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The aim of taking dietary supplements is to make sure that the person taking the supplements gets the essential nutrients which the body requires but are not being consumed in adequate quantities. Dietary supplements include supplements for minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, fibers and amino acids to name a few and are not meant as a cure for any disease.
Mineral deficiencies include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Some mineral deficiencies need supplements or multivitamins as they may not be compensated through diet alone. They may also be needed to take with other supplements.
Calcium Supplement: Calcium is needed by the body for strong teeth and bones and proper functioning of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Long term calcium deficiency leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis increasing the risk of bone fractures in older people. Natural sources of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, Chinese cabbage and kale. Tofu, cereals and juices are fortified with calcium.
Iron Supplement: Iron is an essential mineral present in our red blood cells and is also present in other proteins and enzymes that are essential for the health of our body. Iron deficiency, which is the cause of anemia, results in weakness and fatigue and slow cognitive development in small children. Foods such as poultry, meat, fish, beans and lentils are the best sources of iron.
Magnesium Supplement: Magnesium in our body is responsible for numerous chemical reactions like reactions controlling blood pressure, blood glucose level, protein production and functioning of nerves and muscles. Though healthy people rarely suffer from magnesium deficiency, alcoholism and certain medications may lead to its deficiency. Consume legumes, seeds, nuts, wholegrain and green leafy vegetables to supply magnesium to your body.
Potassium Supplement: Potassium is an essential mineral involved in transmission of the nerve signals, proper functioning of the heart and muscle contraction. Use of certain medications like diuretics, kidney disease or extended vomiting may lead the body to potassium deficiency. Fruits like banana, plums, orange juice and potatoes are rich sources of potassium.
Zinc Supplement: One mineral that is essential for our health but we are all unaware of is zinc. Zinc is present in all our cells, organs, bones, tissues and fluids and more particularly in the male prostate gland and also in the semen. We all need zinc to stay alive and hence, zinc is known as the essential trace element. Deficiency of zinc leads to poor neurological function, diarrhea, a weak immune system and thinning hair among others. If you are suffering from zinc deficiency, consider consuming foods which are high in zinc – pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas, mushrooms, chicken, cocoa powder, spinach and lamb.
Bodybuilding supplements are commonly used by Bodybuilders, who use them as meal replacements, to promote weight loss, enhance weight gain and also by athletes, who use supplements to improve their performance. Protein drinks, vitamin supplements, essential fatty acids, glutamine, meal replacement products, testosterone boosters and weight loss products are some of the most commonly used supplements by such people.
A deficiency is a slow process happening over time due to many causes – need for the mineral, low intake of the mineral or due to the fact that it is not being absorbed from food. So, empower your body with supplements to protect it from the many health hazards which these deficiencies may cause. Click here to learn more about supplements.
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