Healthspan June 13, 2018

Think about it – you start taking vitamin D because you’ve seen the headline ‘Brits can’t get enough vitamin D during winter’. For about 2 weeks, popping a supplement fits easily into your routine and your body thanks you for giving it a helping hand. But - soon enough - that first ‘I forgot’ turns into a whole week of no vitamin D…and then a whole month…and then a few months…Get the gist yet?  

Get the gist yet?

Just like signing up for the gym or eating healthily or walking to work, it’s easy to let good intentions for improving your health and wellbeing (with supplements) fall by the wayside.

As a nation, we’re pretty poor at sticking to our resolutions – research recently done by Healthspan revealed the average Brit’s health kick lasts for 12 days. Let us help you make sticking to those goals easier than ever, with a few top tips for remembering to take your supplements.

But first, here’s why it’s so important to get into habits with your supplements.

It’s not just not taking them that will have an affect…it’s not taking them regularly

Although diet should always come first, your vitamin and mineral supplements are designed to be taken every day to supply a recommended daily amount as a nutritional safety net.

Why?

This helps to ensure your metabolism keeps running smoothly, the correct level of enzymes, hormones and structural proteins are made and worn out cells replaced on a daily basis.

Top 3 supplements that benefit from being taken regularly and why:

Doctors recognise that as many as one in two pepe do not take their medicines as prescribed – this is especially true of conditions such as high blood pressure or raised cholesterol levels which do not cause troublesome symptoms. In the same way, it’s easy to forget to take vitamins, minerals and other supplements which you are taking to safeguard against deficiencies.

Dr Sarah Brewer says: There are 3 supplements that would benefit most people when taken on a daily basis.

1. As a medical nutritionist, I strongly believe that everyone should take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. National diet and nutrition surveys show that significant numbers of people do not get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their food. Vitamins and minerals are essential for enzymes to work properly and to maintain normal cell functions such as making hormones and energy.

2. Vitamin D is vital for immunity, yet we are unable to make it in our skin during cold months of the year when the UV index is low. Public Health England recommend that everyone takes a vitamin D supplement during Autumn and Winter at least. Although multivitamins supply the amount of vitamin D needed for calcium absorption, most people need higher amounts to maintain optimum vitamin D status and good immune function.

3. Average intakes of oily fish are well below the optimum two portions a week needed for optimum brain function and heart health. An omega-3 supplement can supply the essential fatty acids you need – vegetarian sources from algae are also available.

3 top tips for remembering to take your supplements:

 1.You don’t just have to take capsules

For some people, swallowing capsules is the stuff of nightmares and simply not an option when it comes to supporting their diet with supplements. Fortunately – though – capsules are not the only option. Effervescents - a powdered bundle of vitamin(s) that you can drop into a glass of water, watch emulsify and drink - are easily added to any meal time and a great alternative if you don’t like swallowing pills. Vitamin sprays are also a good a way to get the nutrients you need and come with the added benefit of being of being fast absorbing. The same goes for yoghurt drinks, fortified foods that have the added benefit of being a tasty snack, chewable vitamins and transdermal methods such as creams that are absorbed through the skin.

 2.Put them in a place you will remember them

A bathroom cabinet, by your bed or next to your breakfast cereal (but out of the reach of any small children); anywhere you know you’re going to be visiting every single morning is a good place to store your supplements.

 3.Set a reminder on your watch, phone or computer.

An alarm is incredibly difficult to ignore – how else would anyone get up in the morning? – so set one for taking your supplements, too. To fool-proof this method, arrange the alarm for a time of day that isn’t too busy. If you choose 7.30am, half an hour before you’re due to be out the door taking your kids to school, for example, topping up on vitamins simply won’t be your top priority.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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