A Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

Brooks Shoe Finder

The Official Wellness Partner of AJ Bell Great Run Series, Solgar combines the best of science and nature to create the finest nutritional supplements using only the best, responsibly sourced raw ingredients. With a commitment to quality, health, and wellbeing that goes beyond 75 years, each Solgar product is designed around what your body needs – not what’s trending.

With 30+ years of industry experience, Paul Chamberlain leads the Nestlé Health Science category development & product training team across a range of supplement brands, including Solgar. With an MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Paul has a passion for helping people achieve their health and wellness goals as well as being a keen runner who enjoys applying sports nutrition principles to his own training and racing.

For many of us, part of supporting a healthy lifestyle and exercise regime may include taking a food supplement or two. But choosing the right food supplements can feel a little daunting, especially when faced with rows and rows of options in the shop.

The reality is almost everyone may benefit from a food supplement. Here’s a beginner’s guide:

A good foundation

A balanced and healthy diet is the best way to obtain all the vitamins and minerals you need, but sometimes it’s hard to get the balance right and there are days when despite our best efforts, we simply don’t eat as well as we should.

This is especially true if you avoid certain food groups due to food intolerances, are a ‘picky eater’, or follow a more plant-based diet (being vegan or vegetarian, for example). A multivitamin and mineral formulation may be a useful way to support your daily intake of the nutrients you need for health and wellbeing.

Solgar has various multivitamins to suit various ages and lifestyles such as Formula VM-75, Omnium, Vegetarian Multiple and Female Multiple to name a few.

Don’t forget your Omega-3s.

Found throughout the body, omega-3s are important for overall health and are particularly important for the heart, brain, and eyes. Omega-3s may also help support a healthy pregnancy.

There are three main types of omega-3s: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In short:

  • Ala is found in plants like seeds (flax seeds) and nuts (walnuts) and oils.
  • EPA and DHA are derived from marine/ fish sources (salmon, cod liver, mackerel and sardines).

Plant based omega-3s (ALA) are not readily converted to EPA and DHA in the body and therefore fish-based omega-3s that provide both DHA and EPA are preferred. If you do not enjoy eating fish, an omega-3 fish oil supplement may be an option for you.

Immune system support – It’s not simply for the Winter months.

Good health cannot exist independently from a strong immune system. Every minute of every day, this complex system works hard to maintain health.  A poorly functioning immune system increases susceptibility to less than optimal wellbeing and various factors may negatively affect immune health such as high alcohol and sugar consumption, a lack of sleep and a nutrient poor diet.

Certain nutrients like vitamin D are known to support immune system function. However, recent data has  suggested that about 40% of Europeans are vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L), making the need for vitamin D supplementation important for many.

In fact, The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends an intake of 10 mcg or 400 IU of vitamin D, throughout the year for everyone aged four years and older.

Solgar Immunity Supplements

Keep in mind that food supplements are meant to complement other healthy habits and should be used in combination with other important lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.

  • There are no ‘quick fixes’ in food supplements and regular use over time will provide the best results.
  • Buy trusted brands from reputable businesses.
  • Read the product label- this will provide you with key information about the product.
  • Follow the directions for use and do not exceed the daily recommended dose.

For more information and advice on supplements visit the Solgar Wellness Hub here.

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