Main sources of micronutrients in the diet are fruit, vegetables, starchy foods and lean meat and fish to some extent. Sometimes people do not have the time to eat well and prepare their own healthy foods and might rely on the ready, fast-food meals too much. Such habits can cause micronutrient deficiencies that impact their health. In order for the body to function properly certain guidelines must be met and supplements help us meet those guidelines by achieving adequate micronutrient intake.
Food supplements usually contain micronutrients that are either essential or beneficial to health and aim to improve our general wellbeing. Consuming such supplements can help us achieve a greater intake of these nutrients which can cover the deficiencies and restore proper body function along with aiding in general health and wellbeing. It is common knowledge that a lot of people simply do not meet the criteria of healthy eating due to stress, lack of time, motivation or other reasons. This is where supplements might come in handy, however, it is important to note that they should be consumed with care as too much of certain micro-nutrients can cause adverse health effects. According to Family Doctor (1) children between the ages of 4 to 18, people over 51 years of age, obese people, vegetarians and people who abuse alcohol might be at a nutritional disadvantage. Such people could use the supplements to meet the requirements of healthy eating guidelines. Other people who could utilise the supplements to improve their health are athletes that usually require a bit more micronutrients than inactive people.
Supplements are easy to consume, contain nutrients that are typically harder to consume in necessary amounts from whole meals, are relatively easily accessed (can be bought at local supermarkets, ordered from eBay, Amazon, etc. or simply purchased in vitamin shops), can be stored for a long period of time and consumed at any time of the day without previous preparation, that is without cooking.
Vitamins, minerals and other supplements aid our body in many functions and can be a great help to people that do not consume the recommended amounts from their diets but should not be treated as a healthy diet substitute. Consumption of such supplements should also be preceded by a blood test to determine if one is at a deficiency of certain nutrients and then consulted with a nutritionist, dietician or doctor.
- Family Doctor, Vitamins and Mineral: How to Get What You Need, accessed on 07/05/21, available at: https://familydoctor.org/vitamins-and-minerals-how-to-get-what-you-need/