Many people are walking around with nutrition deficiencies without even knowing it. You may feel lethargic, hungry, or moody for countless other reasons, but those same symptoms could be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency that can easy be resolved. If you want to feel better, but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to shopping for supplements, these pro tips should help.
Taking time to read the nutritional label is worth it.
All supplements and multivitamins are not created equal. Avoid any product that has synthetic materials, artificial additives, and chemical colorings listed on the nutritional label. Make sure the label says one of the following: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Non-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), Certified Organic, or Certified B Corporations. While those are positive things to look out for, there are also ingredients to beware of such as magnesium stearate, titanium oxide, artificial colorings, carrageenan, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and other fillers.
Women have specific dietary needs.
Women shopping for supplements should focus on finding a good multivitamin, iron supplement (for replenishing stores lost from menstruation or from anemia), probiotics (to keep the GI tract in check), a bone health vitamin with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, and a B-complex vitamin, says Justice. If you’re pregnant, then you’ll also want to take folic acid (which has been shown to help reduce neural tube defects in a fetus) as well as a prenatal supplement with B vitamins.
Your body could reject a supplement.
Although most supplements are considered safe to use, there is always some risk in taking any foreign over-the-counter product. There are certain symptoms to look out for that indicate a supplement isn’t agreeing with you. “Your skin might break out into a rash, you could get GI symptoms, nausea, and headaches,”. However, those are typically harmless, albeit annoying, side effects. It’s only considered a real health risk if the supplement clashes with a medication you are already taking or is making you sick, or if you’re allergic to an ingredient (e.g., shellfish in fish oil). Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.