Supplements have become an essential part of our diet. To stay healthy, the human body requires a daily intake of different nutrients, allowing each organ to function optimally. Today, there is a wide choice of dietary supplements on the market. However, they are not all intended for the same pathologies, and they do not all have the same level of effectiveness or the same quality charter. Correctly choosing your dietary supplement requires an understanding of your needs, the nutrients contained and their beneficial actions.
As each individual is unique and has different needs, it is important to ask the right questions before choosing a dietary supplement. What is your real need? Do you suffer from a specific pathology? Or do you wish to maintain a healthy body? Are you currently feeling stressed? Are you looking to improve your athletic or intellectual performance?
There are different types of dietary supplements: vitamins, minerals, trace elements, probiotics, fatty acids, amino acids, plant extracts etc. Each of these supplements has specific targeted actions. This is particularly the case with antioxidants and superfoods. Overview of these two types of dietary supplements
As we age, our cellular defence mechanisms become less effective in fighting against free radicals. The theory of ageing caused by oxidative stress was developed in 1954 by Professor Denham Harman (University of Nebraska). It holds that ageing – and diseases linked to the ageing process – are caused by free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative stress. According to this theory, by neutralising free radicals, it is possible to live a longer and healthier life.
The body has antioxidants that are capable of protecting it from free radicals. It also absorbs molecules with this capacity from food. Nevertheless, the body may suffer a deficiency in antioxidants due to UV rays, pollution, stress, poor diet, cigarettes, alcohol etc. It is therefore important to take good care of your body by providing it with the nutrients needed for optimal functioning.
Natural plant or fruit extracts contain active ingredients that help the body defend itself against the harmful effects of free radicals, while protecting our cell structures. Today, we are well aware of the nutritional benefits of the following antioxidants: polyphenols, carotenoids, curcuminoids, catechins, acetogenins.
Certain antioxidants target a specific organ (heart, liver, brain, skin, etc.), while others stimulate our immune system, provide energy, promote sleep or detoxify the body. It is therefore important to understand your health needs before choosing a dietary supplement.
Superfoods have existed for centuries. Today, they are more popular than ever. Berries, grains, algae, fruit and vegetables: superfoods have more than 12 properties that are good for our health, while most healthy foods only contain two or three. These foods are known for their remarkable nutritional content: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Today, our diet is no longer always able to meet all our nutritional needs. Consuming superfoods helps increase our micronutrient intake.
Brimming with all elements vital to human health and well-being, superfoods have a beneficial effect on both our physical and mental health, by boosting the body’s capacities for regeneration and recovery, and strengthening the immune system.
Discovered in the 1970s and studied by researchers since 1995, AFA Klamath algae is a superfood that is known as being the most complete (115 nutrients) and as having high bioavailability i.e. it is easily absorbed by the body. Its nutritional wealth makes it the ideal dietary supplement for older people, athletes, convalescent individuals, students during exams, or vegetarians who often lack proteins and vitamin B12.
Have you decided which dietary supplement best meets your individual needs? It is important to select high quality products.
A dietary supplement is not necessarily natural. So, you should pay attention to the active ingredients: are they natural? Synthetic? When choosing organic, while it is preferable to select the label, certain dietary supplements are not able to obtain organic certification. Check that they do not contain pesticide residue or any other synthetic products. Also check whether your dietary supplement contains allergens (such as gluten or lactose), additives, preservatives or any other undesirable ingredient. Don’t forget that when excipients are added, the proportion of active ingredients is reduced, which then diminishes product quality.
An active ingredient is the substance that triggers a change in the way the body functions i.e. the ingredient that does the work. The concentration of active ingredients in a product is therefore important because it determines the product’s effectiveness. If the amount of active ingredients is not listed for a dietary supplement, it means that the actual concentration is certainly low.
A nutrient may be completely absorbed and still have low bioavailability. Bioavailability corresponds to a nutrient’s capacity to be released during digestion, correctly absorbed and then effectively metabolised. The chemical form of an active ingredient determines its bioavailability and effect. Its level of solubility in water or fats may be improved, depending on the desired effect. The assimilation of active ingredients may also be increased using various processes, particularly a combination with other compounds, with which they work synergistically. It is therefore important to be attentive to the way active ingredients are presented when choosing a dietary supplement.
Consult the contraindications, even with natural dietary supplements. Certain supplements should not be taken together with specific drugs or may not be suited to a pathology from which you suffer. Also look at the recommended daily allowance and do not exceed it.