8 Ways to Make Your Vitamins and Supplements More Effective
Bioavailability is an important factor in the effectiveness of the vitamins and minerals you consume. Unfortunately, the average American diet won't win any awards for outstanding nutritional value. According to Harvard University Medical School, the conventional American meal plate lacks important nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D.
The easy remedy is the most popular, but too many simply aren't doing it right — supplementation. Let's look at ways to improve the effectiveness of vitamins and other dietary supplements.
Why Take Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are designed to do exactly as their name describes: they add to or supplement the diet. They differ from the everyday foods we eat and come in many forms, such as capsules, soft gels, tablets, gel caps, bars, gummies, powders, and liquids. Popular supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, other botanical compounds, amino acids, and probiotics.
When you're deciding on which supplements to take, consider the product's effectiveness, purity of the product, and bioavailability.
What Is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability is the term pharmacists use to describe the percentage of a substance, such as a drug, vitamin, or mineral, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. The higher a substance's bioavailability rating, the larger percentage of the dosage reaches the bloodstream to travel throughout the body.
Maximize Supplement Absorption: Take with Food or Water?
Best Taken with Food
The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Your body absorbs these best when taken with food, especially fatty food such as milk, yogurt, or avocado. Examples of other fat-soluble supplements are CoQ10, curcumin, and fish oil.
Best Taken with Water
The body doesn't store water-soluble vitamins, instead excreting them in the urine. Examples of water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and B vitamins — thiamine, niacin, folate, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. These supplements are best taken on an empty stomach with a good dose of water.
Supplements Best Taken at Certain Times of the Day
Our bodies don't fully absorb vitamins if we don't take them at the best time. Water-soluble vitamins C and B are absorbed best in the presence of water. Take them on an empty stomach with a glass of water in the morning.
To ensure maximum absorption, vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins are best taken after you've eaten foods that contain fat. It doesn't have to be a great feast — a small amount of fat-containing food will do. Something as simple as a small amount of low- or whole-fat milk or yogurt is all you need.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
Overall good health depends on good digestion. Digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements both help with digestion but they act in different ways.
During the digestive process, digestive enzymes break down food molecules into usable components that allow the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Digestive enzymes are scattered throughout the digestive system, from the mouth to the stomach, large intestine, pancreas, and small intestine. The body produces them when it detects foods that need their help to digest.
Digestive enzyme blends are available as supplements. These contain multiple enzymes designed to break down foods that are notorious for their digesting difficulty.
There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. These live organisms are probiotics that contribute to overall good health. There are hundreds of distinct species of probiotics, some of which are beneficial, and some are harmful. When these are in balance, all is right with your gut.
If an imbalance develops, health problems can quickly follow. Many people elect to take a daily probiotic supplement to maintain gut health or as a preventive measure against digestive difficulties.
Check out MTS Machine Uptake for a delicious probiotic and digestive enzyme daily supplement.
Make Your Vitamins and Supplements More Effective
The best way to get the vitamins and minerals our bodies need is from a diverse, nutrient-dense diet. But the reality of our lives is that most of us don't adhere to such a diet. That's why it is recommended that we take supplements to make certain we're getting the nutrients we need.
There are also ways to improve the effectiveness of the supplements and vitamins we take. Take a moment to look over these recommendations:
Pair Nutrients for Maximum Absorption
Pairing certain foods and supplements boosts nutrient absorption. For example, vitamin D helps improve the absorption of calcium from foods and from supplements. Make sure you eat a fat source when taking fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Avoid Mixing Certain Nutrients
Some vitamins and minerals don't play well together. Large doses of zinc and copper, for example, compete with each other. So do iron and zinc when taken together. Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron, so it works better to take iron in the morning on an empty stomach, and calcium in the evenings.
Consider Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
Consider aiding your digestion with the live bacteria and yeasts that probiotics deliver. These nutrients help to assimilate plant-based digestive enzymes that may normally be destroyed by stomach acid.
Store Your Supplements Properly
How you store your supplements can affect their potency. Probiotic cultures need a cold environment when stored or shipped if they are going to stay active. Another example is omega-3 fish oil. It should be stored in a cool, dark place to maintain its effectiveness. Some even suggest freezing them as a method of storage.
Be Aware of Expiration Dates
The "use by" date on vitamins and supplements isn't absolute. Vitamins don't "go bad" after their expiration date, not in the traditional sense. Rather than becoming unsafe to ingest, they gradually break down and lose their potency. Because of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't mandate vitamin and supplement manufacturers to display an expiration date on their products. Those who do include a "use by" date on the label or lid do so voluntarily.
Go For the Best Supplements
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