also good to sometimes allow yourself to go out alone for meditation and relaxation.

Moreover, since there are a lot of health supplements in the market these days. It is best to stick with the familiar and trusted brands. Just like in other products, there are still fake ones, especially now that the most in-demand health supplements are the "energy-boosting" types. With the advent of these "magic" supplements, questions about their authenticity really affected many people; especially athletes who thought this can help them.

Here are the popular brands in the market today:

1. Co Enzyme Q10 Gel Capsules

This is actually the most popular health supplement these days. Its main ingredient is a type of enzyme, which can be found in almost every cell inside the body or in various foods. It is an antioxidant that also helps produce energy. Thus, amidst beliefs that it can make you strong and it has curative effects for HIV and cancer, it only possesses very limited effectiveness to boost energy, even if it has been used for many weeks already. Even so, it is noted to be safe to use but quite expensive.

2. Yerba Mate

This is now being vended as a type of diet tea that can boost energy. It actually contains lots of minerals such as iron, phosphorous, calcium, Vitamins B, C and B2. Aside from this, it is noted to contain caffeine as well as Theobromine and Theophylline stimulants, in minimal amounts. Manufacturers would only say that there is only a substance that is "caffeine-like" known as "Mateine" that can make you jittery. Thus, as per studies, it is truly chemically identical to real Caffeine. This means that the energy produced is primarily because of caffeine. There were also studies which indicated that long term use of this tea have resulted to neck and head cancers.

3. Noni Juice

Polynesian Medicine has traditionally used this for centuries as treatment for a number of ailments. This would include hypertension, cancer and diabetes. Even so, further study in this age has proven that these claims are very limited even at the best effort. Hence, the energy provided is only due to the high amounts of natural sugar mixed in it. Since this was derived from a particular kind of plant, it possesses minerals and vitamins such as potassium. As a word of caution though, people with kidney problems and Diabetes should stay away from this.

4. Guarana

This health supplement is either mixed with the popular green tea or in capsule form. Like Yerba Mate, this is a type of diet herb. Similar to Yerba Mate also, it contains caffeine. This is also why you can get energy from this tea. Thus, with this caffeine content it is advised that patients with high blood pressure should steer clear from this supplement. Adverse effects of this drug would include anxiety, heart palpitations, along with some disorders of the Central Nervous System. These effects are similar to people who had a stimulant overdose.

Thus, it is advisable to get some information first about a supplement you are planning to buy before taking it. A physician's advice can be very helpful as well.
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